The tradition of giving back to the youth in the community continued Sunday for the Chicano Golf Association as the organization presented 16 scholarships to recent graduating seniors.
In the 40 years that the association has been active in the Howard County community, it has presented more than $100,000 in scholarships and thousands more in other community donations.
“We made a donation of $7,000 to help rebuild Kid Zone after it was burned and we have made annual donations to other organizations in the community, including $3,000 last year to Holy Trinity Catholic Church,” said Bobby Cordova, CGA president.
Students from Coahoma, Forsan and Big Spring, as well as one from Bushland, were recipients of the $500 scholarships handed out Sunday evening.
There were two students from Forsan High School receiving scholarships, Courtney Blair and Patrick Robles. Also honored were eight students from Coahoma — Judson Chevalier, Itzel Gomez, Arron Gonzales, Joanne Gonzales, Silvia Gonzales, Minnie Goodblanket, Briane Hilario and Miranda Rodriguez — and five students from Big Spring High School, Ashten Galan, Kasandra Gross, Valerie Ross, Selene Sosa and Juanita Tino. Alex Rael from Bushland also received a scholarship.
“Education is the secret to success, it’s the great equalizer and can help get you to where you want to go,” guest speaker Santos Lujan said during the presentations.
Lujan, a native of Big Spring and retired school superintendent, spoke to the students about his educational journey and career. After graduating from Big Spring High School in 1967, he went on to pursue not one but eventually two master's degrees in education.
He first received his masters in music education from West Texas State University — now West Texas A&M University — in Canyon and later obtained his master's in education administration. He has served in several teaching and superintendent positions around the state.
“It doesn’t matter where you are from. It is about what you have in here,” Lujan said as he pointed to his heart. “Life starts with a little grain, a little bitty dream and it doesn’t matter what it is — teacher, doctor, lawyer — as long as you have a dream about doing it.”
Education is something you will have all your life, Lujan told the students.
“Education is a beautiful field if you are thinking about going into it. You can help and inspire so many people,” Lujan said.
The most important piece of advice he offered the students was to never let the mistakes get the best of them.
“There will be mistakes along the way, but the great thing about mistakes is if you learn from them, then you will be great,” Lujan said.
About 49 sponsors helped make this year’s 16 scholarships possible.
“We like to help out whenever we can, but these scholarships wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for all of our sponsors,” Cordova said.
CGA's next benefit golf tournament is set for Sept. 9 with proceeds going to Holy Trinity Catholic Church.