Clovis High School senior Ivanna Alonzo didn’t know if she would be able to afford college, especially an out-of-town school like Cal Poly Pomona.
But the 3.8-GPA student was one of 15 Fresno County students to receive a $1,000 scholarship from the National Latino Peace Officers Association Fresno County chapter.
“That was a big reason why I pursued and enrolled in Cal Poly Pomona,” she said. “It made me realize I was capable of gaining other scholarships.”
Alonzo plans to studey architecture to become a licensed architect.
“I’ve always loved buildings and understanding why they were built and how,” she said. “I’m hoping to travel but I know I will end up coming back to Clovis and Fresno and hopefully use architecture to influence the Valley.”
Alonzo was excited to earn a scholarship from a Latino organization.
“Almost all of my family is from Mexicali, Baja California,” she said. “I’ve very proud of being Latina.”
The scholarships are paid for through the annual NLPOA Fresno County Scholarship Golf Tournament.
The students were selected from more than 100 applicants based on their GPA, community involvement and essay. The essay topic this year was “What family means to me.”
In her essay, Alonzo wrote about her struggle with depression and the death of her cousin.
“He made me realize how much I have to appreciate my family and cherish life,” she wrote. “... My family means the world to me, and they are the reason why I push myself to be successful. I am closer to them more than ever, and I hope that I make them feel as happy and loved as they make me feel.”
NLPOA Fresno County president Ruben Diaz said the scholarship committee had a tough time deciding on the winners.
“Some of the students were involved in their school governing boards, athletic programs and volunteer community programs,” he said. “The essays were very touching and it was difficult to select 15 from a large amount of great essays.”
Ten of the scholarship winners will attend Fresno State in the fall, while others are moving on to other colleges and universities in the state.
The students will be honored with a luncheon in June, hosted by NLPOA Fresno County and the Fresno Grizzlies. For more information, visit www.fresnonlpoa.org.
The following students received $1,000 scholarships from the Fresno County chapter of the National Latino Peace Officers Association:
Aleyda Torres, Mendota High School
Beatriz Arellano, Reedley High School
Brenda Delgado, Tranquillity High School
CaroKasandra Moreno Leos, McLane High School
Jonathan Sanchez, Riverdale High School
Joshua Rodriguez-Cantor, Sunnyside High School
Karely Ortiz, Fowler High School
Laura Larreynaga, Kerman High School
Mayra Castillo, Coalinga High School
Miguel Aguirre, Edison High School
Monique Cantu, Kingsburg High School
Rogi Alvarez, Selma High School
Valeria Chavez, Orange Cove High School
Viviana Jimenez, Washington Union High School