The Fresno State Chicano Alumni Chapter announced today (March 30) the establishment of the Cesar E. Chavez and Dolores Huerta Scholarship Fund as the university community celebrates Chavez’ March 31 birthday this week.
The fund will honor and recognize the legacy of the two leaders whose founding of the United Farm Workers union had a profound impact on the Chicano Movement, according to Eddie Varela, vice president of Chicano Alumni.
“The Chicano Movement instilled in many of us the drive, pride and passion to pursue and complete a course of study in higher education,” said Varela, who is a human resources manager at Fresno State where he has been employed since 1974. “Many Chicano alumni are the beneficiaries of the struggle to open doors of opportunity that were mainly closed to members of our community.”
The scholarship is open to currently enrolled Fresno State students and will be awarded on the basis of academic potential and achievement, service to community and commitment to social justice and equity, Varela said.
Scholarship recipients will be selected by a scholarship committee to be established by the Fresno State Chicano Alumni Chapter. An application deadline is to be determined in the near future.
Varela said that nearly $1,000 in donations for the fund has been raised from individual contributors as the organizers hope to create several awards to distribute annually.
“Funds will come from a variety of sources to include individual contributors and business and corporate sponsorships,” Varela said, adding that the fund has been established through the Fresno State Alumni Association of which Chicano Alumni is a chapter.
Chavez founded the United Farm Workers Union in 1962 with a meeting in Fresno and often enlisted the aid of Chicano college students — many of whom were children of farm workers — during its 42-year history. He died in 1993 and is memorialized in the Fresno State Peace Garden with a monument that carries the inscription: “The end of all education should surely be service to others.”
Huerta is the co-founder and first vice president emeritus of the UFW. She has roots in education serving as a credentialed teacher early in her career before dedicating herself fulltime to the farm worker cause with Chavez. She has received three honorary degrees.
For scholarship information, contact Varela at eddie firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information about Chicano Alumni, contact President Manuel Olgin at email@example.com or visit the Chicano Alumni web site at http://www.chicanoalumni.com/about.html.
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