Each year, San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association awards thousands of dollars to promising law students by bringing together members of the Latino legal community for the annual “SDLRLA Scholarship Dinner & Gala.” This year's gala was held on Friday, October 18 at the Hard Rock Hotel in Downtown San Diego.
Of the seven awardees, three were from TJSL: Karen Barragan (2L), Priscilla Askar (2L), and Samantha Morales (3L). The three received certificates of recognition from Congressman Scott Peters and Senator Marty Block in addition to their scholarships.
"Being chosen as a recipient of the SDLRLA Scholarship is a humbling experience for me. I know that my struggles are unique to my story and it is such an honor to be recognized for the work I have done and the experiences I have had," said Vice President of La Raza Law Students Association Karen Barragan.
"I am grateful for receiving a SDLRLA Scholarship this year. I appreciate this generous gift that contributes to fulfilling my educational goals," said Treasurer of La Raza Law Students Association Priscilla Askar.
“Being recognized for my public service and leadership experiences is an incredible honor--especially coming from an organization that shares my commitment to making a difference in my community. I am extremely humbled and grateful for SDLRLA's support of my journey,” said President of La Raza Law Students Association Samantha Morales.
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of the 80th Assembly District delivered the key note address. Her recently authored AB1024 and AB1152 bills were signed into law along with six other bills protecting immigrant rights on October 5 by Governor Brown on National Immigration Day of Action.
AB 1024 specifically authorizes the State Bar to award law licenses for immigrants like Sergio Garcia who pass the State Bar exam. Garcia surprised the crowd with his special appearance and received a standing ovation. After passing the bar on his first try and challenging his admission in a long judicial process, AB1024 will finally allow him to be sworn in as the fist DREAM lawyer in California in the upcoming months.
“Those of us here tonight are extremely lucky to be here for many of us would be in Sergio's shoes if we had been born just 30 miles south of here,” said Assemblywoman Gonzalez.
The new 2013 La Raza Lawyers Association Board was sworn in including Alums Lorena Slomansan '03, Francisco Aldana '01, and Alumna Renee Galente 08' taking the reins of the organization as the new President.
Formed in 1979, the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association represents more than 300 Latino lawyers in San Diego County and strives to advance the cause of equality, empowerment and justice through service and advocacy.