Eight high-achieving Cal Poly Pomona students were recognized for making a difference in their communities and awarded a $2,000 scholarship at the annual Hilda L. Solis Scholarship Dinner & Reception.
During the event on Sept. 13, Los Angeles County Supervisor Solis (’79, political science) reflected on her time as a student and her career as an elected leader. Solis served in the California State Assembly, the State Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, and President Obama’s cabinet as Secretary of Labor. In 2014-15, she served as a scholar-in-residence at Cal Poly Pomona.
Solis addressed issues such as homelessness, affordable housing and undocumented students, emphasizing the importance of supporting young people who are striving to earn their degrees.
“Now more than ever we have to erase eradicate barriers. The students we are recognizing for this scholarship are breaking through barriers and excelling,” she said.
Senior Bethlehem Martinez, studying both music and theatre, appreciated Solis’ message.
“It is critical that opportunities like the Hilda Solis scholarship exist. We still need to see more of ourselves in education to encourage and inspire future generations,” Martinez said.
Ruby Rose Yepez (’06, architecture), president of the Latino Professional Alumni Chapter, said the event aligns with the chapter’s goal of helping students, engaging alumni, and creating opportunities for students and alumni to interact.
“In the coming year, we plan offer students more opportunities to connect with alumni in meaningful ways. We are passionate about the university’s commitment to student success,” Yepez said.
For more than 20 years, the Latino Professional Alumni Chapter and the César E. Chávez Center for Higher Education have hosted the Hilda L. Solis Scholarship Dinner & Reception. Nearly 100 students have benefitted from the scholarships.