FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- This month, the League of Mexican American Women is in preparation for their first in-person event since the pandemic, where the non-profit will award their 2021 scholarship recipients.
Giving back to the community through education, culture and leadership is what The League of Mexican American Women has been dedicated to since 1973.
Lilia Gonzales Chavez has been a part of the non-profit organization for over four decades and says providing scholarships for more than 30 decades has helped lift up Latinas looking to further their education.
"To see other Latinas and other young women of Mexican heritage advance as well is just a wonderful experience," said Lilia Gonzales Chavez, Co-chair of The League of Mexican American Women Scholarship Committee.
Every year, they provide a minimum of $10,000 in scholarships but normally rise above that.
Due to the pandemic, they faced many challenges and pivoted to outreach virtually, hoping it would be enough.
"We miss having to meet together, so that was really hard, but we were able to find ways to keep meeting and keep the league going," said Graciela Deniz, Co-chair of The League of Mexican American Women Scholarship Committee.
Deniz says the community didn't let them down.
Although their largest fundraiser, Fiestas Navidenas, was held online, they met their minimum financial goal and even found ways to award double the amount raised, thanks to some prudent planning.
"We always have a backup fund that allows us to continue to make our scholarships," said Chavez.
"We had so many scholarships this year and we felt that we needed to give more than we raised and to do that was amazing," said Deniz.
About $21,000 will be awarded to 22 Latinas in July. It will be the non-profits first in-person event in over a year and the planning is underway.
"To make sure that not only will they feel like their work these last four years felt something, but that they will continue being supported as well," said Deniz.
Both are excited to celebrate the many accomplishments and reunite after a rocky year and a half.
Learn more about the non profit and how you can help by visiting their website.
Their scholarship opportunities are nontraditional. Chavez wants to highlight that women who are undocumented can still apply.