Former scholarship recipient’s goal is to fulfill Cesar Chavez’s legacy

Cesar Chavez Scholarship deadline to apply March 31

SAN ANTONIO – Burbank High School graduate Marisol Cortez was among only 10 students awarded a Cesar Chavez Scholarship in 2020 when the fund was at its lowest during the pandemic, with only $17,000.

In 2021, the fund had $25,000. However, this year, the fund is set to meet or exceed last year’s $50,000, which resulted in $2,500 in scholarships for 20 students, said Ernest Martinez, board chair of the Cesar E. Chavez Legacy and Educational Foundation.

“Thankfully, we’ve seen strong momentum the last two years,” Martinez said.

The deadline to apply for the scholarship is March 31.

Regardless of which college or university, Cortez said, “Getting these scholarships -- applying for these scholarships are essential to carry out your ‘sueños,’ your career aspirations.”

Even so, Cortez said the scholarship and the laptop that came with it are helping her realize her sueño, her dream.

Cortez, now a junior majoring in biochemistry and Latin American studies at Bates College in Maine, said she was excited and honored to have been among the select few that year who got a Cesar Chavez scholarship.

“Especially with the meaning behind it, the Cesar Chavez legacy,” Cortez said. “I relate very much to the work he did.”

Cortez said the co-founder of the United Farmworkers believed in serving and giving back to the community.

She said she plans to do the same in San Antonio someday by becoming a neurologist with a full-service center in an underserved area for those with special needs like her brother with autism.

Now in its 26th year, the theme of the Cesar E. Chavez March for Justice on Saturday will celebrate the legacy Cortez is hoping to fulfill, “Finding true life through service to others.”

About the Authors:

Jessie Degollado has been with KSAT since 1984. She is a general assignments reporter who covers a wide variety of stories. Raised in Laredo and as an anchor/reporter at KRGV in the Rio Grande Valley, Jessie is especially familiar with border and immigration issues. In 2007, Jessie also was inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame.

Alexis Montalbo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.