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Latins United awards 10 student scholarships

By La Prensa Staff

Latins United social club continued an annual tradition of awarding college scholarships so worthy Latino students can continue their studies. “If we can help them out along the way, hopefully they can come back and repay the community, other Latinos and others who have helped them along the way,” said Usevio “Chevo” Torres, Latins United president.

“It’s awesome to see these kids grow. Hopefully they don’t move out of state. They’ll stay local or at least in the Midwest. We need them. We need their education to take over what we started. They’re our future,” said Torres.

Torres credited the late Lucy Weaver for starting the scholarship fund decades ago. The fund has expanded from three to five and now ten scholarships. Latins United—which is the second oldest Latino social club in Ohio, having been formed in 1961—currently has more than 400 members, many of whom contribute directly to the fund. [Note that the oldest Latino social club in Ohio is Mexican Mutual Society, of Lorain, founded in 1928. The Mexican Mutual Society also awards a variety of student scholarships on an annual basis. The club in Cleveland is more recent and is called Comite Mexicano de Cleveland.]

But the coronavirus pandemic prevented those awards from happening in front of thousands of baseball fans this season, for the 20th presentation. COVID-19 canceled the Toledo Mud Hens minor league baseball season, which, in turn, forced cancellation of the annual Latino Heritage Night and Celebrations at Fifth Third Field in downtown Toledo. Instead, Latins United presented the scholarships on Sunday afternoon, July 19, 2020 before its monthly organizational meeting. Each of the ten students received a $500 scholarship:

Daniel Perales, 21, will be a senior at the Ohio State University, where he’s majoring in chemistry with a minor in forensic science. He hopes to one day join the FBI.

The St. John’s Jesuit High School graduate stated his love of the laboratory developed in school and his love of forensic pathology developed while watching CSI reruns as a kid.

“It was actually finally getting into a lab to see stuff—to actually, physically find out what I like, and then it just kind of went from there,” he explained. “I was blessed in high school that we had very in-depth laboratory spaces. I knew I liked it and excelled at it, so in college I just kept going with it—and now I’m here.” 

Noah Fredritz is set to start his junior year at the University of Toledo, majoring in electrical engineering. The Bluffton High School graduate sees the Latins United scholarship as motivation to finish his degree and do well in adulthood.

“It helps my mindset. It makes me want to have to graduate,” he admitted. “I took a robotics class in high school and I really enjoyed it. I like working on robots, so I really want to do the wiring on a robot.”

Jesús Juárez, 17, is a 2020 graduate of Anthony Wayne High School and will attend Arizona State University in the fall, majoring in computer science.

“It’s just the technology that interests me so much—because how much of our daily lives is driven by technology,” he said. “If I could just advance that for the future it would really pay off. I want to do programming so I can work for one of the big companies, like Tesla or Intel or Microsoft. I just want to create something that could shape the future.”

Jesús estimated the $500 scholarship would save him more than $2,000 over time in student loan debt, after recently reading an article on how it can pile up quickly.  

“Every little bit is going to help because of out-of-state tuition. Each amount of money is going to help make it better,” he said. “Now I’ll have a little less.”

Andrew Urrutia, 22, will be a fifth-year senior majoring in economics at Kent State University. He hopes to become an entrepreneur and already owns his own pressure-washing company.

“We’re also looking into an Amazon logistics company, handling the shipping for some of the Amazon routes,” he said. “One of my friends does that now, so we’re thinking about opening our own warehouse.”

Like the other college seniors, the Sylvania Southview graduate admitted the scholarship will help him complete his degree and start his life in the work world.

“Honestly, all of it helps. It’s going to help me get through the rest of the year with less stress, so I can focus on school—because it’s more of a challenge for me doing the online and we just transitioned to all online, so I’m going to have to put a little more time into my studies,” he said.

COVID-19 also threw a serious curve ball into the final year of college for Serena Yerg, a senior at Miami (Ohio) University. She just spent a year in the fabled Farmer School of Business, as she works toward a degree in supply chain and operations management.

The Anthony Wayne High School graduate is taking a hard look at graduate school before she enters professional life. But the scholarship helps immediately, because she is facing an apartment lease, even though three of her four classes fall semester will be online because of the pandemic. She stated the business school tuition and books increased her yearly education costs.

Kyla Nino is already headed to graduate school at Youngstown State University, after completing a bachelor’s degree in English literature at the University of Toledo this spring. Her emphasis in pursuit of a master’s degree will be professional writing.

“What I really want to do is turn to editing,” she said. “It’s pretty competitive, but that’s what I want to do: edit. I’d love to work with manuscripts, a book, young adult fiction, things like that. Young adult fiction spoke to me a lot when I was in school. I think that’s a good entryway for students to get into literature. You don’t have to go for Shakespeare right away.”

Samantha González recently graduated from Monroe High School. She will attend Monroe County Community College and pursue a nursing degree, then transfer to Eastern Michigan University to finish a bachelor’s degree in pediatric psychiatry.

“I really want to focus more on teens, young adults,” she explained. “That focus is a lot more on mental trauma more than anything. I want to help them get to the source before it becomes anything bigger before they grow up.”

Christian Ramirez, a 2020 graduate of Sylvania Northview High School, will attend the University of Toledo this fall and major in mechanical engineering. He was unable to attend the scholarship ceremony because of his job, but his mother was present to accept the award. Other scholarship recipients unable to attend included Imani Allen and Brianna Ortiz.

A Latins United scholarship committee selected the recipients from a number of applicants. Committee members included Mary Jane Flores, Sabina Serratos, Lulu Perales, and chairperson Mary Morales. Lucas County Common Pleas Judge, Alfonso González, was in attendance and praised the students, the club, and their respective achievements.

On the Internet:

Daniel Perales

Noah Fredritz

Jesús Juárez

Andrew Urrutia

Serena Yerg

Kyla Nino

Samantha González

Mother of
Christian Ramirez

TOLEDO:   https://www.facebook.com/pages/Latins-United/116068935081361
LORAIN:  https://www.facebook.com/MexicanMutualSocietyLorain
CLEVELAND:  https://www.comitemexicanodecleveland.org/

             Robert and Chevo” Torres                     Mary Jane Flores with Alfonso González


Copyright © 1989 to 2020 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 07/21/20 20:15:44 -0700.




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