VirginiaReyesUC San Diego’s EAOP helped to host a Cesar Chavez community breakfast April 8, to honor the organizing legacy and current vibrancy of the Latino community in San Diego.

The event, which brought together a large crowd of local educators and community leaders, included a rousing speech on success in the STEM pipeline by astronaut Jose M. Hernandez and a $1000 scholarship award to Preuss student Virgina Reyes, the winner of the Cesar Chavez annual essay contest. Reyes’ essay described building on the vision and strength of Cesar Chavez to organize her peers and personal life through a host of struggles as the child of striving immigrant parents. During one year her mother could not stay with the family, Reyes worked with her father and siblings to run the household — and received over a 4.0. She plans to be the first in her family to graduate high school and attend a four year university. Reyes received a standing ovation from the crowd.

Here, Reyes (center) is congratulated by EAOP/CREATE guests at the Chavez breakfast: Sid Salazar, Assistant Superintendent Instructional Support Services, San Diego Unified School District; Debbie Costa-Hernandez, Co-Director, California Reading and Literature Project, CREATE; Rafael Hernandez, Director, Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP), CREATE; Mica Pollock, Professor of Education Studies and Director, CREATE.