ORINDA, Calif., June 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Thanks to their remarkable academic achievements and stellar records of service, Lucy Liang of Oakland and Andrea Rivas Iraheta of San Rafael have each been awarded the GJEL and TransForm Community Involvement Scholarship. The $2500 scholarship is awarded to two Bay Area students who show a strong interest in bettering their community through either volunteer service, participation in local programs, or activism.
"Selecting the winners was a difficult process," said James Perez Work of TransForm. "All of the applicants had very empowering stories, and a demonstrated commitment to pursuing higher education while serving their communities."
Both awardees have contributed to their community in unique ways.
"Lucy has worked tirelessly over her high school career to provide opportunities for female students in Oakland to strive towards careers in the STEM fields," said Work. "Meanwhile, Andrea has channeled her immigration experience to break down language and resource barriers for Latina women in Marin County."
The experiences of both recipients have shaped the way they have chosen to lead their communities.
"Contributing back to the community is significant to me because my community has shaped my morals and goals," said Lucy Liang. "Without the opportunities I was given by youth programs and supporters, I would not have the confidence I have today to strive for higher education and especially strive to become an engineer."
For Andrea Rivas Iraheta, the journey started at the age of 8 when she was given to a 'coyote' that was paid to get her and 6 other children to America.
"That journey has defined my entire identity," said Iraheta. "My experience as an immigrant student in this country has fueled my work teaching English to Spanishspeaking women."
Through her Breaking Barriers program, Iraheta works to ensure Latina women obtain the knowledge and language skills necessary to help move their families forward.
"With each step I take towards college, I hope to change America's vision of the children who brave the desert each day, and to become a leader in the new America that celebrates the potential of every child," said Iraheta.
"I couldn't be happier with the two amazing students receiving this year's award," said GJEL managing partner Andy Gillin.
The scholarship money provided by the firm will be available for both students to use for any college related expenses in the upcoming year.
"Andrea and Lucy are absolutely deserving of this award," said Gillin. "These are exactly the type of students we hoped to reward when we started the Community Involvement Scholarship."
TransForm's James Perez Work has no doubt Lucy and Andrea will continue to achieve great things as they move on to college, with Lucy attending UC Irvine and Andrea attending Willamette University.
"Both of these students are sure to excel when they start college in the fall," said Work. "We look forward to seeing how they continue to give back to their communities in the future."
Since 1972, GJEL has obtained recoveries in over 99 percent of their cases, totaling over $850 million for accident victims and their loved ones. They have unparalleled expertise in cases involving car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, wrongful death and insurance claims and disputes.
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SOURCE GJEL Accident Attorneys