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LULAC awards more than $55,000 in scholarships to local students

The League of United Latin American Citizens held its annual scholarship banquet at Augustana College on Sunday.

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — The League of United Latin American Citizens held its 2022 scholarship banquet at Augustana College on Sunday, July 31.

LULAC councils 10 (Davenport), 371 (Muscatine) and 5285 (Moline) awarded more than $55,000 in scholarships to 67 local high school, undergraduate and post-graduate students.

LULAC councils 10 and 5285 raise funds locally for the scholarships through weekly bingo, trivia nights, the annual LULAC Fiesta Queen contest fundraiser, the Adolph Lopez Annual Golf Memorial Outing, the East Moline Fiesta Parade, Mercado on Fifth, and from corporate and individual sponsors and donations. Local funds are submitted to the LULAC National Scholarship Fund for matching funds.

"We're looking for students that give back to their community," said Rosalva Portillo, the scholarship chair for LULAC Council 5285. "And of course, they show academic excellence."

One of this year's recipients is Iratze Aceves. She is a graduate of Monmouth-Roseville High School and is going into her second year at Augustana studying psychology and French. She's also a first-generation college student.

"I would do anything to make it a lot easier for my parents to help me out to pay college," Aceves said. "I know a lot of Latinos don't have this type of support, and so I feel like this is useful for not only just me, but other Latinos in our community as well."

She wants to use her psychology degree to help other Latin Americans.

"I think it's very important to help a lot of Latin American students like myself, especially when our culture and language barriers really don't help us understand the importance of mental health, counseling and a lot of awareness within psychology," Aceves said.

Many scholarship recipients go on to become members of LULAC councils, such as Portillo.

"I was a former scholarship recipient as well," Portillo said. "It help me pay for books. Right now, college expenses have increased drastically, so this is a scholarship that can be used for any educational costs for the student, and hopefully it'll help them in their educational career."

To date, the LULAC Quad Cities councils have awarded around $750,000 to students since the start of the scholarship program in 1978.

To send a donation to LULAC, visit its Facebook page, just click/tap here.

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