A Year in the Life of a 2021 ACEH Scholarship Winner
ACEH received a delightful letter from Delfina (Fina) Duron, who was awarded the 2021 ACEH Scholarship at Upward Bound. Fina is a graduate of Holland High School.
“I completed my first year of college at Mount Holyoke College in May. I'm still undecided on my major, but I was able to explore a multitude of studies through some exciting classes. To name a few, I took a course on artist's books that taught me the skills and history of papermaking, an engineering course where I learned the fundamentals of the subject and gained experience in modeling and the design process, and a computer science course which explored the field while diving into personal learning styles and growth! During the second semester, I joined my college's upper Flute Choir as a way to stay engaged with music. I had the opportunity to live with one of MHC's Living Learning Communities (LLC), the Gloria Anzaldúa Floor, which is a community for queer students of color. It was a fantastic experience, and one I look forward to continuing when I return as the floor's Residential Advisor this coming fall semester! Through that community, I was introduced to and became involved with Familia, a campus-wide group for QTPOC (queer and transgender people of color), and Mosiac, an LLC that welcomes all students of color. During this summer break, I am fortunate to work at Upward Bound as one of their Office Assistants. It has been a gift to be involved with the program again and reminds me of my strong desire to work with and support underrepresented and underprivileged groups in a community-based way. With that in mind, I will be taking more humanities-focused courses during my fall semester, such as "Introduction to Latino/a/e Studies" and "History & Theories of Development". In the month before I return to Massachusetts, I am willing to help out ACEH in any way needed! I am incredibly grateful for the ACEH's work in the community along with the commitment to supporting local programs, especially Upward Bound. Your generosity in helping students such as myself pursue a college education is one that I will try to pay forward whenever I can.” Thank you again for all that you do! Sincerely, Fina Duron
The ACEH Scholarship Story, 2013-2022
A strong social justice activist and advocate for education, Rebecca (Becky) Arenas was a force to be reckoned with in Holland. Among her many community connections, she served on the board of ACEH from 2002 to 2009. When she died in 2011 at age 76, we thought about how we could honor her life and work. We found our answer in the Gary Pepe Memorial Fund, which was set up with donations from his family and friends after his untimely death in 2005. Gary, too, was a social justice warrior, a mentor to youth, and served as ACEH president in 2003. With monies from that fund, plus other donations and proceeds from our annual silent auction fundraiser, in 2013 ACEH established the Rebecca Arenas Scholarship at the TRIO/Upward Bound program at Hope College, to provide funds for an outstanding high school student of color who would be the first in his or her family to attend college.
In 2019, we set up a second award, the ACEH Education Scholarship, also at TRIO/Upward Bound.
In 2020, we doubled our annual scholarships to four, with two new winners chosen by Latin Americans United for Progress (LAUP).
In 2021, funds were granted for a fifth scholarship, the Fronse and Germaine Pellobon-Smith Kujichagulia (Self-Determination) Scholarship Award, established by Maple Avenue Ministries and announced at the Juneteenth Freedom Festival.
At ACEH, we believe these awards are so important to the future of young people here that we have committed to transferring 60 percent of all donations to a designated fund that is invested through a local financial firm. Eventually, the earnings of the fund will cover the cost of these five annual scholarships—and maybe more. Can you help us grow this fund to recognize and support our community’s youth? To contribute, please scroll to the bottom of this page and click on the Donate button. Thank you! Please meet the 2022 recipients: