Leaders in Education Awards 2012- Award Winners
The Hispanic Scholarship Fund presented awards to a deserving local student, parent, teacher, school and volunteer in the Los Angeles area. The local education leaders that were recognized for their efforts are:
Student of the Year – Jonathan Chiquito-Crespo
Jonathan is a junior at California State University Los Angeles (CSULA), working on his bachelor’s degree in Finance, with a minor in Economics. Jonathan has been involved in community service since the 12th grade, and has excelled in academics in spite of severe obstacles with a debilitating stroke as a college freshman. His hard work and determination has not only placed him in the Dean’s List as an International Scholar Laureate, but has instilled in him a commitment to inspire others to succeed, and a strong desire to help find cures for developmental disabilities in the future. The Student of the Year Award is presented by Toyota.
Parent of the Year – Eber Quezada Mori
A mathematician by training and teacher by trade in his native Peru, Eber Quezada traded his vocation to support a better education for his children. Eber moved his family to the U.S. where he got a job as a pool man working 7-days a week to pay for college tuitions, while mentoring his children academically. Because of his sacrifice and dedication, his older daughter is graduating in Business Administration from UC Berkeley, his son is also attending UC Berkeley double majoring in Physics and Mathematics, and his youngest son will start high school next year. Today, Eber runs his own pool service business while going to school with his wife Enma to learn English.
Educator of the Year – Irazema Guerrero-Meléndez
A South Los Angeles native, Irazema Guerrero teaches at Camino Nuevo Jose Castellanos Elementary where she strives to better the lives for her students through empowerment in education. Her vision is to give her students access by encouraging them to achieve academically, believe college is not only important but attainable, mentoring them through the many challenges they face in their path to college, and involving the parents in the process. Irazema also mentors other teachers at her school site, and through professional development in the community. A Psychology and Philosophy graduate from UCLA, Irazema is currently working on her Master’s thesis about parent engagement in literacy.
School of the Year – Woodrow Wilson High School
Woodrow Wilson High School was established in 1937 in East Los Angeles, where 94% of the community is of Hispanic background. Its mission is to empower all students with the skills and knowledge to become independent learners and achieve measurable success. Wilson’s student body consists of several academic-career learning communities and two magnet programs that have contributed to a positive jump in student’s academic performance. The school’s well-articulated focus on student performance has led Wilson to become an AVID National Demonstration Site (Photo: Principal Ursula Rosin).
Mentor of the Year – Dr. Suzanna Guzmán
Dr. Guzman is the director of community engagement at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. She strongly supports arts education. She hosts, organizes, and chaperones events completely by herself and during after-school activities. Because LACHSA is a tuition-free public school, she has tirelessly combed L.A. County to spread the word of her high achieving school through every corner of LA County raising the numbers of applicants from 400 to 1100 in only 3 years-times. Dr. Guzman has been honored as the 2011 Mexican American Opportunity Foundations National Woman of the Year and the 2011 Bank of America local hero for her work with emerging artists, for donating performances to the community, for mentoring young musicians and helping underserved high school students with preparing for college interviews and auditions.
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