[dropcap]C[/dropcap]hicago Bears Center Roberto Garza was on hand last Tuesday at Reflejos Bilingual Newspaper’s Reflecting Excellence Awards Ceremony.
“I tell [kids] all the time that I grew up eating rice, beans and tortillas; I was raised like any other kid and now I play for the NFL”, Garza once said.
Being one of the few Latinos in the entire NFL League, he believes that education gives you the opportunity to achieve your dreams.
The chances of a little Mexican kid from Texas becoming a professional football player were slim, especially because his parents could not afford to send him to college. However, Garza received help from his community and he wants to pay it forward.
“It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from; if you want it bad enough, you can achieve your dreams,” Garza stated.
So to pay it forward, he was on hand to give out three $1,000-scholarships to Latino students who were nominated by Reflejos’ readers. All of the students have demonstrated exceptional leadership skills in the community.
Brenda Vasquez, a senior at Larkin High School, is the president of the Future Teachers Club and an organizer of the Angel Network Toy Drive which will donate toys to underprivileged children.
Another senior at Larkin High School, Herman Ramirez, came to the U.S. when he was a freshman in high school. Now he takes several AP courses and has been accepted to nine colleges.