Activities & Organizations News

CMAS scholarship banquet highlights the importance of education


ABC 13’s Art Rascon was the key note speaker at the 18th Annual Noche Cultural Scholarship Banquet  |  Sara Samora/The Cougar

The Center for Mexican-American Studies held the 18th annual Noche Cultural Scholarship Banquet on Saturday.

The proceeds from the gala go toward students enrolled in the Academic Achievers Program, a CMAS-sponsored program.  The AAP aids and pushes students toward graduation. According to the Pew Research Center, only 14.5 percent of Latinos over the age of 25 have earned a degree.

“This is my first year in the program, so I didn’t know about the gala,” said pre-nursing freshman Jordan Rosales. “I think it’s a great thing, because there are a lot of people within the city, and they’re higher up in the city.”

Accounting sophomore Karen Vargas said she didn’t know the program existed either. She heard about it through a friend who graduated last fall.

“I applied, and I got accepted,” Vargas said. “So I’m kind of excited but at the same time nervous.”

The event was held at the Hilton Hotel and featured ABC 13’s anchor and reporter Art Rascon. Rascon stressed the importance of education in his speech.

“Don’t give me excuses, give me results,” Rascon said.

Rascon shared a story from his childhood of a time when he told one of his teachers his dreams, to which his teacher responded, “I’m sorry Art. You may want to do something else because you can hardly read or write.”

“Which was true,” Rascon said. However, Rascon turned it around and became an Emmy Award-winning reporter.

The banquet also included testimonials from political science and English junior Hadill Calderon. Calderon shared her story of how her grades slipped when her mother became ill. She worried she would lose her scholarships.

“But you saw something in me,” Calderon said in her testimonial.

Since its inception of the AAP in 1994, 208 students have received scholarships. The program also offers tutoring, organizes retreats, provides mentors and meets monthly for meetings.

“It’s kind of like study hall,” Vargas said. “It helped a lot of people go through the university as far as financial, and the program helps people get involve on campus.”

For more information, visit the program’s website or contact Rebeca Treviño at [email protected].

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