The HPRA Scholarship Program was created to assist students of Hispanic descent in California achieve their educational goals. The HPRA Scholarship Program recognizes outstanding undergraduate academic achievement and community service among students who are pursuing a career in public relations and related communications fields. Each year, the program awards five scholarships, each in the amount of $2,000*. Each recipient is then automatically considered for the Esther Renteria Community Service Scholarship based on contributions to the community.
*subject to change at the discretion of HPRA
2015 Scholarship Recipients
Dru Anthony Chavez was born in San Pedro, California—a fishbowl of a town located near the Port of Los Angeles that for generations has been home for him and his family. He is currently a junior at the University of Southern California, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and a double minor in Consumer Behavior and Psychology. On campus, Dru is a member of the club baseball team, a tour guide for the undergraduate admissions office and the vice president for a club that teaches the fundamentals of public speaking to local high schools surrounding USC’s neighborhood. This past summer, Dru completed a ten-week leadership internship with Target and recently received an offer for a sales internship with Nestle. In spring 2016, Dru will be studying the semester abroad in Rio de Janeiro.
Betty Martinez is a senior at California State University, Fullerton. She is majoring in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations. She currently holds a 3.53 GPA and has been on the Dean’s list for five years in a row. Martinez is a domestic violence survivor and raised two daughters on her own
Naomi Ogaldez is a Dean’s List regular, award-winning speaker and prolific writer. Ogaldez is tech-savvy and a versatile professional with a unique blend of skills. This past May, Ogaldez graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Journalism with a minor in Spanish-Language Journalism from California State University, Northridge (CSUN). She has interned at Telemundo52 Los Angeles, CNN’s Entertainment Unit in Los Angeles, CNN’s Medical Unit in Atlanta, and Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Currently, she is pursuing a Master’s of Science in Health Administration at CSUN. She would essentially like to work in health public relations. In her spare time, she loves to give back to the community by volunteering at various organizations. Also, she passionately advocates for issues that are dear to her heart, such as health and food justice.
Yareiry Giselle Pineda is a 20-year-old Mexican American Student from Anaheim, California. She is currently enrolled at the University of La Verne majoring in public relations and minoring in marketing. Yareiry is the current president of the University of La Verne’s public relations club after having served as their treasurer last year. She chose public relations because she has a variety of interests, and a public relations career will let her do it all. She has a lot of people to thank for getting her through school. Yareiry believes the best way to give back is to further her education and make the most of the opportunities she is presented with. Yareiry thinks the HPRA-LA scholarship has been a blessing and further vindication that she is doing something meaningful with her life.
Marissa Plascencia is a first generation Mexican-American pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations at the California State University, Fullerton. As an active member of the Latino Communications Initiative (LCI) of CSUF she was given the opportunity to complete internships and network with professionals in the area of communications. Marissa is very thankful to her LCI community which includes peer mentors and the director of the organization, Inez Gonzalez, because they have given her the best experiences as a student of CSUF. She values the importance of networking which have led her to obtain her educational goals and is thankful to her family for being supportive in every way.