$198,850 in Scholarships Awarded to 278 ELAC Scholars

MONTEREY PARK, CA – East Los Angeles College (ELAC) awarded 278 scholars $198,850 in scholarships for Spring 2022, marking another record-setting year with three new endowments and seven new scholarships.

The new endowments were:

  • Jose Blas Sanchez Gonzalez Scholarship Memorial Fund ($500) – Jose Blas Sanchez Gonzalez will be remembered as a loving and devoted husband, brother, father, grandfather and friend. He showed kindness and patience toward all who knew Him and provided assistance and guidance to other migrants from His home state of Jalisco. He was a respected small business owner and trusted mechanic for two local 76 gas stations, first in Boyle Heights (Soto Street) and later in Monterey Park (Atlantic Boulevard). To learn more or donate to the Scholarship, please visit https://elacfoundation.com/the-jose-blas-sanchez-gonzalez-scholarship-memorial-fund-donate/
  • Richard and Cynthia Leza Hispanic Scholarship ($500)- ELAC students currently pursuing pathway programs and certifications at ELAC Computer Technology, Engineering Technology, Electronics & Electric Technology, and Drafting Technology with the intent to transferring to a 4-year university and intent to enroll in Computer or Engineering fields. The Student must demonstrate need for financial assistance, be a Hispanic from California, have a G.P.A. of equal to or greater than 3.0. The Student must be enrolled full­ time (12 or more units) at ELAC during the terms in which the award remains active. To learn more or donate to the Scholarship, please visit https://elacfoundation.com/richard-and-cynthia-leza-hispanic-scholarship/
  • Gilbert “Gil” Gerakos “Mayor of East LA” Legacy Memorial Scholarship ($500)- Community leader and friend to so many, Gil Gerakos, also known as the “Mayor of East LA” lived a life of community service and volunteerism. For 30 years, Gill worked in the community as a representative for the United Way as a corporate liaison and local elected officials at both the City and County levels. He assisted organizations with their fundraising and scholarship campaigns. Gil always said how fortunate he was to work for highly respected officials that have always responded to the needs of their constituents. Over the years, He took great pride teaching and mentoring new mechanics from His community and instilling in them the importance of hard work, integrity or as He would say ‘ganas!’ To learn more or donate to the Scholarship, please visit https://elacfoundation.com/gilbert-gil-gerakos-mayor-of-east-la-legacy-memorial-scholarship-2/

The seven new scholarships were:

  • AAUW Alhambra-San Gabriel Branch ($500)- The mission of AAUW is advancing equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. To learn more or donate to the Scholarship, please visit https://elacfoundation.com/aauw-alhambra-san-gabriel-branch-scholarship/
  • Bryan C. Ventura Student Equity Scholarship ($500)- Bryan C. Ventura began his career at East Los Angeles College (ELAC) in 2013, one of the nine colleges in the Los Angeles Community College District. Since joining the district, Mr. Ventura has held every position in Institutional Research from Assistant Research Analyst, Research Analyst, Associate Dean, and Dean. Most recently, as the Dean of the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Advancement at ELAC, Mr. Ventura oversaw institutional research, planning, professional development, distance education, a Title V grant, and learning assessment. Mr. Ventura also teaches as an adjunct faculty for the Child, Family, and Education Studies department at ELAC. To learn more or donate to the Scholarship, please visithttps://elacfoundation.com/bryan-c-ventura-student-equity-scholarship/
  • Dr. Julie Benavides Student Success Scholarship ($250) – The Scholarship is named after a long-time beloved ELAC educator, leader, advocate, and former Vice President of Student Services, Dr. Julie Benavidez. Dr. Benavidez was recently honored at the ELAC 75th Anniversary Community Celebration event with the 2021 ELAC 75th Anniversary Legacy Award. To learn more or donate to the Scholarship, please visit https://elacfoundation.com/julie-benavides-student-success-scholarship
  • Mercy Udeochu Memorial Scholarship for Child Development and Education ($500)- Mercy was a lifelong teacher and administrator with LAUSD, Trade Tech, and East Los Angeles College. She inspired her students with her personal stories of struggle and triumph from day one. She was a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and warm community member to her Nigerian brothers and sisters. She is survived by her four daughters, one son, and her husband. To learn more or donate to the Scholarship, please visit https://elacfoundation.com/mercy-udeochu-memorial-scholarship-for-child-development-and-education.
  • Rudy & Steve Salas Scholarship for Music ($500)- The East Los Angeles College Foundation in coordination with the Salas family (David Salas, Rita Daruvala, Steve Salas, Robert Salas, Richard Salas and Martha Salas) have come together to establish the Rudy Salas scholarship fund. This Scholarship is intended for students who are focused on music and its importance to the community. To learn more or donate to the Scholarship, please visit https://elacfoundation.com/the-rudy-salas-scholarship-for-music/
  • The Ron Lau and Guadalupe Corona Scholarship ($500)- Ron Lau and Guadalupe Corona are a loving and devoted husband and wife, father and mother, and grandpa and grandma. They have always instilled in their children, Alfredo, Lizeth, Christopher, and Catherine, the value of education. They intricately weaved together two different cultures, Ron his Chinese heritage and Guadalupe her Mexican heritage. They have always worked tirelessly to support others and stressed the importance of hard work, integrity, and being kind to others. To learn more or donate to the Scholarship, please visit https://elacfoundation.com/the-ron-lau-and-guadalupe-corona-scholarship-2/
  • Vince Carlo Moretti GRIT Scholarship ($500)-The Engineering & Technologies department is offering an E&T student with the Vincent Carlo Moretti GRIT Scholarship Award. Mr. Vince C. Moretti represented what our E&T department’s mission is all about, which is a belief that hard work and diligence have a moral benefit in society, and that passion for your field of study and a servant’s heart strengthens character and individual abilities. The Vincent Carlo Moretti GRIT Scholarship will be awarded to an E&T student who has shown true GRIT.

“I am very proud of all the students who were awarded scholarships and am excited to see new scholarship opportunities for all students. Our students put in countless hours to achieve their educational goals. It is inspiring to see their work be rewarded by eliminating financial barriers which is key to their success,” said ELAC President Alberto J. Roman.



“The ELAC Foundation Board is proud of all our scholars who were awarded a scholarship in 2022. In addition, we are honored and humbled by all the newly established endowments and scholarships at East Los Angeles College, as this is a testament that shows how people believe in the future of our ELAC students,” said Marissa B. Castro-Salvati, President of the ELAC Foundation.