Banquet honors newest scholarship winners, endowment

Thirteen University of Arkansas at Little Rock students received recognition at the 2014 League of United Latin American Citizens Council (LULAC) 750 Little Rock Scholarship Banquet on Oct. 25 at the Clinton President Center.

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Dr. Terry Trevino-Richard, UALR sociology professor (left) and Clinton Foundation Scholarship Award winner, Sandra Carmona Garcia.

In addition, council members presented UALR LULAC Council President Sandra Carmona Garcia with the Clinton Presidential Center coat after announcing her the winner of the first Clinton Foundation Scholarship Award.

Two UALR alumni, Carlos Sepulveda and Timothy Tellez, were also honored after they received postgraduate scholarships to study at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

The banquet’s featured speaker, Henry G. Cisneros, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Bill Clinton, talked of the progress made by Latinos and Latinas since LULAC was founded in 1929, but also the work that lies ahead.

“The acceptance to college, the availability of financing for college, the scholarships we produce, the completion rates in higher education – it’s up to us,” he said.

“The nexus of the question is whether we invest in human capital … that’s the kind of country we’re going to be. It’s just that straightforward. We have work to do.”

UALR Chancellor Joel E. Anderson accepted the President’s Award on behalf of UALR for outreach and scholarships provided to recruit and retain more Latino students at the university. In addition, the UALR Hispanic/Latino Initiative received a special award for its efforts to provide mentorship and guidance to Hispanics and Latinos at the university.

Guardado’s memory honored, scholarship endowed

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UALR Chancellor Joel E. Anderson (left) and Henry G. Cisneros, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Anderson used the opportunity to announce that the Patricia Guardado Memorial Scholarship is now fully endowed at UALR. The scholarship is in honor of Ms. Guardado, an Hispanic student at UALR, the victim of a suspected homicide off campus three years ago. The case has not been solved.

Hundreds of mourners packed into St. Edward’s Catholic Church in Little Rock to bid their final farewells to the diminutive young woman with big ambitions after her body was found on Oct. 12, 2011.

She and her cousin, Gabriella Guardado, 23, were the first in the extended Guardado family to go to college, according to Gabriella’s sister, Sandra Guardado, a LULAC scholarship recipient this year and a business major at UALR.

“So in that sense, (Patricia) set an example for the rest of us to follow,” she said. “She’s in a much better place now … this is a good way to honor her memory.”

As the oldest of five siblings, Patricia Guardado took her family responsibilities seriously even as she shared her light-hearted personality with those who knew her best.

Dr. Terry Trevino-Richard, a sociology professor who has spent years mentoring young Latinos and Hispanics at UALR, and his twin brother, Jerry, say that Guardado’s death profoundly impacted many people, themselves included.

Guardado’s quest for a higher education motivated them to recently complete the endowed scholarship in her honor, which LULAC along with friends and family established shortly after her death.

“Patricia’s pursuit of the American Dream was cut tragically short,” said Dr. Richard. “We wanted to completely endow the scholarship at this time to serve as a constant reminder to other Latino students to utilize their full talents.”

In addition, the Richard Family Trust desired to keep Guardado’s voice alive to remind the Greater Little Rock community that the person or persons responsible for taking her life still need to be brought to justice, he added.

Jerry and Terry Richard attached an additional award to the Patricia Guardado Memorial Scholarship, which will provide for up to $500 a year to help cover books and other needs for the scholarship recipient.

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Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros (left) enjoys a laugh with UALR construction management senior Miguel Alvarez.

To be eligible for the Guardado scholarship, the recipient may be either a full- or part-time student at UALR and must write a letter of appreciation to the faculty advisors of UALR LULAC, which serves as the student’s official notice of acceptance of the award.

Academic accomplishment and financial need are strongly considered in awarding the scholarship, which will be given at the end of each spring term for use in the next academic year.

For more information, contact the UALR Office of Development at 501.569.3194.

LULAC Scholarship winners
The following UALR students will receive LULAC scholarships for 2014-15 academic year; the university provided matching funds for each:
Crystal Alvarez
Miguel Alvarez
Giovanni Arreola
Andrea Elias
Martin Garcia
Sandra Carmona Garcia
Sandra Guardado
Adela Recendiz Hernandez
Cindy Lopez
Mariano Ramirez
Nancy Reyes
Miguel Valderrama
Celina Veronica Reyes-Vasquez

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