Being passionate about education and “grit" were the major themes evident at this year’s Hispanic American Women’s Association Scholarship Award Ceremony.
Based in Greenville, AHAM observed its 16th annual ceremony, giving $20,000 to eight high schoolers, all young women.
The scholarships for each person ranged from $5,000 to $1,000.
Fanny T. Mantilla, president of AHAM, set the tone by reminding of the usual struggle to attain a 4-year degree.
Work hard and you’ll succeed, she quickly advised.
“Be vigilant in each step in your professional training,” Mantilla said. And,“be flexible and be open to all the opportunities.”
Adela Mendoza, executive director of the Hispanic Alliance, said she was pleased to see all 8 awardees are women this year.
She said in many Hispanic cultures it’s the men who usually are given the upper hand, not the women.
“It’s nice seeing the (young) women on top,” she said.
Each of the winners attended the ceremony, along with their families, members of AHAM and invited guests. The ceremony was held at the University Center on South Pleasantburg Drive, near the main campus of Greenville Technical College.
Tobi Kinsell, director of "Bridges to a Brighter Future” based at Furman University, provided a warm message to AHAM for providing the scholarships.
“We appreciate all that you do,” she said.
Kinsell has a special interest in the students want to attend college.
For a decade, she has worked at “Bridges…. assisting about 300 students prepare for college. Some are fortunate enough to attend Furman; others attend other colleges and universities in the Upstate from Clemson University to Bob Jones University.
“We are all excited to see women doing great things,” she said. “I’m honored to be standing before you.”
Returning to a theme raised by Mantilla, Kinsell pointed out