However, most importantly and the highlight of the evening was the award of 14 high school students from seven Yolo County High Schools. Each of these students came before the full capacity audience and gave a simple speech telling about who they are, what they aspired to do in life, where they are applying for college, what obstacles they have had to overcome, and finally what advice they would give to their peers.
Every year it seems that some of these students, all of them Chicano/ Latino have had to overcome amazing obstacles in order to get to where they are. They are often the children of immigrants. Often the first people in their families who will go to college. And, some of them have had to deal with amazing adversity such as the loss of their parents.
If you have never seen this awards ceremony, you have certainly missed out. There is rarely a dry eye in the audience by the end of the evening.
The proceeds from this event put on by Rick Gonzales, Jr. and the Yolo County Concilio go to 75 scholarships to help disadvantage students go to college.
The adult awards were given to Monika Diaz for Yolo County High School Student Recognition Award. Marc Hicks and Marshall McKay received Board of Directors Recognition. Polita Gonzales and Ron Pina received the Education Award. Art Pimentel of the Woodland City Council received the Elected Official Award. Lydia Medina received the Business Award. Raquel Quiros of CommuniCare Health Centers won the Community Award. Marina Ramirez and my dear friend Mel Trujillo posthumously won the Lifetime Achievement Award. Rosa Garcia won the Pilar Andrade Award and Malaquias Montoya won the Rick Gonzales, Sr. Award.
Two students won from each high school. From Davis High: Amanda Lopez-Lara and Gilberto Ramirez. From Delta High: Sara Ann Ruiz and Daniel Arceo. From Esparto High: Ramona Torres and Miguel Molina. From Pioneer High: Margarita Orozco and Michael Singh. From River City High: Sheyla Valdez and Angel Diaz. From Winter High: Araceli Hernandez and Donald Garcia. From Woodland High Luz Toscano and Marvin Padilla.
For those who missed it, this is definitely an event you want to catch next year.
—Doug Paul Davis reporting