By La Prensa Staff

PERRYSBURG: Ten Toledo-area students each received $1,000 scholarships during an awards ceremony held February 28, 2024 at the fourth year for the Guerrero Memorial scholarship presentation. The Perrysburg ceremony was the first of several scholarship award campaigns for students to follow this spring and summer. The campaign received more than 25 scholarship applications.

Aliana Garza is a senior at Central Catholic High School and plans to pursue a nursing degree at the University of Toledo. She hopes to one day become a travel nurse. “My aunt is a great role model to me. I’m very close to her and she was a travel nurse,” said Ms. Garza. “She has shared all her experiences with me, so that helped me realize that was my calling and what I want to do.”

Aliana would like to work in Hawaii and elsewhere to “see new places and meet new people.” She stated the scholarship “feels really great that the community is giving me this opportunity and chance to help me with my future and help my dreams happen.”

Caiden Guzmán returned from the University of Dayton to receive his second Guerrero scholarship alongside his parents. He is finishing up his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and stated the $1,000 award will go toward his pursuit of a master’s degree in aerospace engineering. With the help of scholarships, Guzmán predicted he’ll be able to get both degrees with the same amount of student loans he would with a bachelor’s degree.

“They just help a tremendous amount. They allow me to pursue opportunities that I wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford,” Guzmán said. “Scholarships like this allow me to pursue other outlets on campus like vice president of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.”

Guzmán also has had some of his student research published in professional journals. He hopes to work someday in the space industry, specifically “space exploration or the commercialization of space.” He mentioned SpaceX, NASA, Boeing or Virgin as possible career stops in the future.

“I watch every single one of those, every rocket launch I’ll watch them live,” he said. “They’re just incredibly fascinating to me and I enjoy all that sort of stuff.”

A brother and sister each received a scholarship. Jesús Emiliano Alvarado and his younger sister Esella Elena Alvardo, both students at Bowsher High School, plan to continue their studies at the University of Toledo. Jesús intends to become an EMT/paramedic with the eventual goal of becoming a firefighter. Esella faces the daunting goal of 14 more years of medical education on the way to becoming a surgeon.

Other scholarship recipients included: Giselle Maldonado, Jacqueline Ponce, Manuel Soto, Yareni Velásquez García, Careem Beauford, and Airianna McNeal.

The Guerrero Memorial scholarship campaign was established in honor of Sebastian Guerrero III and Robert Guerrero, both veterans of the US Air Force. Melinda Sánchez, a member of the Guerrero family, founded the campaign to support the educational aspirations of future generations. Students are awarded scholarships based on their academic achievement, community involvement, and dedication to future goals. Students write an essay to make their case. Sánchez held fundraisers throughout the year to raise most of the scholarship funds.

“We are incredibly proud to continue the legacy of Sebastian and Robert Guerrero by supporting the educational journeys of these exceptional students,” said Ms. Sánchez in a press release. “Their hard work, dedication, and commitment to the community are truly inspiring, and we are honored to play a role in helping them achieve their goals.”