TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) – The Mexican American Women’s League of Tulare County has been in existence since 1979.

Since then, at their annual scholarship luncheons, they have given out nearly $360,000 in scholarships.

This week, members of the organization’s board of directors prepare for their annual scholarship awards ceremony.

Seven students will each receive $1,000 for their education.

Melissa Gomez was a recipient in 2004 – this year she’s back as a keynote speaker.

“I’m so grateful because it really helped push me in the direction of wanting to pursue this education. I know this opportunity is a great stepping stone,” says Melissa.

Melissa received two associate degrees from the College of the Sequoias.

She says being a working mom and a student wasn’t easy, but thanks to a strong support system, dedication and help from the league, she was able to achieve her goals.

Melissa says, “They’re very important because not everyone has the opportunity that everyone else has, but when you have something like that, an organization that’s open and willing to help is amazing. “

In addition to scholarships, the nonprofit organization also hosts several community service events for Tulare County residents.

Elena Nava has been part of the league since 2018. Today she is the president of the organization.

“The league allows for networking and leadership development. We are civically engaged, we are non-partisan, so we encourage people to vote,” says Elena.

Elena shares the past two years have had their own set of essays, but even during the pandemic they have always been able to award their average scholarship amount.

Funding is open to anyone entering secondary school.

Recipients must have a 2.5 GPA and proof of citizenship is not a requirement.

If you wish to purchase lunch tickets, they will be available until June 8.

Details can be found here.

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