RACINE — The Por La Gente Association of Racine has announced the recipients of the annual Por La Gente academic and athletic scholarships.
Each recipient will receive $3,000 towards their college tuition, as well as an additional $500 for books paid for by the contributions of the Castaneda family in memory of Robert Castaneda. Additionally, PLG has announced the recipient of the Roy Moralez Memorial Scholarship, with an award of $2,000.
And, new this year, PLG has announced the Matthew S. Garcia Memorial Scholarship, the Jimmy and Helen Castaneda Family Scholarship and the La Tapatia Scholarship, which are each $1,000 awards.
These scholarships have been funded by proceeds from Por La Gente events, as well as from donations from community members who recognize the importance of higher education for Latino youth. For 2020-21, PLG has awarded $12,000 in scholarships.
Each year since 1985, the Por La Gente Association of Racine has awarded 80 scholarships to local high school graduates of Latino descent. Many of these recipients have achieved professional success.
This year’s scholarship recipients include:
Andrea Mercado, daughter of Melchor and Dora Mercado, is the recipient of the academic scholarship. Mercado, a senior at Horlick High School, is a member of the National Honor Society, volunteers at the Siena Retreat Center and works a part-time job as a certified nursing assistant at Froedtert South in Kenosha, all while maintaining a 3.9 grade point average. Mercado plans to participate in the nursing program at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in the fall, and hopes to attend medical school and become a medical doctor.
Stephanie Narciso, daughter of Maria J. Avelino, is the recipient of the athletic scholarship. Narciso is a Case High School senior and a member of the girl’s cross-country team that won the Southeast Conference Championship for the first time since 1992, and qualified for the WIAA State Championship for the first time since 1995. Narciso will be studying business at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse in the fall.
Jasmine Gonzales, daughter of Joseph Gonzales and Viviana Rodriguez, is the recipient of the Roy Moralez Memorial Scholarship. Gonzales is a senior at Park High School and a member of girls varsity softball team. She also participates in Link Crew, theater, the school newspaper and the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, all while providing respite care for special needs children. Gonzales plans to study early childhood education at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in the fall.
Sofia Ferrer, daughter of Oriol Ferrer and Melinda Kruse, is the recipient of the first Matthew S. Garcia Memorial Scholarship. Ferrer is a senior at Case High School and a member of the school’s varsity cheer team. In addition, Ferrer is a member of HOSA — Future Health Professionals chapter, serves as concertmaster for the Kiwanis Youth Symphony and volunteers at a local hospital. Ferrer plans to study biology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the fall.
Marina Fabela, daughter of Evencio and Marina Lira Fabela, is the recipient of the first Jimmy and Helen Castaneda Family Scholarship. Fabela is a senior at Case High School and member of the National Honor Society. She volunteers with the children’s art and craft workshops at the Racine Art Museum and Wustum Museum of Fine Arts, and at the Racine Literacy Council, monitoring new student applications and helping students with various literacy projects. Fabela plans to study architecture at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the fall.
Natalia Reyes, daughter of Leon and Vanessa Reyes, is the recipient of the first La Tapatia Scholarship. Reyes, a senior at St. Catherine’s High School, is a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council, Campus Ministry, Mock Trial team, Diversity Club and serves as president of the Art Club. She also volunteers as a peer tutor and has been on numerous mission trips including New York City and the Wisconsin Dells. Reyes plans to study biomedical engineering at Marquette University in the fall.
About Por La Gente
The Por La Gente Association of Racine is a nonprofit organization which began in 1984. Por La Gente strives towards promoting athletics and recreation within the Racine Latino community. The association hosts annual basketball, softball and volleyball tournaments; a golf outing; and trivia nights to fund its annual scholarship program. For more information, go to porlagente.org.