The GCC Alumni Association held its annual awards banquet on Nov. 12 at The Castaway restaurant in Burbank, where six GCC students were awarded scholarships.
The six scholarships were awarded to Arteen Pirverdian, Larisa Poghosyan, Latoya Kirkland, Isabel Basurto, Janser Ribeiro Guimaraes and Yuko Shiina.
Each scholarship was worth $300. The students have the opportunity to use the money where it most benefits them, whether it be for tuition, books or personal reasons.
The criteria for the recipients who were chosen were mainly based on their progress and commitment toward further education. The students also had to demonstrate a financial need, show an obstacle they have had in their life that has prevented them from continuing their education, and to have gone far and beyond in their achievements compared to other students, said Henan Joof, outreach coordinator of the association.
When asked about the scholarship, Basurto was grateful and “very honored to be acknowledged and see the compassion of others and that they care [about students].”
Kirkland is a continuing student at GCC who wants to major in psychology and transfer to Cal State Northridge. She said that she had wasted around six years of just working, and realized that without education, there are no opportunities.
This is the fifth scholarship she has received from GCC.
She is a volunteer worker for AIDS Project Los Angeles, and involved in the speech club and Outdoors club on campus. Kirkland is also a caregiver for her disabled mother.
“I’m very happy,” Shiina said of the award. “I was not expecting this because it had been a long time since I applied.”
Shiina is an international student from Japan who is aiming for graduate school. She graduated and acquired her bachelor’s degree from Tokyo College of Music. “I play for my church choir, the community and little concerts here and there,” she said. Shiina said she wants to become a great pianist, and hopes to come back to GCC in the future.
This year, the Alumni Association raised $400 through the concession stands at football games. The money is added to the investments the association already has and 5 percent of the profit from the investments is given as scholarships.
“It is always hard to choose how many students to give scholarships to; either a couple of students so more money is awarded in each scholarship, or more students, but less money,” said Joof. “But this year, we figured that [$300] is an amount that works and makes a difference [to the students], ” he said.
The club has 170 members, but only “one-third of them are really active, since most of them [have] graduated, transferred and have moved out far from here,” said Joof. “We are always eager to have more members.”
“[We are] always looking for more staff, current students and alumni to participate,” Alumni President Ana Artiga said.
Recognition awards were also given to members of the Patrons club. Ann H. Ransford, a member of the board of trustees, was recognized for her distinguished service to GCC. Ransford was the former director of communications for the Glendale College Foundation. She was also a member of the executive board of the YMCA, YWCA and Glendale Chamber of Commerce.
Pat Crouch received an award for career achievement and community service in her profession in real estate and Judy Gorham was awarded the Patrons Club Presidential Award for her active role in promoting education.