Students from Whittier Union High School District’s Puente Program celebrated the birthday and legacy of Cesar Chavez by studying art activism, discussing the fight for justice and learning from keynote speaker Anthony Chavez, grandson of Cesar Chavez, during a virtual Puente event on March 31.
Anthony, a representative of the Cesar Chavez Foundation, shared his personal experience of growing up within the Farmworkers’ Movement his grandfather founded, regaling Puente students with stories of participating in United Farmworkers’ marches, picket lines and political campaigns.
He also engaged students in a discussion about the importance of the Puente Program, the legacy of Chavez and community service.
“Cesar Chavez day is a day of learning – learning about his life and legacy and many others who made up the Farmworkers’ Union,” Anthony said. “Today is about figuring out how in your own small way, you can begin to leave your mark and help build the type of world you want to see.”
Sponsors for the event included the Cesar Chavez Foundation, Puente, Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn, Greg Cervantes at the Native People, Los Nietos Community and Senior Center, and Whittier Union Puente teachers and counselors.
The virtual event kicked off the Cesar Chavez Day of Service, in which students were encouraged to create a service project through art or writing and become eligible to win the Puente Mini Scholarships.
To support students in the service project, Whittier Union’s Puente Program held a contactless pick-up of art supplies, which included paint and paint brushes, markers, pastels and paper.
Entries for the scholarship are due April 16, and three winners will be announced during a virtual scholarship award ceremony on April 22. First place will be awarded $150, second place will take home $100 and third place will receive $50.
Whittier Union’s Puente Program aims to increase the number of educationally underserved students who apply to four-year colleges and universities, as well as inspire students to return to their community as leaders and mentors for generations to come.
“Cesar Chavez was a leader, but he led by serving others,” Superintendent Martin Plourde said. “Whittier Union’s Puente Program helps our students become leaders in their community, and I am proud of them for their hard work and for remembering that service is at the root of everything we do.”
040721_WUHSD_PUENTE1: Anthony Chavez, grandson of Cesar Chavez and representative of the Cesar Chavez Foundation, joined Whittier Union Puente students as the Keynote Speaker during the annual Day of Service Puente Event on March 31.
040721_WUHSD_PUENTE2: Whittier Union’s Puente Program is supplying students with an art kit to help support their efforts in creating a service project, which will put them in the running to win the Puente Mini Scholarships.