Friday, November 21, 2014

Mexican consulate awards $15,000 for scholarships to Grossmont and Cuyamaca College students

           For the second year in a row, the Mexican Consulate has awarded $15,000 to the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District that will be used to award scholarships to 15 Grossmont and Cuyamaca College students of Mexican descent.

Left to right: Selam Gebrekristos, Grossmont College scholarship
specialist; Grossmont College student Esau Cortez;
John Valencia, associate vice chancellor, adv. and comm.;
Sally Cox, executive director, Auxiliary
            The Mexican government awarded the scholarship money to the East County colleges and four other education institutions in San Diego County – University of California San Diego, University of San Diego, Southwestern College, and Access.

            “We are interested in helping the Mexican population living in the United States have access to improve their education,” said Remedios Gomez Arnau, Mexican consul general in San Diego.

            John Valencia, the college district’s associate vice chancellor for advancement and communications, said the scholarships will be awarded for the spring 2015 semester to 10 Grossmont College students and 5 Cuyamaca College students. To be eligible for a $1,000 scholarship, a student must be of Mexican origin, have at least a 3.0 grade point average, and write a 500-word essay describing their Mexican heritage and the reasons why they should receive the scholarship.

            Grossmont College student Esau Cortez, one of the students who received a scholarship last year, said the money relieved the financial pressure he was feeling while taking 20 units of classes while working 25 hours a week at a pizza restaurant. Cortez, vice president of Grossmont College’s student government association, said the scholarship money enabled him to quit his job and focus on his studies.

            “This scholarship really helps me because I was faced with so much anxiety about paying for my textbooks,” he said.

            Cortez, an award-winning member of the college debate team, is also president of the Latino Caucus for the Student Senate for California Community Colleges. He plans to transfer to UCSD or San Diego State University after graduating from Grossmont College next year.

            “My career goal is to open the doors of opportunity for other Latino students,” he said.