Maria Sanchez, a recent UCLA graduate, will begin graduate work at Oxford University next month and for the first time will not have to worry about educational expenses.
Earlier this year, Sanchez became one of 35 U.S. college students to be awarded the Marshall scholarship to study in England. The scholarship covers tuition, fees and living expenses for two years.
Sanchez, 21, was selected from a field of more than 800 applicants.
“I had never even heard of the scholarship, but I was told I would be a good candidate,” said Sanchez, who lives in Westwood. “I did the application the night before (it was due), and to be honest, I never thought I’d get it.”
Born in Saigon, Sanchez and her family fled to San Diego when she was a toddler. She lived with relatives in small apartments and hotels. When the family moved to the San Gabriel Valley a few years later, she began spending time at the library, reading up to 300 books in a summer.
“I love to study,” she said. “I read everything.”
From an early age, Sanchez knew that she wanted to go to college but that the road wouldn’t be an easy one. She worked 30 hours a week during high school, between tennis tournaments, debate competitions and classes, to save money for college.
While at UCLA, she tutored athletes and worked as a student clerk for the College of Letters and Science to supplement her scholarships. In addition, she volunteered for many community service organizations and completed research theses on topics including Mexican-American women and poverty, and economic development in South-Central Los Angeles.
“I used to see my uncle go to the library, and he would always encourage us to aim for the best,” she said. “I paid for my entire education on my own, and I think that helped me appreciate my experience.”
Sanchez earned a bachelor’s degree in history in three years. To top it off, she finished summa cum laude and was selected for Phi Beta Kappa.
While at Oxford, Sanchez will study urban planning. She plans to work on a comparative analysis of poverty and unemployment in Manchester, England, and in Los Angeles.
“It will be such a relief to be able to concentrate just on school” instead of having to support herself, she said. “I still can’t believe it’s happening to me.”
LaShuana Williams has designed a new logo for the annual Jet to Jetty 5K/10K Run and 5K Family Fitness Walk.
Williams, a graduate of Westchester High School, attends San Diego State. The winning design will be used on race information and T-shirts.
The race will be held Nov. 20 in Playa del Rey.
The Los Angeles County Medical Assn. has elected Beverly Hills resident Robert Karns, an internist and cardiovascular disease specialist, to serve as president-elect of the association’s membership of 8,800. Brian Johnston of Culver City, an emergency physician and internist, will serve as treasurer.
George Mason will serve as president of the medical association’s Bay district, and Sharon Winer has been elected president of the Beverly Hills district.
The Associates for Breast Cancer Studies will bestow its “Spirit of Hope Award” to Margarith Kraus of Beverly Hills.
Kraus, a longtime supporter of the nonprofit organization, will be honored at a gala dinner Oct. 30 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.
Richard Moon has been elected president of the Rotary Club of Westchester for 1993 and 1994.
Moon, a certified public accountant, holds degrees from Cal Poly Pomona and USC. Other newly elected officers are Robert Smith, Ed Rodriguez and Gwen Vuchas; elected board members are Bruce Thue, Roger Stephens, Gerry Madera, Ed Wilcox, Jim Ferro, Fred Keisner and Bob Mercer.
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