More than 50 young Hispanic scholarship recipients were honored at the League of United Latin American Citizens of Arkansas' Scholarship Banquet Gala, held Sept. 28 in the Great Hall of the Clinton Presidential Center.
Former scholarship recipient Miguel Lopez was master of ceremonies for the league (also known as LULAC) event that began with a chance to mingle and enjoy libations and a dinner featuring pesto grilled chicken breast atop slow-simmered pasillas, guajillos and mulato chiles with cilantro lime rice and roasted zucchini with Arkansas tomatoes.
Andre Guerrero welcomed guests. Lopez and Heather Rainbolt gave special recognition to sponsors and Latino Destination Campuses, elected officials and political candidates.
Gala honorees, presented by Guerrero, were Vincent Insalaco, who gave a short acceptance speech after receiving the President's Award; Nancy Rousseau, recipient of the La Esperanza (Hope) Award; Basilia and Santiago Gonzalez, recipients of the Heroes de la Comunidad Award; Lupe Pena, recipient of the El Sueno Americano (the American Dream) Award; and Hendrix College, presented with the University Service Award.
Ben Acuapa, along with Sandra Carmona Garcia, recognized the scholarship recipients and presented special awards. The Clinton Presidential Scholarship, complete with jacket ceremony, was presented to Paola Rodriguez, a UALR nursing major.
In her keynote speech, state Sen. Joyce Elliott cited Isabel Wilkerson's The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration about black people leaving the racial injustices of the Jim Crow South for better lives elsewhere, and the poem that inspired the book title. "Today when people act so surprised -- act as if there's something alien about immigrants coming to our country and making us the richer people that we are ... that's challenging us to challenge people when they don't even know the history and their own country," she said. "The warmth of other suns always beckons us because we're human."
Education is one of the primary goals of the League of United Latin American Citizens, established in 1929 and billed as the oldest surviving Hispanic civil rights organization in the country. LULAC of Arkansas and its participating councils have awarded more than 700 scholarships.
High Profile on 10/07/2018