Where: Corfman Multipurpose Room, McCabe Unified School District, 701 W. McCabe Road, El Centro, CA 92243
By Imperial Valley Office of Education
Five years ago UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla made a commitment to increase UCSD's presence in the Imperial Valley. Since then 132 Imperial Valley students from all public high schools in the Imperial Valley have received full or partial scholarships to the UC Academic Connections Program. (A list of scholarship recipients for each year is attached). This has included 47 migrant student scholarships supported by both UCSD and the Imperial Valley Migrant program. Academic Connections provides an opportunity for high school students with a 3.3 (or above) cumulative G.P.A. to get a jump start on the college experience.
Gilbert Padilla Scholarship
This year one student, Yahaira Cortez, from Holtville High School will receive the Gilbert Padilla Scholarship.
The “Global Environmental Leadership and Sustainability” program is a collaboration between UC San Diego and the University of Hawai'i, Hilo. This program provides high achieving high school students the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with prominent faculty researchers and grad students around the Big Island of Hawai’i,* exploring the causes and effects of climate change on earth’s systems. Throughout the program, scientific research is connected with leadership training and personal growth, which students experience as the program unfolds.
Students collaborate, reflect and engage in leadership activities from a value-based process resulting in positive social change, emphasizing the Social Change Model of Leadership. Students begin to understand the magnitude of the changes in their future world and learn steps to becoming competent stewards. Students are given time to journal their daily experiences and learn more about themselves as individuals and group members. (*This year, because of the volcano in Hawai'i, students will be going to Washington D.C. rather than Hawai'i).
The scholarship is named after Padilla, co-founder of the United Farm Workers Union. Gilbert was born in a migrant farm worker labor camp in Los Banos, California. Gilbert liked school, but because he worked in the fields with his family, he was unable to attend beyond the 6th grade. Every year he travelled with his family to pick cotton, tomatoes and fruit. In 1945 Padilla was drafted into the U.S. Army; his seven brothers also served in the military. They received numerous commendations. Gilbert's childhood and his experience in the military inspired his lifelong work: Organizing Mexican-American workers. In 1956 Padilla met Cesar Chavez, who was an organizer for the Community Service Organization. For the next eight years Chavez and Padilla worked together in CSO, conducting citizenship classes and voter registration drives and battling discrimination. When Chavez began to organize farm workers, Padilla joined the effort. For 18 years, Gilbert helped build the United Farm Workers Union, serving as secretary-treasurer from 1973 until 1980. Today, Gilbert Padilla is 90. He continues to help farm workers and fight for the rights of others. He will present the scholarship to Yahaira Cortez on May 29th.
Superintendent's Scholarship In addition to the Gilbert Padilla Scholarship, for the last three years one student, has received the Superintendent's scholarship to Washington D.C. This year the scholarship will go to Jacqueline Rios from Central Union High School.
The Superintendent's Global Environmental Leadership and Sustainability Scholarship (Washington D.C.) ” program bridges scientific research and environmental policy. Students connect scientific research they perform with Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) researchers to environmental policy making on Capitol Hill in Washington DC. Students are given the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with graduate researchers at SIO in San Diego analyzing data and exploring the causes and effects of climate change on earth’s systems. Students connect the research to policy making by writing an issue paper and then travelling to Washington DC to present their findings to their Congressional Representatives on Capitol Hill.
Since the inception of the UCSD Academic Connections Scholarship program in the Imperial Valley, the Imperial County Office of the Education Superintendent has taken a leadership role in partnering with UCSD and promoting the scholarship program. True partnerships make for lasting change in remote and often underserved communities like the Imperial Valley. Dr. Todd Finnell, ICOE Superintendent will make the presentation of the Superintendent's scholarship to Jacqueline Rios at the May 29th Dinner.
Dr. Ed Abeyta, Associate Dean for Community Engagement and Pre-College Programs at UCSD Extension will be on hand for the 2018 scholarship presentations. Dr. Sandra Kofford, Director of the Region VI Migrant Education Program will also be attendance, as will many of the high school counselors whose support and dedication to their students has contributed to the success of the program. The impact of the UC San Diego's commitment to the Imperial Valley will be felt for many years to come.