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LOS ANGELES – Through a virtual awards ceremony, the Latino Equality Alliance (LEA) recently announced the recipients of the 2021 LGBTQ Youth College Scholarship Awards. This year, 13 LGBTQ-identified students were awarded scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.

In total, $33,000 was awarded through the scholarship fund and in partnership with Southern California Gas Company and Keck Medicine of USC.

The virtual ceremony was attended by scholarship recipients and their family members along with scholarship committee members, staff, and board members of the Latino Equality Alliance. During the presentation, California State Senator Maria Elena Durazo of the 24th District gave special remarks to the scholars in attendance. “I applaud the Latino Equality Alliance for supporting and uplifting LGBTQ+ youth. Through these scholarships, our youth will thrive. They will lead our Movement for Justice. They are our future teachers, scientists, firefighters, and Senators!,” stated Senator Durazo.

This year’s scholarship awards recipients are Jazmin Hernandez Perez (UC Berkeley), Brandon Ramirez (Santa Monica College), Evelyn Avalos (UCLA), Kevin Palomo (CalPoly Pomona), Mel Avina-Beltran (UC Davis), Fatima Mendoza Choto (UC Irvine ),Alejandra Chavez (UCLA), Katherin Velazquez (UC Berkeley), Asher Madariaga Rivera(LA Trade Tech), Alejandra Aguilar (Pierce College), Luka/Isa Gidwani (UCLA), GeorgeDel Real (UC Berkeley) and Blake Trejo (UC Berkeley).

The Latino Equality Alliance scholarship fund was established in 2018 to support the
higher education pathway for queer students of color. LEA’s work is rooted in organizing and developing young leaders in low-income and communities of color to empower them and their families to fight for the resources and policies that will promote a healthy school climate and their academic success.

A scholarship fund was needed to ensure low-income students have the needed resources to purchase essential school supplies, meals and pay rent.

“Achieving equity among the Latinx LGBTQ community is a key part of the LEA’s mission.
Our youth scholarship program helps advance equity in higher education by providing
low-income LGBTQ students access to funds that will lessen the burden of financing
their studies compared to higher-income students,” stated Edith Moreno, an LEA board
member and chair of this year’s scholarship committee.

This year’s awards were made possible by the fundraising efforts and donations by
supporters and community leaders in the Latinx LGBTQ community.

Javier Angulo, a longtime supporter of LEA states, “I am proud to support LEA and its
scholarship fund to provide opportunities to Latinx LGBTQ youth to achieve their
academic dreams, and I challenge others who have been rewarded with success to
donate what they can to support the growth of this fund.”

Angulo along with LEA supporter Alberto Mendoza helped raise $15,000 for this year’s
awards. “Supporting our LGBTQ youth is essential, a lot of us couldn’t be when we were
in school or felt isolated and alone. I’m glad things have gotten better overall, and I am
proud to be in a position where we can provide this financial support to these amazing
scholarship winners,” Mendoza said.

Keck Medicine of USC has been a strong supporter of the scholarship program for the
past three years. “Keck Medicine of USC has been a proud sponsor of Latino Equality
Alliance since 2017,” said Lindsey Lawrence, scholarship committee member and chair
of Keck Pride, the health system’s LGBTQ+ committee. “We are honored to recognize
two students pursuing health care careers with the second annual Keck Medicine of
USC scholarship award.”

The mission of the Latino Equality Alliance (LEA) is to advocate for equity, safety, and
wellness for the Latinx Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer + community.

LEA is located at Mi Centro LGBTQ Community Center in Boyle Heights.

For more information on the services and programs of the Latino Equality Alliance and/or to donate:
Please visit

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