2014 Recipients


Andrea Sloboda, University of San Diego School of Law,1L Scholarship Award: $1500.00

Ms. Sloboda was born and raised in the Bay area of California. Her recommender, Professor Cantu, describes her as a “smart, disciplined, responsible, and professional scholar.” Her goal is to practice in corporate regulatory compliance to improve the working and living conditions of Mexi‐ can border communities.

Jessica Lujan, University of San Diego School of Law, 2L Scholarship Award: $1500.00

Ms. Lujan grew up in the border cities of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua and El Paso, Texas, crossing the border each day to attend school in Texas. She speaks
three languages and has participated in multiple humanitarian relief efforts. Judge Salas‐Mendoza, District Judge in El Paso, Texas, states that Ms. Lujan “not only understands life’s struggles but also has empathy for individuals who are struggling. This compassion is a great compliment to her intellectual strengths.” Ms. Lujan’s goal is to become a litigator in the public sector.

Michelle Luna Reynoso, California Western School of Law, 2L Scholarship Award: $1500.00

Ms. Reynoso grew up in National City, California. She has volunteered with many community and student organizations promoting human rights issues within immigrant communities. Her recommender described her as “intellectually present, asking intelligent questions, and seeking to learn as much as she could.” Her goal is to become a public interest law attorney in the area of human rights.

Hugo Salazar, Chapman School of Law, 3L Scholarship Award: $1000.00

Mr. Salazar was born in Guanajuato, Mexico and migrated to the United States with his family when he was 10 years old. He was a first generation college student and a Fulbright Scholar. As a student at Chapman School of Law he is the current President of the Minority Law Students Association. Dr. Hall stated that Mr. Salazar’s “extraordinary academic achievement, strong work ethic, and ability to overcome adversity convince me that he will achieve great success…” His goal is to help create laws and policies that benefit the Latino and Latina community.

Cristal Ruiz, California Western School of Law, 2‐L SONY Scholarship: $1000.00

Ms. Ruiz grew up in section‐eight housing in the south side of Stockton. She and her four siblings were raised by her mother. Her recommender said that Ms. Ruiz’s “considerable accomplishments thus far, especially in light of the obstacles she has overcome, demonstrates an admirable talent and self‐ motivated drive.” According to Ms. Ruiz, the scholarship money will allow her to focus on her studies while volunteering in an unpaid clinical internship with the California Innocence Project.

Maggie Gaan, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, 2L Dependency Legal Group of San Diego Scholarship: $1500.00

Ms. Gaan was born and raised in San Mateo, California. She has mentored more than 50 youth in the U.S. and abroad. She wants to be a leader in her community and currently sits on the La Raza Law Students Association Execu‐ tive Board as the Community Liaison.

Olivia Garcia, California Western School of Law, 1L Scholarship Award: $1500.00

Ms. Garcia grew up in San Ysidro, California as one of five children. She ob‐ tained her first ‘job’ in the fourth grade, earning $5 per week as a tutor to a 6‐ year old neighbor learning to read. In college she participated in the Mexican Migration Field Research and Training Program. The director of that program stated Ms. Garcia “distinguished herself by her tenacity and drive.” Her goal is to become a public interest attorney representing underserved communities.

Patricia Ojeda, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, 2L Scholarship Award: $1500.00

Ms. Ojeda was born in Escondido and grew up in San Marcos, California. She volunteers with the Escondido Police Department to speak with children in the community about the importance of staying in school and out of street life. Her recommender, Lt. Owens, described her as “a positive role model for chil‐ dren and teens of all races.” Her goal is to serve her community and help those who cannot help themselves.

Raul Maravilla, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, 2L Scholarship Award: $1500.00

Mr. Maravilla was born and raised in San Diego, California as the youngest of five boys. He was a first generation college student and still presents to clas‐ ses in the Chicano Studies department of SDSU as a guest speaker. His recommender was “impressed by his attitude toward his work and his performance on the job.” Mr. Maravilla’s goal is to become a defense attorney practicing immigration law.

Jazmin Ramirez, Southwestern Law School, 2‐L Union Bank Scholarship: $2500.00

Ms. Ramirez grew up in East Los Angeles to the sound of gun shots and helicopters hovering over homes. She is the second in her family to graduate from college, but the first to pursue a post‐graduate degree. As an attorney, Ms. Ramirez plans to help minority children overcome the effects of poverty and violence. Her recommender said: “What Ms. Ramirez’s story conveys to me is that she has the drive, discipline, intellect, and ability to follow through on her plans.”

Oliver Rodriguez, USD School of Law, 1‐L (Part‐Time) Union Bank Scholarship: $2500.00

Mr. Rodriguez was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States as a child, settling in San Diego. He is the first in his family to attend college. This fall, his how‐to manual for historically underrepresented students to help them apply to law schools will be published. His recommender stated: “Mr. Rodriguez has demonstrated an ability, and willingness to ensure that students that exist in the lowest rung of the socio‐economic ladder have a chance at a better life.” Mr. Rodriguez wants to become a children’s advocacy lawyer in the public sector and continue his research in education law.

Patricia Mejia, California Western School of Law, 3‐L Mintz Levin Scholarship: $2500.00

Ms. Mejia was born in El Salvador and immigrated to the United States when she was six years old. Ms. Mejia wants to become a criminal defense attorney to help people of color who face life‐changing circumstances, but also to show Latino youth that with perseverance and a dream injected with faith, anything is possible. Her recommender stated that Ms. Mejia had all of the necessary attributes of a defense attorney – intelligence, compassion, determination, and fearlessness.

Marisol Jimenez Gaytan, California Western School of Law, 2-L Procopio, Cory, Hargreave & Savitch LLP Scholarship $2500.00

Ms. Jimenez Gaytan was born in Michoacan, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States as a child. The daughter of farm workers, she is the first in her family to attend college. Her recommender stated that Ms. Jimenez Gaytan’s “core values come from her family and background, and she has obviously learned from her parents and community, which has resulted in not only a wonderful person, but also a wonderful future advocate for people in need.” Ms. Jimenez Gaytan wishes to become a lawyer to “touch the lives of others.”

Guadalupe Alvarado Luna, California Western School of Law, 3‐L (Part‐Time) Jose & Laura Castillo Scholarship: $2500.00

Ms. Alvarado Luna was born in Michoacan, Mexico, and immigrated to the United Stated when she was four years old. She is the first in her family to attend college. Her recommender said that Ms. Alvarado Luna has “demonstrated a personal understanding of many of the issues Latino and other marginalized communities face, and will be able to tie together her past experiences in order to enhance her contributions to the community.” Ms. Alvarado Luna wishes to become an attorney to help immigrants and children.

Jessica Vasquez, Southwestern Law School, 2‐L Latinas in the Law Scholarship: $1500.00

Ms. Vasquez emigrated from Mexico. Her parents worked in the strawberry fields of Oxnard to provide for the family. Ms. Vasquez is the first in her family to attend college. She was described as a “highly intelligent, driven and compassionate future lawyer.” Ms. Vasquez hopes to pursue a career in immigration law so that she can continue helping her community.

Ricardo Elorza, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, 3‐L (Part‐Time) Galente Ganci, APC Scholarship: $1500.00

Mr. Elorza immigrated to the United States when he was 11 years old. In college, he led workshops at high schools, non‐profit organizations, colleges, and parks where he talked about the DREAM ACT. His recommender described Mr. Elorza as bright and determined, and with an “enthusiasm for the law and eagerness to learn.” Mr. Elorza wishes to someday tell any student struggling with higher education, “Look, a boy from Oaxaca, who did not know English and is undocumented has now graduated from law school and is an attorney.”