Hard-working students get scholarships from LULAC, honored at GALA

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KLRT)- A GALA Friday night, honored 43 college students, whose lives were made better by the United Latin American Citizens Council [LULAC] with scholarships.

For students like Jimena Balaga, who’s won twice now, it’s more than just money- it’s a promising future.

“It means a lot to me, as a hispanic myself,” Balaga said. “This scholarship offers me a lot… it allows me to have enough money for my school and since I want to be international business and I want to travel outside of the US, to other countries, it gives me money for my dream of traveling the world and helping.”

Her uncle, Ramundo Jayme, said “this is not just her success, it’s also ours [the family].”

“We all work together as family and such and I’m just glad that someone goes above the level of schooling that others… we didn’t get to reach,” he added.

The ceremonial celebration happened at the William J. Clinton Presidential Center in downtown.

Merits on which scholarships are awarded are based on things like students’ GPAs and community service.

Michel Leiderman, the former LULAC president, said the council has offered the program of scholarship for 20 years and has given around $900,000 in scholarships to about 500 students.

Several special honors were also given out, including the American Dream Award, which was presented this year to Rocio Richard, an immigrant from Ecuador.

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