Opportunity knocks

College-bound Pasadena students get a boost from scholarships

By Justin Chapman, Pasadena Weekly, 6/3/2010

Fourteen deserving local youngsters will now have a better chance at higher education after receiving scholarships provided by El Centro de Accion Social, Inc., of Pasadena and Community Organization for Progress and Advancement.
Qualifying seniors from Blair International Baccalaureate School, Marshall Fundamental, Pasadena and Muir high schools, and the Center for Independent Studies on the PHS campus accepted their scholarships during a ceremony held May 27 at Lake Avenue Church. 
The scholarships of $200 for 12 of the kids and $500 for two of them will help with expenses for students attending such prestigious schools as MIT, USC, UC Santa Cruz, UCLA, and other colleges and universities. The money was provided through the El Centro Gloria Delaney Scholarship Fund. Delaney died in January 2009. Her husband, John Delaney, gave the keynote address at last week’s event.
“Each student’s story is extraordinary,” said El Centro Executive Director Randy Ertll. “They have persevered in order to graduate from high school and will now have the opportunity to attend a university.”
Of 30 applicants, Ariana Rojas, Priscilla Perez, Aysha Davis, Sara Leu, Leslie Mena, Ashley Kennard, Janet Yepez, Anni Eloyan, Tania Cardona, Shirley Alonso, Vivian Cardona, Audrey Moreno, Janet Perez, and Julie Guerrero were selected to receive scholarships. 
El Centro was founded in 1968 to improve the lack of social services and serve the needs of the city’s growing Spanish-speaking population. In the late 1960s, the city offered its support by donating a building in Central Park “to be used to offer translation services, referrals to various aid agencies, and any other type of help that the Latino community needed in the late 1960s,” said Ertll.