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8th Annual Bill de la Fuente Scholarship Awards: Empowering The Next Generation

By   /  July 5, 2024  /  No Comments


Denisse Barragan -[San Marcos, CA – June, 2024] The North County Regional Education Center in San Marcos, CA, was filled with excitement and pride as the Bill de la Fuente Scholarship Foundation hosted its 8th Annual Award Night on Wednesday, June 26. The foundation, dedicated to empowering students through education and community support, celebrated academic excellence and brought together scholarship recipients, their families, educators, business owners, and local community leaders.

The evening began with a warm welcome and opening remarks from Bill de la Fuente, setting a tone of
celebration and community. Guests enjoyed a delicious dinner provided by Rancho Grande El Toro, a favorite in the City of Vista. The event continued with the board member pledge ceremony, during which new board members were officially installed, showcasing the foundation’s ongoing growth and dedication to supporting education.

Dr. Carmen Nava and Katie Stokes, educators and twin daughters of the esteemed Dr. Julian Nava, delivered a heartfelt keynote speech. They shared intimate family photos and stories, highlighting the impactful life and legacy of their father, Dr. Julian Nava, a distinguished Mexican-American educator, historian, politician, and diplomat. In recognition of Dr. Nava’s significant contributions to education and civil rights, a scholarship was announced in his name, ensuring his legacy will continue to inspire future generations. In a special moment, the County of San Diego, on behalf of Terra Lawson-Remer’s office, declared June 25th as Dr. Julian Nava Day, presenting the proclamation to the Nava sisters in recognition of their father’s enduring impact and legacy.

The award ceremony began with the presentation of the “Estrella de La Comunidad” award to high school
student Angela Calderon Pico for her outstanding work in community and civic engagement. Angela, who will be attending Harvard in the fall, also received special recognition from the City of Escondido, highlighting her dedication and achievements.

Scholarships were awarded to ten students in two categories: AVID and Migrant Education. Each of the
scholarship recipients is from high schools in Escondido, Oceanside, Vista, Fallbrook, Bonsall, and San

The seven AVID scholarship recipients completed the AVID curriculum, which stands for Advancement Via
Individual Determination, a specialized program focused on college preparedness. The recipients are:

● Samantha F. Resendiz, Escondido High School to CSUSM, Nursing
● Shalia Suarez Cuevas, Oceanside High School to UCSB, Psychology and Brain Science
● Brooke Gallegos, El Camino High to Purdue, Hospitality and Tourism Management
● Gerlyn Bagtas, Orange Glen High School to USC, Aerospace Engineering
● Alexa Montes Matias, Mission Hills High School to Yale, Political Science
● Omar Llamas Angel, Escondido High School to UCSD, Mechanical Engineering
● Gabriella Hernandez, Vista High School to UCLA, Engineering

Migrant Education Scholarships were awarded to:
● Michele Mondragon, Bonsall High School to Palomar College with plans to transfer to CSUSM
● Valeria Ortiz, Oceanside High School to Mira Costa College with plans to transfer to UCSD
● Felipa Vicente Diego, Fallbrook Union High School to Mira Costa College with plans to transfer to

Felipa Vicente Diego was honored as the recipient of the Dr. Julian Nava Scholarship. Additionally,
recognitions were awarded to each scholarship recipient from the City of Vista, presented by Deputy Mayor Katie Melendez, further acknowledging their achievements and contributions.

The event also recognized the vital contributions of local Latino-owned small businesses that provided
significant support for the scholarship funds. Bill de la Fuente personally acknowledged these businesses,
urging attendees to support those who invest in the future of their community. He stated, “These scholarship funds don’t come from large corporations; they come from people who work tirelessly in their local businesses. It’s a real effort from our community, our familia, giving back and making a difference. It’s crucial that it comes from these small business owners who want to uplift and support their communities.”

The 8th Annual Award Night was a success, underscoring the Bill de la Fuente Scholarship Foundation’s
mission to empower students through education and community support. The event, rich in culture and
community spirit, was a testament to the enduring legacy of leaders like Bill de la Fuente and Dr. Julian Nava.

For more information about the Bill de la Fuente Scholarship Foundation and how you can support their
mission, please visit their website at www.billdelafuentescholarships.org.
Bill De La Fuente Scholarship Foundation – Tel. (760) 716-5707 – delafuentescholarships@gmail.com


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