Alumni Scholarship Recipients

A message from the 2020-21 Alumni Scholarship Committee Chair
Dr. Darlene Finocchiaro ('83, '90)

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Do you want to get involved and stay connected to Cal State LA?

Do you want to impact students’ lives?
 
Do you want to have fun and meet new people?
 
If you answered YES, this is the committee for you!
 
I have been involved with numerous boards and committees, and being on the Alumni Scholarship Committee has always been the most rewarding.  I have served on the Alumni Scholarship Committee for the past two years and am now serving as Committee Chair. This committee requires only a few meetings over the year and one day of interviewing students.  Due to Covid-19, interviewing students was conducted by Zoom and will continue in this format for the 2021 committee. To hear the individual stories of so many well-deserving students touches your heart; you want to give everyone a scholarship.  The scholarship recipients are so appreciative and show their gratitude; you know you have made a difference by reviewing their applications, making selections, and volunteering your time.
 
Finally, this is a fun committee! You get to meet a lot of new people who graduated from your school and are working together—whether in person or by Zoom—towards a common goal: to help students progress in their educational pursuits and professional dreams through scholarship assistance.
 
I hope you will come and join the team and make an impact on a student’s life.

Respectfully,
Darlene Finocchiaro ('83, '90)


The Alumni Scholarship Committee convenes annually from March through June. 
To get involved, please contact Maria Ubago, executive director for alumni relations, at [email protected].

MEET OUR 2020-21 ALUMNI SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS

Photo of Aminabad Amaral

"I am extremely appreciative to have received an Alumni Association Scholarshipーa form of help that I never would have asked for, or even dreamed of being privileged enough to receive. It is a beautiful feeling to know that someone believes in my education and the things that I can do with it."
—AMINABAD AMARAL
Social Work
Alumni Association Scholarship

 

Photo of Antonio Becerra

"It fills me with great joy and gratitude to be selected for the Alumni Association Scholarship this Fall 2020. This scholarship means a lot because I’ve come full circle. I started my Cal State LA career as an Upward Bound student in high school and now that I’ve returned for my master’s studies, I once again am very appreciative of the resources Cal State LA and the Alumni Association has given me throughout my educational career."
—ANTONIO BECERRA
Healthcare Management
Alumni Association Scholarship

 

Photo of Miriam Benavides

"I am more than grateful for the scholarship I have been awarded. Covid-19 has really made things much more complicated and it is comforting to know that my studies continue to be supported. I am looking forward to becoming an alumna soon and giving back to my community as it has done for me plenty of times."
—MIRIAM BENAVIDES
Biology
Alumni Association Scholarship

 

Photo of Christian Benitez

"As an undocumented student and the first in my immediate family to pursue a graduate degree, I am honored and humbled to be awarded the Alumni Association Scholarship. This award will offer economic stability as I continue to work towards completing my master’s degree in Avian Urban Ecology.
I dedicate this award to my family (Mom, Dad, Erick, Ruby, and Jovanny) and mentors (Dr. Erick Wood, Dr. Maura Palacios, Dr. Ernesto Manzo, and Dr. Jake Grossman) for all of their support, advice, and for always believing in me."
—CHRISTIAN BENITEZ
Biology
Alumni Association Scholarship

 

Photo of Georgina Campos

"This award is a godsend during a difficult time. I am so hopeful for the future since I can see the momentum of being able to apply to master's programs now. This award is a confirmation to myself that I am one step closer to graduating as a Geologist. A possibility I couldn't fathom coming from a first-generation college student. Perseverance does pay off."
—GEORGINA CAMPOS
Geology
Hispanic Support Network Scholarship

 

Photo of Benjamin Chen

"Cal State LA is the only university I’ve ever known, and I’m honored and happy that I will be beginning and ending my college career here. With the financial help from this scholarship, I now have a big burden off my shoulder as I don’t have to add extra shifts at my part time job in my hospital to support my education. I look forward to May of 2021 when I can proudly call myself an alumnus of Cal State LA. Thank you for selecting me."
—BENAJMIN CHEN
Nursing
Alumni Association Scholarship

 

Photo of Arlene Contreras

"I would like to thank the Scholarship Committee for your generous support and consideration. My biggest goal is to make my parents proud of what I have accomplished by being the first in my family to earn a Bachelor's Degree. This scholarship allows me to earn skills that will serve the surrounding community following graduation. Thank you for the vote of confidence. I am one step closer to becoming a teacher thanks to your continued generosity."
—ARLENE CONTRERAS
Liberal Studies
Marjorie Morrison Mitchell Scholarship

 

"With this scholarship, I will be able to enroll in all the courses I need to graduate next Spring with my master's degree. I appreciate the alumni at Cal State LA for believing in me as, like many of you, I will soon become the first one in my immigrant family to graduate with a master's degree. Through your generosity, I will be sure to return the favor to the next generation of students in the future since I am a strong believer in community, and that we must lift each other up and move forward together. Thank you."
—JORGE CRUZ
Latin American Studies
New World Scholarship

 

"It meant the world to me that the individuals I spoke with during the interview saw potential in me to help make a difference in my own community, as well as the community of alumni that I will soon be joining. Receiving the scholarship during these uncertain times is truly a blessing; this means I can devote more time to working on my craft as I work on student teaching this semester. Receiving this award is a gift that I wish to share with future students and future alumni as I transition into the next stages of my life."
—SALVADOR DE LA CRUZ
Urban Learning
Marjorie Morrison Mitchell Scholarship

 

"As a first-time recipient of any kind of financial award, I am appreciative of the encouragement and support the Alumni Association has shown me through this gift. I hope that students such as myself who have doubted our own capabilities and educational aspirations can remind ourselves that the community surrounding us truly wishes for us to succeed, as I have been reminded once more through this charitable gesture. I cannot express enough how grateful I am to my Cal State LA mentors and community for the valuable opportunities and immeasurable support I have received throughout my education journey."
—SARA GODINEZ
Latin American Studies
New World Scholarship

 

Photo of Emelie Guerrero

"Receiving this scholarship has not only helped me continue pursuing my educational goals but it has also helped me recognize the great work that is being done to help our communities progress towards their dreams. I am so humbled and grateful to have been awarded this scholarship and I am inspired to pay this forward to other members of our community."
—EMELIE GUERRERO
Liberal Studies
Education Alumni Network Scholarship

 

Photo of Mia Jessie

"By receiving this scholarship, I will be able to apply all of my focus to my learning and creativity rather than be held back by my financial struggles. As a Fashion student at Cal State LA, these funds will not only go towards my education but my art supplies used for my creative projects. My art will benefit from my greater access to supplies, and the money will allow me more opportunities to create and spread messages through what I create. I cannot thank the Alumni Scholarship Committee enough for this investment in my education."
—MIA JESSIE
Art
Renaissance Man/Renaissance Woman Scholarship

"As a first generation Latinx college graduate, this alumni scholarship is dedicated to my hard-working immigrant parents who uprooted their lives to give my brother and I the opportunity for a better life. Being chosen as a recipient of this alumni scholarship really helps to validate the work that I did and encourages me to continue to motivate my peers and colleagues moving forward."
—PEDRO LEMUS
Urban Learning
Marjorie Morrison Mitchell Scholarship

 

 

Temporary image"This award has dramatically reduced my financial burden since Covid-19 happened. I was laid off from work, and as an international student, I cannot work off-campus. I rely on my family's support back home in the Philippines and relatives here in the US, who are also affected by the pandemic. I hope one day I can come back to the university to give back just how much you have given me, even more. Your generosity leaves a mark in my heart, and whoever I will become someday, know that you have contributed to it."
—MA LEDI HAM LOOT
Healthcare Management
Alumni Association Scholarship

 

"Having the privilege to receive such a generous gift will allow me to educate myself to help others in every way possible. The helping hands of the Cal State LA Alumni Association Scholarship Committee allows me to flourish educationally and find growth through their available resources allowing me to become the best version of myself. I will forever be grateful for the opportunities that the Cal State LA Alumni Association Scholarship Committee has brought to my fellow Cal State LA peers and me."
—KAYLA MACIAS
Urban Learning
Marjorie Morrison Mitchell Scholarship

 

"I am very grateful to have been awarded an Alumni scholarship. Every contribution, small or big, has helped me on the way to achieving my goals. This scholarship comes at a time where I have exhausted all other avenues and allows to see through my dream of graduating. Thank you again to everyone that made it possible."
—ANNAELL MOUTON
Anthropology
Robert Hohmann Scholarship

 

Photo of Nhu Nguyen

"It is such an honor to be selected to receive the Alumni Association Scholarship. The scholarship means greatly to me because during this time of hardships, where many people lost their job because of the pandemic. I want to sincerely express my gratitude to the committee and the Association for giving me this opportunity to express myself. I am happy and excited to see what my future awaits for me and I wish to one day be able to help bring delight to other people as well."
—NHU NGUYEN
Pre-Nursing
Alumni Association Scholarship

 

Photo of Mary Pace"With this scholarship, I am getting one step closer toward my goal of teaching. The Renaissance Woman Scholarship is helping me build bridges and access, not only in my education, but also as an investment in me to give back to my community now while performing simultaneous roles such as being a graduate student, a Teaching Associate, and as a community volunteer, and then as an educator after graduation."
—MARY PACE
English
Renaissance Man/Renaissance Woman Scholarship

 

Photo of Roy Payan

"I am so honored to receive this scholarship. I will use these funds to further my research and advocacy on behalf of students with disabilities and migrant individuals and families to create policies that ensure both of these demographics are not forgotten or overlooked during this COVID-19 pandemic. 
I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am extremely honored and grateful for the Cal State LA Alumni Scholarship Committee’s consideration in this very prestigious award."
—ROY PAYAN
Rehabilitation Services
Marjorie Morrison Mitchell Scholarship

 

Photo of Charles Snow

"Receiving the Alumni Association Scholarship affords me the opportunity to pursue graduate studies at Cal State LA. I’ll be able to fully devote myself to the work that I do within my community and expand my impact. This scholarship ensures that more men of color like myself are able to enter the education profession and continue to affect change. I’m grateful for receiving a scholarship from the Alumni Association and look forward to joining the community of incredible alumni who are able to contribute to the Cal State LA Community."
—CHARLES SNOW
Special Education
Alumni Association Scholarship

 

Photo of Nhu Nguyen

"To have been selected in receiving the Alumni Association Scholarship means I will have access to the required reading materials for grad school. I will be able to focus more of my energy and time in learning versus searching for books. Winning this scholarship has reminded me that I am capable of accomplishing anything I put my mind and care into. It has strengthened my confidence and reassured my current abilities as a successful student, and later as a successful speech therapist. This means I can further my education and gain the skills I need to help others communicate to the best of their abilities."
—FATEMEH TADJIKI
Communicative Disorders
Alumni Association Scholarship

 

Photo of Bliss Tafolla-Aguirre"I am beyond honored to have received an Alumni Scholarship and my mother will attest to the fact that she was the first person I called when I found out. I called her to share the wonderful news and to thank her for raising me to be unapologetically courageous and take all the chances that come my way. As a first-generation Hispanic female student who aims to have a career in the STEM field, which is notoriously void of proper female representation, I knew that I would have to work much harder to make it and be happy with my life. This scholarship has made my journey to a PhD just so much easier by providing me with the financial assistance that I need for books and tuition to finish my last two years of undergrad strong and apply to graduate school. I worry and stress every day about money, school costs and how I am going to be able to continue to afford them and this scholarship has taken away a lot of pressure. It is amazing to be recognized as a valuable and contributing Cal State LA student and I hope one day, as an alumni, I can give back and help the next generation of students. "
—BLISS TAFOLLA-AGUIRRE
Biochemistry
Alumni Association Scholarship

 

Photo of Lessly Tapia Torres

"It is encouraging and uplifting to know that Cal State LA alumni acknowledge my passion for helping our community through my work as an Exercise Science major, Biology minor, and Honors College student. After I obtain my B.A. in Exercise Science, I aspire to join the Alumni committee and help other students reach their educational goals. I want future students like myself to benefit from the support that I feel today and to know that Golden Eagles support each other."
—LESSLY TAPIA TORRES
Exercise Science
Hispanic Support Network Scholarship

 

Photo of Tiffany Troy

"Receiving the Marjorie Morrison Mitchell Scholarship means to me that I am on the right path. Having this support and recognition reminds me that although I have worked hard to get where I am today, I haven't done it alone. I am part of a community that fosters passion for education, and I am so grateful for that! I am honored to receive an Alumni Scholarship."
—TIFFANY TROY
Urban Learning
Marjorie Morrison Mitchell Scholarship

LEARN MORE ABOUT ALUMNI SCHOLARSHIPS

Every year, the Alumni Scholarship Committee awards scholarships to students based on merit and financial need.  To qualify for an Alumni Scholarship, students must have a minimum 3.5 Cal State LA GPA.  Additionally,

  • Undergraduate student Alumni Scholarships are awarded to students at Cal State LA who demonstrate leadership involvement on campus and/or in the community.
  • Graduate student Alumni Scholarships are awarded to students at Cal State LA who demonstrate leadership and achievement in their academic department, college, professional career, and/or community.


The following scholarships are housed under the auspices of the Cal State LA Alumni Association:

  • Alumni Association Scholarship
  • Asian Support Group Scholarship
  • Black Support Group Scholarship
  • Business Alumni Network Scholarship
  • The Community Commitment Scholarship in Honor of the Cervantes and Muro Families
  • The Dr. Michael Finocchiaro Nursing Scholarship
  • Education Alumni Network Scholarship
  • Engineering Alumni Network Scholarship
  • Hispanic Support Network Scholarship
  • The Leader Scholarship
  • Marjorie Morrison Mitchell Scholarship
  • The New World Scholarship
  • Nursing Alumni Network Scholarship 
  • Renaissance Man/Woman Scholarship
  • Robert Hohmann Alumni Scholarship

To view the full list of available scholarship opportunities, specific criteria, and to apply, please visit the Cal State LA Office of Financial Aid website.

 

Alumni Scholarships are made possible through the generosity of alumni and friends who believe in investing in the futures of students.

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