Recipients of the Lynn Hispanic Scholarship Fund, from left, Juan Cubides, Jaeel Beato, Aalina Tejada Lara, Gabriela Trejo, Gabby Alvarez, Gabriel Melara-Paz, Joselyn Bonilla, Thatiana Rodriguez, Yariel Tejeda, and Stacy Munoz. (Spencer Hasak)
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Lynn Hispanic Scholarship Fund Awards
LYNN – Great things are predicted for the 10 Lynn Hispanic students origin who have received awards of $ 1,000 each from the Lynn Hispanic Scholarship Fund.
Also at Friday’s ceremony, an additional scholarship was awarded by the Verny Samayoa Memorial Scholarship.
“I know that we are definitely going to see a lot of great things happening from this crowd,” said Laura Sánchez, president of the LHSF.
State Sen. Brendan Crighton, D-Lynn, Democratic State Reps. Peter Capano and Daniel Cahill of Lynn, Mayor Jared Nicholson, City Council President Jay Walsh, and other city officials and community members attended the event and congratulated the awardees and their families.
“We have your back, and we are so proud of you. We want this pride to feel empowering, ”Nicholson said.
They also expressed their gratitude to LHSF.
“This organization has done an amazing job for years. It’s empowering young Latinos and Latinx students in the city and creating our future leaders, ”Cahill said.
The students were required to meet three criteria to be selected: “their academics, their community service, and their essays,” said Mariam Rodriguez-Fiscp, a board member of the LHSF.
Vicky Rivera, vice president of LHSF, said that 49 applications that the fund received this year was more than it has ever had, but the number of amazing Latino youth in Lynn is even greater.
“We had 49 students apply, which honestly, I don’t think that’s that many compared to the number of amazing Latino Youth that we have in the city,” Rivera said.
She also said that an additional scholarship was awarded from the Verny Samayoa Memorial Scholarship. Samayoa was a leader of the community, and was an activist for the rights of people with AIDS / HRV. His scholarship is awarded to the active members of Latino community advocating for LGBTQ + rights.
“These young people right here have done amazing things,” Riviera said. “Our selection committee this year was just astounded by how powerful you all are.”
Faustina Guevas, Lynn’s first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Faustina Guevas, was a keynote speaker and told the students about her struggles as a first-generation college student growing up with an immigrant single mother.
“Those experiences really shaped who I became as a leader today,” Guevas said.
She advised students to advocate for themselves at college, not to be ashamed to ask questions, to get out of their comfort zone, and most importantly not to forget who they are.
“When things are going really hard, and you feel you’re drowning you will find a way to keep swimming, it’s in your blood,” Guevas said.
Jaeel Beato, 17, from Lynn Classical, who is going to Emerson College to get a degree in broadcast journalism, gave a speech on his community project. During the pandemic he organized regular zoom meetings providing support for the English learners in his school.
“I feel very honored to be here, I think it’s a great opportunity for many Hispanics, a great opportunity to meet people in my community and share a moment of celebration,” Beato said.
Yariel Tejeda, 18, from Lynn English, who will attend Georgetown University to get a degree in international politics, said he ran a community service campaign advocating for menstrual pads for homeless individuals in shelters. He is also a class president, and he participated in the student council, and he is on the National Honor Society,
“I decided to participate because it’s Lynn Hispanic heritage, and I’m proud of where I come from,” Tejeda said.
The recipient of the Samayoa Memorial Scholarship was Joselyn Bonilla, 18, from Classical, who is going to UMass Boston, said she advocated for other students who did not have the resources she had, such as a membership in a school social justice club. Bonilla also volunteered in My Brother’s Table soup kitchen in Lynn that serves free meals.
“I feel grateful that I was given an opportunity to represent the people of my culture,” Bonilla said.
The Lynn Hispanic Scholarship Fund was established in 1991 by a group of volunteer Latino community members who wanted to assist and support Lynn Hispanic and Latino high school graduates in their transition to college. According to one of the founders, who was present at Friday’s event, Carmen Rivera, she did it because she liked to help other people.
Today the organization continues this path empowering Lynn Hispanic and Latino community youth, who in turn are “role modeling for the next generation,” as Guevas put it.
“Sometimes the doors will open, sometimes the doors will close, keep going,” Sánchez said. “We are here for you, if you hit a roadblock, you know how to contact us.”