At a historic concert, Maná, alongside the Univision Foundation and the Selva Negra Foundation, presents the winners of scholarship for young U.S. students

Source: Univision.

With a career of more than 30 years, Maná is undoubtedly one of the continent’s most successful bands. Last Saturday, December 7, they closed out their Rayando El Sol tour at The Forum in Los Angeles, where they sold out seven consecutive concerts on a single tour, which broke the record held by Kanye West and The Eagles on that same stage. They are the only band in history to achieve that feat.

Attending the concert were the 15 winners of the scholarship for young U.S. students awarded by Maná, alongside the Univision Foundation and the Selva Negra Foundation. The scholarship was launched on September 9 and received 1,227 applications. A significant number of the winners are beneficiaries of DACA, the program that gave legal status to young people who arrived in the country as children without documents.

“I feel very grateful to be one of the winners of Maná’s scholarship. I want to thank Maná, Selva Negra and the Univision Foundation for their help. Being chosen for a scholarship means a lot to me. (…) I am truly grateful for this opportunity, and I will take advantage of this aid to continue my education,” said Hugo López, of San Jose, California, who was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, is a DACA beneficiary, and studies electrical engineering at Southeast University.

imilarly grateful was Alysson Chipana, of Peruvian origin, who lives in Chicago and is a DACA beneficiary. “This scholarship will help me a lot with my education. I have worked hard to get where I am now, and any assistance I receive is a push to be successful in my education. I thank the group Maná very much for having such a big heart, and for doing something for students who want to do something good for the community and for the lives of others,” said the UIC College of Nursing student.

Azul Toledo Vega, an industrial engineering student at New Mexico State University (NMSU), thanked the group and Univision Foundation because she thinks that the scholarship gives a voice to young Latinos living in the U.S. “With my education, I hope in the near future to help more young people like me to be successful and to transmit the traditions and values we have to this country.”

Each winner will receive $10,000, which they can use to finance their education at a university or at a community, vocational or technical or college in the U.S during the next academic year. “We use our platform to motivate people and send a positive message. Fher Olvera (guitarist) is out there every night sending his message. And people go home inspired, thinking that they need to reconsider their points of view, or they are motivated to participate and take action. It’s not an obligation, but if you want to do it, you have the opportunity,” said Alex González, the drummer for the group, which has won four GRAMMY awards and eight Latin GRAMMYs, and has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide. These are the winners:

  • Alina Santos Agua Hedionda | Hillsborough, NC
  • Alison Juárez Padrón | Rockingham, NC
  • Alysson Chipana | Chicago, IL
  • Azul Toledo Vega | Las Cruces, NM
  • Francisca Rodríguez-Bolaños | Topeka, KS
  • Gerardo Silva | Hatch, NM
  • Hugo López | Tracy, CA
  • Joanna Mendoza | Stockton, CA
  • Jónatan Ortega | Oklahoma City, OK
  • Joselynn Castillo | Pingree, ID
  • Maya Barajas-Tavera | Pasadena, CA
  • Paola Ruiz | Pico Rivera, CA
  • Isabelle Gangadin | Maineville, OH
  • Aurora Flores Ávila | Goshen, IN
  • Mariana Aguilar Zúñiga | Parlier, CA