HCAC Announces Expansion of Scholarship Opportunities

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Hermiston Cultural Awareness Coalition (HCAC) has announced an expanded range of scholarship recipients for 2023.

In addition to Hermiston High School seniors, Echo, Stanfield and Umatilla senior students will also be eligible to receive one of four $1,000 academic scholarships from the group. Each scholarship will be applied to an institution of higher learning. The scholarship goal is to acknowledge and recognize graduating students who have a desire to create cultural diversity and awareness within their community. Interested applicants can contact their high school counselor to receive the form.

Submissions must be postmarked by Dec. 8, 2023.

HCAC is one of the longest-existing cultural diversity organizations within Hermiston and surrounding communities. Formerly named the Black International Awareness Club, HCAC’s purpose is to promote the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and support diversity and equality in the greater Hermiston community.

Started as a grass roots movement in 2000, community participants have represented all walks of life — clergy, small business owners, farmers, community advocates and local residents — wanting to raise awareness and concern around the need for more diversity and equity within rural Eastern Oregon.

Due to advocacy of this cultural group, the city of Hermiston formally recognized MLK Day in 2000, and with the leadership of HCAC has hosted citywide events for the past 20 years. Over the years this event has included a January MLK march, special speakers, student performance, cultural performers and city official participation.

The MLK celebration typically draws between 200-300 people annually. In recent years the HCAC has incorporated a Juneteenth event, commemorating the official abolition of slavery in our country.

For questions or assistance with the scholarship process, email Jesus Rome, HCAC secretary/scholarship committee member at jesusrome73@gmail.com.

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