LatPro Announces 2016 Scholarship Finalists – help us choose one winner!

We are proud to announce the seven finalists for the 2016 LatPro Scholarship award, which include a future film director, computer scientist, public health professor, high school teacher, lawyer and two nurses.  We received thousands of exceptional applications, but we feel that these candidates showed the best combination of passion, integrity, and dedication to their chosen fields of study.

Now we need your help in choosing the one scholarship award winner!  The final selection process will involve three different factors:

  1.   outside voting (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media options on the left side of the essays)
  2.   comments left by visitors
  3.   the LatPro Scholarship committee’s scoring of the student’s application and essay

The one winner will be announced on Friday, July 15th.  Please help us with our selection by voting for your favorite essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options on the left side of the essays) and by leaving comments or clicking the ‘star’ icon above the comments section.

Aracely Duerkop, Nursing

LP - Aracely Duerkop 125A major in nursing with a minor in public health coincides with my desire to work in the community. I feel honored due to this commitment and I look forward to giving back to society. As a Hispanic nursing student, I seek to be part of the bridge between the patient and the healthcare provider. I want to use my language and professional knowledge in the field to serve the Hispanic population.

Madeleine Smith-Ledford, Film and Psychology

LP - Maddie Smith-Ledford 125The movie industry of late has been opening up to a more diverse range of actors, far more than classical theater. I knew that if I couldn’t experience that diversity as an actress – I could create it for others. With a degree in film and psychology, I long to create films that threaten the status quo of film diversity. I want to promote films that deal with marginalized races, genders, and other identities.

Peter Mahon, Computer Science and Mathematics

LP - Peter Mahon 125I had a tough time in middle and high school. My mom found a home cheap enough for her to afford; we were poor, and the school was very middle class. I realized I was really good at mathematics, and eventually, I took some computer science classes that I also enjoyed. I wanted to pursue them further in college, but there was no way my family nor I could afford it.

Sofia Gomez, Public Health

LP - Sofia Gomez 125My family’s experience as first-generation immigrants has significantly influenced my interest in promoting accessibility of health among immigrant communities in Arizona. During this past year, I have been able to conduct doctoral fieldwork examining the intersection of state-level immigration policy and access to health care in immigrant families. The work has been incredibly rewarding and has further solidified my commitment to address health inequity in Latino communities, particularly addressing immigrant health.

Jennifer Russo, English Secondary Education

LP - Jennifer Russo 125I was recently accepted into the College of Education at my university, which means that soon I will be student teaching and managing a classroom by myself. Two years from now, when I graduate, my diploma will not just represent my success in college; it will be my key to my classroom, where I will have the opportunity to have a positive impact on every one of my students. Although teaching will never be easy, I will do everything in my power to show my students I believe in them and encourage them to learn and succeed.

Delmarie Alicea, Law

LP- Delmarie Alicea 125I worked my way up in a prominent law firm and shortly after I was a litigation paralegal. I was inspired to retake my studies, and I am currently on the top third of my law school class. I wish to inspire other Hispanics to overcome their obstacles and crush stereotypes to be whatever they dream. My journey to law school could not have been more different than I had planned, and the reasons why I have a passion for this career have dramatically changed.

Sofia Martinez-Oronoz, Nursing

LP - Sofia Martinez 125To me, the nursing responsibilities to promote health, prevent disease and alleviate suffering require the expression of caring for humanity and advocating for social justice – the safeguarding of human rights and dignity. Now that I have been afforded the opportunity to embark on my career as a nurse, I look forward to advocating for and providing competent care to vulnerable populations locally, nationally, and globally.

LatPro Admin


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  • Sofia Martinez-Oronoz has a generous heart with an unbelievable desire to help, educate and heal people. She is a fantastic role model for my two kids by demonstrating how compassion, generosity and love can motivate one to do the impossible.

  • You not only speak and advocate for others, Sofia you have “walked miles in someone’s shoes.” I admire your commitment of service and empathy without judgement

  • Have been following her for a while
    She is giving warm and generous. She has much empathy and would be the right person

  • As a Civil Rights Coordinator for a statewide educational institution, I found a very critical need for students specializing in the healthcare industry, from Alzheimers to geriatrics, in general, for immigrants and all Hispanic citizens. I always encouraged students to exploit their natural vocational skills or pursue a career where they could hone their STEM talents. Either way, they would be winners.