Celebrating Democratic Women of the Desert 2020 Scholars

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Celebrating Democratic Women of the Desert 2020 Scholars

Susan Everett, Scholarship Chair, recently coordinated with the College of the Desert offices, Transfer Advocates, Extended Opportunity Programs and Services, Veterans Resource Center and the Dreamer Resource Center, to encourage students to apply for our scholarships. Our Scholarship Committee members, Amalia Deaztlan, Bettyann Sherrell, John and Susan Everett, selected five recipients from eighteen applicants. This year the scholarship winners are Monica Jimenez-Jaime, Madison Shirley, Liliana Hernandez-BeltranSergio Munoz,  and Daniela Torres. For some of the students, they’re the first in their family to attend college. On August 27th, Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia AD 56, presented the DWD scholarships to our worthy recipients!

Democratic Women of the Desert (DWD) is dedicated to promoting progressive values along with social, economic and political policies that reflect the priorities of women. One way we do this is by providing $500 scholarships to students currently attending College of the Desert campuses in Palm Desert and Indio. DWD scholarship recipients are chosen based on grade point average, school/community involvement, recommendations and essays submitted. DWD recently coordinated with the following College of the Desert offices, Transfer Advocates, Extended Opportunity Programs and Services, Veterans Resource Center and the Dreamer Resource Center, to encour- age students to apply for our scholarships. Our Scholarship Committee members, Amalia Deaztlan, Bettyann Sherrell, John and Susan Everett, selected five recipients from eighteen applicants. This year the scholarship winners are Liliana Hernandez-Beltran, Monica Jimenez-Jaime, Sergio Munoz, Madison Shirley and Daniela Torres. For some of the students, they’re the first in their family to attend college.

Liliana Hernández-Beltran, a resident of Mecca, plans to double major in both Environ- mental Science and Communications. Her career path is to become an environmental advo- cate. After receiving her AA degree, she plans to transfer to UC Irvine to continue her stud- ies. At COD, she is a member of the following clubs, Ecology, Biology, Alas con Futuro, Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA), Red Cross Club Secretary, Renaissance Leadership member and MECHA. Liliana has also served as a volunteer at the FIND Food Bank, her church and her local library. Even with all her involvement in campus clubs and volunteer- ism, Liliana has continued to maintain a 4.0 GPA. Her communications professor described her as “a natural leader who consistently rose to the occasion and challenged others in her class to rethink their initial presumptions about a given issue.”

Monica Jimenez-Jaime, a resident of Palm Springs, will be receiving her AA degree this spring in Business Administration. She will continue her studies at California State Universi- ty, Fullerton where she plans to receive her bachelors in Business with a concentration in Entrepreneurship. Her long-term goal is to launch a service-based business that would pro- vide legal and financial services for the residents of the Coachella Valley with an emphasis in helping undocumented students pursuing higher education. Currently, she is President of the COD Alas con Futuro Club. She has been on the Dean’s list since 2018 and is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Monica has been invited to be a student speaker and representative at several forums and events including a panel addressing issues on immigra- tion by the ACLU and at the opening ceremony for the Dreamer Resource Center at COD.


Sergio Munoz, a resident of Coachella, will soon be receiving his AA degree from College of the Desert. He hopes to continue his education at UCLA where he plans to receive his bachelors in Psy- chology. His long-term goal is to attend graduate school to become a Counselor. Eventual- ly, he would like to establish a non-profit which will make resources and programs availa- ble to troubled youth within the Coachella Valley. Sergio is a member of Alas con Futuro club and frequently does community outreach. He is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and DEFY Ventures, a competitive Entrepreneurship Program. Sergio also partici- pates in PEEP which is a peer mentoring program aimed at supporting undocumented indi- viduals who are interested in applying for admission to graduate or professional programs in the health professions. Sergio stated, “I want to inspire young kids, who have made bad decisions, to realize that no matter how many mistakes we have committed in the past, it is never too late to turn our lives around and make positive changes for our future.” 

Madison Shirley, a resident of Palm Springs, is exploring the fields of Environmental En- gineering and Environmental Policy. She plans to obtain her bachelor’s degree in 2023 and pursue her Masters afterwards. She is an activist with a passion for equal rights. In high school, Madison began the 7-Club, an affiliate of the Women’s Activism group Zonta, which empowers through service and advocacy. As President, she raised awareness for do- mestic violence by supporting the One Love Foundation and volunteered at her local wom- en’s shelter. She has continued her volunteer efforts at local PRIDE events and parades. She is also a volunteer at the Galilee Center in Mecca, organizing and distributing toys to low SES families during Christmas and distributing school supplies in August. As an em- ployee of T-Mobile, Madison has been awarded “MVP” several times and received numerous awards for ex- ceptional customer service while maintaining a 4.0 GPA at College of the Desert. 

Daniela Torres, a resident of Desert Hot Springs, is a Health Science major who aspires to become a Registered Nurse and then continue furthering her education by studying Derma- tology at UCLA. Daniela participated in COD’s EDGE program where she successfully completed the program with high grades. She was also selected as a Fellow for the Inaugu- ral Cohort of COD’s Desert Dreamer Resource Center. The Fellowship seeks to support stu- dents to develop leadership skills, to learn professional skills and to serve as mentors to oth- er students. She is also an active member of the Biology Club and the Alas con Futuro Club which supports Dreamers. Daniela is passionate about her health-related services as she sees this is a way to help people in the most compassionate way. Furthermore, she is also a very talented artist and hopes to incorporate her artistic skills and passion into her future endeavors. 

DWD wishes all the students’ success in their future college careers! Congratulations!

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