2018 Jim McEntee Legacy Scholarship Recipients

In 2018 we awarded eighteen (18) $2,000 scholarships to Santa Clara County community college students transferring to a four-year university with junior year status or to previous scholarship recipients. See photos from our 2018 scholarship fundraiser. Browse our 2018 scholarship fundraiser program (including our list of donors).

Special guest speaker was Ken Yeager, Santa Clara County Supervisor, District 4. Guests enjoyed appetizers and desserts provided by Casa Vicky restaurant, music by Lisa Sanchez, popular Bay Area jazz and pop guitarist and vocalist, and a preview of the very best of contemporary Latino art from MACLA’s 20th Annual Auction on display in the gallery.

We are very grateful to the outstanding community leaders who are generous donors and who served on the Honorary Committee for this year’s event: Carmen & Alcario Castellano, Hon. Cindy Chavez, Hon. Kansen Chu and Daisey Chu, Judge La Doris Cordell (Ret.), Hon. Dave Cortese & Hon. Pattie Cortese, Adam & Laura Escoto, Mary Ellen & Michael Fox, Carol Garvey, Bishop Patrick McGrath, Steve Preminger, Wiggsy Sivertsen, and Hon. Susie Wilson.

2018 Scholarship Recipients with members of the McEntee Scholarship Committee

The following seven students are transferring from community colleges and received scholarships for their junior years:


MICHELE CASTRO was born in Juneau, Alaska. After dropping out of high school six weeks before graduation, her dreams of college had diminished. Thirty years later she made the decision to change her life and make education her priority. Michele graduated from Gavilan College and now will be attending UC Berkeley. She will be studying courses in Social Welfare and Ethics Studies in order to pursue her career goal of becoming an advisor in student services at her former community college.


RICHARD GUEVARA was born in San Jose. Despite many life obstacles, Richard attended Gavilan College where he was on the Gavilan soccer team, part of the Gavilan Democratic Club, and a member of the Rho Alpha Mu Club, an Honor Society. Richard will be attending CSU Monterey, majoring in Kinesiology and Exercise Science. He plans to be a Physician’s Assistant.


KELY MARTELL was born and raised in Peru for half of her life. She moved to California when she was thirteen years old and attended De Anza College. She will be attending San Jose State and will major in Sociology. She has been volunteering at Asian Law Alliance for a few years as a translator and is currently a translator for political asylum cases. She plans to attend law school after graduation and wants to give back to her community.


FELIPE RIVEROS was born and raised in Chile. When he turned ten his family moved to the U.S. to begin building their lives here. He has been trying to make his community a better place through community service: volunteering in soup kitchens, cleaning up a river, summer camp counseling and working to secure funds to travel to New Orleans to help build a house after hurricane Katrina. He also volunteered for eleven years for a sports program that is inclusive of typical and special needs children. He will be studying Business Accounting at San Jose State.


CELENA RUIZ was born and raised in San Jose, California. Becoming a teen parent lead her to be the strong and motivated individual she is today. While trying to manage her daily responsibilities of being a mom, full-time student, and part-time employee at the EOPS/ CARE program on campus, as a child development major, she was able to achieve her AA degree from Mission College. She is attending San Jose State where she is majoring in social work. She plans on becoming a director for a program that serves low income families in achieving their educational and/ or professional goals.


MARIA LORENA SANCHEZ was born in Mexico in 1970. She is a married woman with four daughters. Maria Lorena has volunteered at Our Lady of Refuge Parish for more than 10 years. After improving her English and graduating high school, she entered Evergreen Valley College in 2012 where she graduated with an AA degree in psychology. She will now attend San Jose State and her goal is to become a psychologist and work as a family therapist.


MANUEL SANTANA is a lifelong East San Jose resident, artist, and father who is transferring into San Jose State, from West Valley College, into the Honors Humanities program with a Major in History. Manuel has committed his life to serving his community, working with grass roots groups. He hopes to do more for his East San Jose community with the education he is receiving. Before returning to college, Manuel served as Americorps Public Ally serving the houseless community with LifeMoves as a Volunteer Coordinator. This service inspired him to pursue a higher education. After earning his AA degree, he returned to become an AmeriCorps Vista serving with Second Harvest Food Bank as a Coordinator of Out of School Time Meals. He plans to become a teacher.

The following eleven students received second year scholarships in June 2018 for their senior year of college:

KARINA VELAZQUEZ AGUIRRE  was born in Mexico. She was brought to the U.S. by her mother as a toddler, after her father died. She went to San Jose City College and is completing a degree in Justice Studies at San Jose State University. She hopes to work in juvenile justice to help young people overcome challenges.


SHAIDA BIGLARI  Shaida was born in Tajikistan. She and her sister moved to the United States a few years ago to attend college. They came without their parents and have struggled to earn money, as their father has been unemployed for several years and their mother does not earn much. Shaida has worked as a camp counselor for the YMCA Outdoor Science School. She attended De Anza College and is now attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Shaida wants to be a biomedical engineer.


MCARTHUR HOANG  had a difficult childhood and was in foster care as a teenager. He has also had to overcome a learning disability as well as substance abuse. He graduated from San Jose City College with a 3.96 grade point average and completing a degree in Sociology at UC Berkeley. He wants to become a motivational speaker. CLICK HERE to hear from McArthur in his role as a Peter E. Haas Public Service Leader.


CINTHIA MAGANA MORENO  was born in Mexico and came to the U.S. with her family when she was a small child. Her sister became very ill when Cinthia was about 5 and was taken by ambulance to the hospital in the middle of the night. Her sister recovered, but this early traumatic experience influenced Cinthia’s decision to go into the medical field. She has attended Evergreen Valley College, De Anza College and San Jose City College. She is now attending UC Santa Cruz, completing a major in Public Health with a minor in Education.


ANH NGUYEN  was born and raised in Vietnam. She had a difficult childhood and her father died when she was 18. Anh learned Chinese and Japanese and worked as an interpreter for a Japanese company. While she was in Japan, her mother came to the U.S. under a program for ex-political prisoners, which her father had been. Her mother was able to sponsor her to come to the U.S. in 2013. She has managed to become fluent in English and earned a 3.96 grade point average at San Jose City College. She is attending San Jose State University, majoring in Communications, and hopes to work as an interpreter in the medical field.


CHI NGUYEN  was born in Vietnam and came to the U.S. with her family in 2010. She graduated from Yerba Buena High School and attended both Evergreen Valley College and San Jose City College. She is attending UC Davis, completing a degree in Math and Education.


MINDY PERLA  grew up in Hollister with her mother, a single parent immigrant from El Salvador. She is attending SJSU after graduating from Gavilan College. She is in the Explorer program with the Hollister Police Department. Mindy plans to major in justice studies and hopes to become a police officer.


ANTHONY QUIJADA was born in San Jose and grew up in Los Banos. He acknowledges having made many mistakes as a teenager and was paralyzed when he was shot in the back at age 19. His father died of a brain aneurysm 8 months later. Despite these obstacles Anthony graduated from Gavilan College and is attending San Jose State University. He is majoring in Business Administration and plans to go to law school and practice business law.


ITZEL SANCHEZ was born in Mexico and came to the U.S. with her family when she was a young girl. She learned to be independent early, as her parents both worked. Then her father suffered a disabling back injury, so her mother has been the primary breadwinner in the family. Itzel has been active in social justice issues, especially concerning undocumented students. She attended De Anza College and transferred to San Jose State University, where she is majoring in Sociology and Political Science. She hopes to work in public policy, either at a non-profit or in government.


NORMA SANCHEZ was born in Mexico and grew up in a small town where girls married early and did not get much education. She knew she did not want this for herself, so the moved to the U.S. on her own to get an education and make a better life for herself. She started high school as an English Language Development student and graduated from Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill. She attended Gavilan College and transferred to Cal State Monterey Bay, where she is majoring in Computer Science. She hopes to become a software engineer at a Silicon Valley tech company.


GEORGE VILLA was born and raised in Salinas. A graduate of Gavilan College, he is now at UC Davis, majoring in Community and Regional Development. George is a personal fitness trainer, former firefighter, social justice and juvenile justice advocate.

Go back to 2017 Scholarship Recipients

Go forward to 2019 Scholarship Recipients