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Local Hispanic group announces honors

Posted: May 30, 2008 6:18 p.m.
Updated: July 31, 2008 5:01 a.m.
The Hispanic Business Committee of the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce held the fifth Annual Excelencia Award Ceremony to honor the Hispanic business community of Santa Clarita Valley and present 10 local high school students with college scholarships.

The event, held Thursday at the Santa Clarita Repertory Theatre, gave a variety of awards to businesses and individuals.

The Betty Ferguson Foundation, Cynthia Lleranas and Jaime Castellanos were awarded for their community leadership.

The Avance Award, Hispanic Business of the Year, went to El Trocadero Steak House in Newhall while Susie Szabo of the Old Town Newhall Association was given the Amistad Award for an individual and the Sam Dixon Foundation was awarded the Amistad Award for a business.

The Corporate Partner of the Year, known as the Adelante Award, was given to AT&T.

Dora Zavala, co-chair of the committee, said all the awards were for individuals and businesses "making a difference in the Hispanic community."

The Hispanic Business Committee, which formed in 2004 to serve the local Hispanic community, also awarded 10 high school seniors. Scholarships ranged from $500 to $1,000.

"One of the reasons it is so important is because education is so important," Zavala said of the scholarships.

This year's winners were Carlos Flores of Valencia High School, Cathy Prieto of Bowman High School, Christina Alanis of West Ranch High School, Crystallynn Hetlinger of Canyon High School, Devi Narang of Golden Valley High School, Jamie Santana of Saugus High School, Karen Benitez of Hart High School, Amanda Gutierrez of Learning Post, Priscilla Sahagun and Sara Lamong of Academy of the Canyons.

Aside from considering grade point average and community service, Zavala said the criteria for the scholarship included an essay about the significance of Hispanic cultural upbringing to the applicant.


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