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Que Pasa? : PEOPLE

* Awards are adding up for Jesse Oyervides of Boyle Heights, a young janitor who fought alongside a few beleaguered security officers to keep angry protesters from smashing their way into the Los Angeles Federal Courthouse after the verdicts in the Rodney G. King beating case. The men put out dozens of fires and sprayed intruders with fire extinguishers in defending the building. “I did what I felt was right,” he said, adding that he feared he and his co-workers would all be out of jobs if the building burned down. Oyervides, 26, has been honored for his bravery by the U.S. Justice Department, the U.S. marshal and the L.A. County district attorney’s office, and has been nominated for city honors.

* Maggie Cervantes is determined to turn an old downtown hotel, at 4th Street and Columbia Avenue, into a home for 60 teen-age mothers and their children. Cervantes, 34, is executive director of the nonprofit development group New Economics for Women, which has received a $4-million grant from the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency to renovate the Hotel Cortez. Many teen-age mothers “don’t have the supportive services that they need,” Cervantes said, adding that many come from abusive families. The teen-agers will get training in parenting skills and child care so they can attend high school. “We’re trying to break the cycle of poverty and abuse,” said Cervantes, who is originally from East L.A. and who for the past two years was president of Comision Femenil Mexicana Nacional.


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