Downey residents among college scholarship winners

NORWALK - At its Nov. 15 board meeting, the Cerritos College Foundation awarded multiple scholarships to local students committed to community service.Students Katarina Taylor, of Norwalk, and Erick Maglalang, of Bellflower, received the Bellflower Noon Lions Club Scholarship which recognizes students who have lived, worked or attended school in Bellflower. Taylor and Maglalang each received $1,000 in recognition of their community service and involvement. The scholarship was presented by club members Dr. Eric Ikeda and Dr. Ted Edmiston. Ikeda also serves as the Cerritos College Foundation vice chairman and Edmiston serves as a member of the Cerritos College Board of Trustees. Taylor, a graduate of Bellflower High School, currently volunteers as a sign language interpreter for deaf and hard of hearing students with the DSPS office. She plans to transfer to Cal State Northridge to pursue her bachelor's degree in deaf studies and ultimately earn her master's degree in counseling. Biology major Maglalang is involved in Project Hope, the Scholars Program and the Chemistry Club on campus. His ultimate goal is to earn his M.D. and help underserved communities gain access to quality healthcare. The recipients of the Cheryl A. Epple Memorial Scholarship were Regina Jaster, of Long Beach, and Downey resident Zanjbeel Mahmood. Terri McCone-Williams and Nelda Reuter, sisters of the late Cerritos College trustee Cheryl Epple, presented the scholarships. Jaster is a re-entry student enrolled in the paralegal program. She is a member of the iFalcon club and Phi Theta Kappa, and serves as a student senator in the Associated Students of Cerritos College (ASCC). She would like to earn her A.A. in paralegal studies and transfer to a Cal State to earn a degree in counseling. Jaster also received the $1,000 Jean O. Michael Scholarship, established in honor of Jean Michael, wife of retired Cerritos College president Dr. Wilford Michael. The scholarship is awarded annually to a female re-entry student majoring in business. Psychology major Mahmood is an active member of the Psychology Club and spends many hours serving others while volunteering at Metropolitan State Hospital as well as a senior care facility in Downey. She has also participated in ASCC activities such as Club Information Day, Hoe Down Days and Mental Illness Awareness Week. Mahmood's goal is to earn an M.D. to one day facilitate the research leading to the cure of mental illnesses. The scholarship was established in 2004 by Epple's family to honor her and recognize students who are committed to service in the community. Meanwhile, the board also awarded the Alice Wang Scholarship and the newly established Ping & Norma Wu Scholarship to six students. Suleyma Castillo of South Gate, Jahaida Garcia of Norwalk and Sun Yu of Buena Park received the Alice Wang Scholarship, which was created in honor of Alice Wang, wife of foundation board member J.P. Wang. The Wangs actively support academic endeavors of low-income students through scholarships. Annually, six $500 scholarships are awarded to single parents who major in child development and demonstrate outstanding academics. Inspired by the Wangs' commitment to education and student success, family friends Ping and Norma Wu established a scholarship this semester to provide financial support to Cerritos College students formerly in the foster care system. The first recipients of the $500 scholarship were sociology major Bernisha Garland of Long Beach, sociology major Tiffany Godrey of Downey and psychology major Christina Sitan of Norwalk. "I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to these six promising students," said Steve Richardson, executive director of the Cerritos College Foundation. "We are very proud of each one of these students who are committed to their education." Finally, the Cerritos College Foundation awarded the John Moore First Step Scholarship to Carlos Gonzalez of Paramount and Jessica Peck of Downey. The $500 John Moore First Step Scholarship was established by John Moore, a now-retired 19-year member of the Cerritos College Board of Trustees to give others the opportunity he received and to help first semester college students, like him, who show promise of success. Moore grew up in South Central Los Angeles and never imagined that he would go to college. He was lucky enough to be the recipient of a scholarship right out of high school that gave him the boost he needed. Gonzalez graduated from Paramount High School in June and is completing his first semester at Cerritos College. He is a hardworking student with a commitment to helping and serving others. Peck graduated from Downey High School in June. She was actively involved in the ROP program, which developed her passion for child development. She is currently enrolled in the TeacherTRAC program and will eventually transfer to Cal State Long Beach.

********** Published: November 29, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 33