Latino legislative caucus meets to raise money for Oropeza scholarships

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AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

In this file photo taken Aug. 30, 2008, state Sen. Jenny Oropeza, D-Carson, fans herself during a Senate session at the Capitol. Oropoza died Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010 in a Long Beach hospital.

Long Beach area Latino politicians gathered Thursday night to help raise money for a scholarship in honor of a colleague who died late last year.

State legislators praised the late Assemblywoman Jenny Oropeza as a tireless public servant. Her three decades in politics took her from Cal State Long Beach student body president to elected office on the Long Beach Unified School Board and the Long Beach City Council. After that, she served in the state Assembly and state Senate.

Cal State Long Beach senior Jocelyn Rodriguez says she wants to emulate that career. "I think right now one of the biggest issues is the economy and education. Being a college student myself I think it’s important for Latinos to continue in this process of waking up and really acknowledging how important education is, especially with us becoming the majority in the next couple of years."

In the future, Cal State Long Beach will award the $5,000 Jenny Oropeza scholarship each year to a student with financial need and proven community service.

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