Annual gala awards scholarships to local students

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Community to Honor Cesar E. Chavez held an in-person awards gala for the first time in two years Tuesday. 

The group presented scholarships to 11 college students at four area colleges and universities. 

“I have a lot to really look forward to,” said Jorge Martinez, a Grand Rapids Community College student who was one of the students who received a scholarship. 

Like Chavez, Martinez’s parents were field workers. He’s thankful to be honored by the group. 

“Really puts into perspective how much generations before us went through and how much my ancestors sacrificed for us,” Martinez said. 

Martinez received a $1,000 scholarship for his studies at GRCC. Students from Grand Valley St., Aquinas, and Davenport were also recognized. 

Scholarships ranged from $1,000 to full tuition for a year. 

Lupe Ramos-Montigny, the chairperson of the Community to Honor Cesar E. Chavez — which recently changed its name from “Committee to Honor Cesar E. Chavez” — is thrilled to have the event in-person again. She enjoys seeing the reaction of the recipients. 

“You see their faces, it’s like we’re giving them an Academy Award,” Ramos-Montigny said. “So important to them.” 

Davenport student-athlete Bobby Kelly received the Si Se Puede scholarship, which covers tuition and fees and is renewable for four years. 

“I know it helps my family a lot because it’s a lot of money you have to pay,” Kelly said. “So, I was just really excited to receive it.”

Awards were also given out to highlight the efforts of non-students in the Hispanic community. 

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