Vecinos de South Pasadena | $8,000 Awarded in Scholarships to Nine Grads

The honorees have strong records in classes, campus activities and organizations strengthening or serving Latinx communities

PHOTO: Willow Baughman | South News | Pictured at Vecinos de South Pasadena scholarship winners presentation are (top row left to right): board member Derek Vaughan, Lulu Talesnick Lopez, Samuel Salseda, Emily Garcia, Tony Rodz and (bottom row left to right) Emily Albornoz, board member Janna Nava Philpot, Julieta Frias and Sofia Farmarco. Not pictured are scholarship winners Diego Williams and Carolina Garavito.  

News provided by Vecinos de South Pasadena

Nine outstanding 2022 high school graduates living in South Pasadena have been awarded scholarships totaling $8,000 by the Vecinos de South Pasadena, the city’s Latinx cultural and educational support organization.

The nine awardees are:

- Advertisement -

Lulu Talesnick López is headed for UC Berkeley as an undeclared major. She is a co-founder of the SPHS Anti-Bias Club, competed in volleyball, and was active in drama. A fighter for diversity and inclusivity, she advocated a Black Lives Matter mural. She plans to use her education and experience to continue her advocacy for unity, inclusion and equity.

Diego Williams will enroll at the University of Chicago as a math major. Among his high school activities was serving as a volunteer for Program for Torture Victims assisting asylum seekers and refugees arriving in the United States, many from Latin America. He plans to study math because it is a good challenge that requires complete understanding to approach and solve a problem.

Emilly Albornoz will be a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she plans to major in mechanical engineering and minor in music performance, with an emphasis on acoustics. At SPHS she volunteered for the Boys and Girls Club, where she tutored low-income students, and started a pen pal club through Ability First for disabled kids and teens. She is interested in the intersection of music and physics in designing hearing aids, concert halls, and classrooms.

Julieta Frias is headed for UC Santa Cruz, where she plans to major in political science or education. She was vice president of the SPHS Latinx Student Union, which she and her friends organized to raise funds and launch programs to help others. As part of Principles of Education she worked in a second-grade classroom, learned about learning disabilities, and helped students with math.

Tony Rodz will enroll at New York University as a nursing major. An original member of the Latinx Student Union he was involved in a wide-range of activities, including doing research on health care needs of Latinx and Black communities, academic coach for AP Spanish and Culture, and working at La Monarca Bakery. Combining his knowledge of Spanish and Japanese, he plans on becoming a Latinasian nurse.

Sofia Farmarco will go to UC Davis as an English major. She was Latinx Student Union Social Media Manager for two years and participated in the Youth Latinx Leadership Conference. She may double major in Spanish and become a published author writing novels, screenplays or other forms of creative writing, while keeping open the option of being a teacher.

Carolina Garavito is headed for Pasadena City College to major in music industry and business and continue studies at USC, NYU or the Berklee College of Music. She has been a Latinx Student Union member since it was founded. Her goal is to work as a musician, producer, scoring movies, or entertainment lawyer in the music industry, which she calls her true calling.

Emily Garcia will enroll at Oregon State University-Cascades and major in art. At SPHS she was Art Club president and created a diverse art environment with people of different ethnicities. She also studied studio art at Ryman Arts, designed custom art pieces, and developed an interest in being an architect, which will enable her to combine her interest in art and math and inspire others.

Samuel (Sam) Salseda will enter Brown University as a biomedical engineering major. At Loyola High School he worked with the Los Angeles County Hispanic Managers Association to increase funding for scholarships of low-income Latinx students and tutor other students in math and physics. He hopes to include Latinx studies and philosophy in his college studies as he prepares for a career in medicine or medical engineering.

“We received a larger than usual number of applications from well-qualified students this year,” said Vecinos president Janna Philpot. “The judges decided to give many awards because we want to recognize and celebrate as many of them as possible. They’ve already achieved much and we are honored to partner with them as they continue their academic pursuits.”

Eight of the scholarship honorees were presented with certificates at the Vecinos de South Pasadena meeting on Sunday, June 12. The scholarships range from $500 to $1,500.