UA Little Rock Latino students receive LULAC scholarships

Eleven students at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock have been awarded scholarships from the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) to continue their education this fall.

UA Little Rock’s students are among the 35 students from colleges and universities across the state selected for this year’s awards. The 11 students are collectively receiving $10,000, with some matching funds from the university.

All students will be honored Sept. 13 at the LULAC Council 750 Little Rock Scholarship Gala beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the Great Hall of the William J. Clinton Presidential Center, 1200 President Clinton Ave. in Little Rock. Tickets are $100 with proceeds benefiting scholarship funds for Latino college students.

The UA Little Rock student recipients and their majors include the following:

  • Jimena Balada, international business
  • Alexey Chacon-Perez, nursing
  • Jessica Gonzalez, sociology and psychology
  • Cesar Guerra Gonzalez, music education (Richard Family Fund Scholarship)
  • Janette Munoz, nursing (Patricia Guardado Scholarship)
  • Ashley Murguia Topete, international business and information technology
  • Paola Rodriguez, nursing
  • Yazmin Santillan, social work
  • Elizabeth Santillan, nursing
  • Luis Torres, construction management
  • Daisy Vasquez Guevara, international studies and Spanish

Three of the students will receive special scholarships.

Janette Munoz, a junior, will receive the Patricia Guardado Scholarship, awarded in remembrance of Patricia Guardado, a UA Little Rock sophomore who was studying international business at the time of her death. Her murder has never been solved, and LULAC has awarded a scholarship in her name every year to remember her and other students like her who want an education.

Cesar Guerra Gonzalez, a music education student, will receive the Jerry and Terry Richard Family Fund Scholarship, an endowed scholarship awarded to deserving Latino students attending UA Little Rock, where Terry Richard is a professor emeritus. The scholarship recognizes academic excellence and requires 15 hours of community service with UA Little Rock LULAC Council 771 or with another community agency that works with the Latino community. 

UA Little Rock senior Ashley Murguia Topete will receive a scholarship co-sponsored by LULAC and Just Communities of Arkansas. She will graduate next year with a degree in international business. Inspired by her father, who is a truck driver, Topete is interested in a career in logistics. She is an intern at Just Communities of Arkansas this semester and serves as vice president of UA Little Rock’s LULAC Chapter.

“I wouldn’t have this opportunity without UA Little Rock,” she said. “The scholarship has also given the opportunity to give back.”

Other scholarship recipients attend Arkansas Tech University, ASU-Beebe, Henderson State University, Southern Arkansas University, Hendrix College, Shorter College, and UA-Pulaski Technical College.

LULAC seeks to empower the Latino community at the local, state, and national level through its seven councils chartered in Arkansas. The organization involves and serves Latinos of all national origins and focuses heavily on education, civil rights, and employment. Over the past 26 years, LULAC Council 750 Little Rock has awarded about $600,000 in college scholarships to 400 students.

UA Little Rock graduate Sandra Jobe relied on scholarships from the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) to help her defray costs while earning a Bachelor of Arts in mass communication in 2016 and then a Master of Arts in higher education this year.

During her college experience, she fell in love with the campus environment and now works as a program specialist in the TRiO programs, a collection of federally funded programs designated to prepare low-income and first-generation students for college. She also serves as a council advisor for the UA Little Rock chapter of LULAC.

Tickets for the banquet can be ordered by email at lulac750@gmail.com. More information is available on LULAC’s website.

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