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Seventeen UA Little Rock Students Receive LULAC Scholarships

This photo of UA Little Rock student LULAC scholarship recipients was taken by Brian Chilson of the Arkansas Times.
This photo of UA Little Rock student LULAC scholarship recipients was taken by Brian Chilson of the Arkansas Times.

Seventeen University of Arkansas at Little Rock students have been awarded scholarships from the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) for the 2022-23 school year. The 17 students are collectively receiving more than $29,000, with some matching funds from UA Little Rock.

The students will be honored at an annual gala, where LULAC will once again recognize UA Little Rock as a premier Latino Destination Campus for the university’s continued support to the Latino community. Two of the students will also receive UA Little Rock Student-of-the-Year awards with plaques to honor their selection.

“For the majority of these students, they are the first in their families to go to college and often come from resource-challenged environments,” said Dr. Terry Richard, a professor emeritus of sociology at UA Little Rock and a charter member of the Arkansas Council of LULAC. “These are bright dedicated students who make the best recruiters for UA Little Rock. We thank all of our administrators and faculty for their commitment to our Latino students and community.”

UA Little Rock’s scholarship recipients include Jai Ahir, Brayan Perez Arias, Maria Avalos, Emily Gonzalez Baltaz, Gael Bernal, Griselda Delgado, Maria Elkhattabi, Jazmin Garcia, Joel Hermosillo, Crissy Jones, Juan Lopez, Luis Martinez, Clarissa Torres, Oreana Roman, Maria Roman, Yvonne Rodriguez, and Katherine Robles.

“After college, I plan to work as an accountant with hopes as well to help the Hispanic community with some of their financial needs,” said Jazmin Garcia, a Spanish and accounting major from Little Rock. “It brings me lots of joy to receive this scholarship, and my family is very joyful as well. We are happy to know that I am receiving help with paying for college. This scholarship helps relieve financial stress and gives me more motivation to work hard for my future education and career goals.”

Katherine Robles, a second-year graduate student earning a master’s degree in social work, said she is grateful for the scholarship that will help her pursue her goal of working with veterans.

“I am so grateful for the LULAC scholarship. Pursuing an education can be costly, especially while managing all other expenses,” Robles said. “This scholarship will ease these financial stresses while allowing more freedom within my employment. It will greatly help me further my education by providing the means to do so. Once I graduate, I plan to pursue a career within the VA, as I am a veteran myself and have previously worked with this population.”

Another scholarship recipient, Clarissa Torres, a freshman nursing major from San Antonio, Texas, is thankful for the scholarship that will allow her to focus on her studies.

“I love that LULAC gives the younger generation of Hispanics money to pursue their dreams,” Torres said. “This scholarship helps my education by releasing some stress about how my education would be paid for. Times have not always been easy but my mom has pushed through it all. I know that being a single parent is hard, even though she never told me about her struggles, I could see them. I knew that I did not want her to pay for college, so I did the best I could in school to get good grades. Everything I did was for her. All I want from her is to be proud of me.”

LULAC is the largest Latino civil rights organization in the United States and seeks to empower the Latino community at the local, state, and national level through its seven councils chartered in Arkansas. The organization focuses heavily on education, civil rights, health, and employment opportunities.

UA Little Rock was the first higher education institution in Arkansas to sign a Memorandum of Agreement with LULAC to create a partnership to recruit and retain Latino students on campus. Since 2006, UA Little Rock has provided a dollar-for-dollar match for students who receive scholarships from LULAC of Arkansas.