Past Recipients

2014 Scholarship Recipients

Rocio Flores Huaringa, a 23-year-old Peruvian, is a student at UCLA where she is double-majoring in Spanish and Comparative Literature. She arrived to the United States in 2011 and started attending Los Angeles City College (LACC) where she received an associate degree in Journalism and French. She is interested in social issues, especially the ones related to the Hispanic community. She enjoys helping her community through volunteer work. She was a Spanish and math tutor at LACC. She was president of the honors society at LACC and was editor-in-chief of the school newspaper. She hopes that through her career and future leadership positions, she can keep helping her community.
Diana Pinedo is a senior at California State University, Long Beach, majoring in Journalism and specializing in Public Relations with a minor in Communication Studies. She is currently the president of the Public Relations Student Society of America chapter at her university. One of her passions is mentoring minority youth to further their higher education. Her long-term career goal is to work for a nonprofit and help share the organization’s story. Diana is extremely grateful to HPRA for being selected as a 2014 HPRA scholarship recipient. “Always follow your dreams no matter where they take you. Persistence is everything and I am living proof that anything is possible due to hard work, perseverance and ambition.” This is for my mother.

My name is Kristy Plaza, and I am a junior at the University of Southern California (USC). I am double majoring in Broadcast and Digital Journalism and Political Science. I am from a small town next to Pasadena called Duarte. I knew I wanted to be a journalist since I was 13 years old. I did everything I could to get into the media world. I wrote and read every day until the late hours of the night. When I entered USC, I was further able to submerse myself into the journalism world. Now, I am working with the media platforms at USC while producing my own mini-documentary on the street vendors’ campaign in Los Angeles.

Anahi Velasco is a third year undergraduate student double-majoring in Radio – TV – Film and Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations at Cal State Fullerton. She is an active member of Hermanas Unidas de CSUF, Latino Communications Initiative, and is a proud academic tutor for Cal State Fullerton’s GEAR UP program. She is an education advocate, evidenced by her role as a founder of a student-run organization at her former high school with a goal of helping students attain a post-secondary education. She grew up in a low socioeconomic neighborhood, taking advantage of every opportunity available to pursue her passions. “Although we didn’t have many resources, we had people who were willing to help us succeed,” she says. As an HPRA student member, Anahi is honored that she was selected as a recipient of an HPRA scholarship.

Brandon Duran graduated from Saint Mary’s College of California where he received a B.A. in Communication. He is currently a graduate student at Northwestern University majoring in Integrated Marketing Communication. Brandon who lost both of his parents to diseases at a relatively young age aspires to one day head the marketing communications division at a major Silicon Valley tech company such as Google or Twitter. Brandon expects to one day have the necessary resources to help raise awareness about A.L.S., also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, the disease that took his mother’s life.

2013 Scholarship Recipients

Brenda Garcia
Brenda Garcia is a 22-year-old first generation Salvadorian-American graduate student. She came from an underrepresented community where it was not typical to see media coverage. After studying Broadcast Journalism and Spanish Language Journalism at Cal-State University Northridge, she’s noticed the significant importance it is to be that tool– to give a voice to the voiceless, no matter the geographic area. One of her main goals is to be that powerful message through the media and to be a role model of hope, faith and positivity for others.
Anthony Juarez
Anthony Juarez is a senior at the University of La Verne majoring in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations and minoring in Marketing. Anthony is heavily involved at the university. He is currently the Vice President of Public Relations and Marketing for his university’s student government, ASULV, and a member of the fraternity, Phi Delta Theta. Anthony will be the first in his family to attend and graduate college.
Monique Parra
Monique Parra is a senior at the University of La Verne studying Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. She’s written for the La Verne Campus Times, created websites, and currently a radio disk jockey for the campus radio. She’s been given the knowledge and strength to pursue her dream career in communications and the University has guided her in becoming a well-rounded communicator. She hopes to work in the entertainment industry or for a non-profit organization. She thanks HPRA for giving her the support to help pursue her dreams and she’s honored and grateful to be a recipient.
Carlos Perales
A native of the Watts neighborhood in Los Angeles, Carlos Perales is the founder and director of a social media initiative called We Clean Watts. In addition to being a community activist, he is currently studying Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations at California State University, Dominguez Hills. A critical element of his approach to community relations is to allow everyone with whom he interacts to see the clarity and definition of what he represents. “I never push my standards on others,” he says, “I simply live by my own standards and hope to set an example.”
Jennifer Velez
Jennifer Velez is a recent graduate from the University of California, San Diego where she received degrees in Communication and Ethnic Studies. She is passionate about art and social justice and is now pursuing a Masters Degree in Specialized Journalism: The Arts at the University of Southern California. She hopes to bring more diversity to journalism and storytelling through the arts.
Lia Martinez Santamaria – NY Chapter Recepient
Lia Martinez-Santamaria is a student at New York University. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Media, Culture and Communication with a minor in Spanish Creative Writing. In addition to attending college Lia is also a very passionate advocate for social justice, especially in terms of race and gender. Lia was raised in La Romana, Dominican Republic and has been residing in New York City since 2010.

2012 Scholarship Recipients

Erica Green
Loyola Marymount University

Susana Plascencia
University of Southern California

Veronica Sepulveda
University of La Verne

Claudia Calderon
California State University, Northridge

Julian Burrell

2011 Scholarship Recipients

Adriana Maciel De Guillen
California State University, Dominguez Hills

Amber Varnes
California State University, Fullerton

Gladys Santos
California State University, Fullerton

Paula Duran
California State University, Northridge

Rudy Raya
University of California, Sacramento

2010 Scholarship Recipients

Andrea Pinedo
California State University,
Carlos Gaona
California State University,

Francesca Murray
California State University,
Long Beach

Juan De Anda
San Francisco
State University

Pauline France
San Diego
State University

2009 Scholarship Recipients

Kimberly Martinez
Riverside Community College

Ernesto Muñoz, Jr.
Cal State Fullerton

Manuel Miranda
University of Southern California

Nicole Vega
Cal Lutheran University

Natalie Veissalov
University of La Verne

Jocelyn Torres
University of Southern California

Tanya Prouty
University of Southern California

Ben Gutierrez
University of Southern California