Upcoming dinner celebrates scholars, honors Cesar Chavez’s legacy

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In March, the West Valley Foundation is set to honor 10 high school students who will be scholarship recipients. The event serves not just as a celebration of the scholars’ pursuit of a college education, but also as a tribute to Cesar Chavez’s belief in expanding educational opportunities. Joining to discuss is Jamie Aldama, vice mayor of Glendale and chairman of the West Valley Foundation.

Talk a little about the foundation.

The foundation has been around for 30 years. According to Almada, the goal of the foundation “is to encourage organizations, employers and anybody in their day-to-day life to engage and practice diversity.” He also discussed why the foundation focuses on the work of activist Cesar Chavez.

“Cesar Chavez did so much for our state, for other states and for people he was an advocate for those who were laboring out in the fields, laboring anywhere else. He also spread diversity and practiced diversity and encouraged all of us to do that.”

Cesar Chavez also advocated for education. What has the West Valley Foundation done to contribute to that?

According to Almada, the foundation has partnered with Maricopa community colleges over the years to encourage young people to pursue a college education.

 “It’s become a great partnership, but we’re encouraging young people to get out there and keep learning, and come back and reinvest in your communities,” He said.

Why did you change the scholarship breakfast to a dinner?

Almada said a major reason was that students and sponsors were not available to attend the breakfast.

“We said ‘we want you there,’ and we want all of our sponsors to be there. So we want to take away that challenge, that burden, and we want to go to a dinner where everybody can be more available.”

How can people still contribute to the scholarships?

Almada encouraged people to contribute, and to also attend the event.

 “This goes to the foundation to encourage diversity in all of our state, but it also helps young people get educated, and again, we like to have others on board.”

For more information, visit azwestvalleyfoundation.org.

Jamie Almada-vice mayor of Glendale, chairman, the West Valley Foundation

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