On October 6, the Navarro-Vezina Scholarship awarded its first scholarships to two students at Thomas M. Coley Law School. The two received their scholarships when the Hispanic Latino Law Society of Cooley Law School and the Hispanic Bar Association of Michigan came together to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at El Barzon Restaurant in Detroit.
The Navarro-Vezina Scholarshio was established by Cooley Law Professor Monica Navarro and her husband, attorney J. Marc Vezina of Vezina Law Group.
Selection is based upon candidates’ intellectual ability, financial need, participation in Cooley-sponsored events, relevant volunteer activities, relevant life and work experience, work ethic, and desire to achieve. Candidates must demonstrate that they are people of character who will be an asset to the legal community upon graduation.
Cooley Law School named Ulises Mario Macias Robles and Belem Morales as this year’s first and second-place scholarship recipient. Both scholarship recipients intend to practice law in Michigan, where they will continue their commitment to service of the Hispanic Latino Community.
“Mr. Robles and Ms. Morales embody the best of the Hispanic Latino Community at Cooley and beyond, and they are two of the many reasons for celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.
Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 through October 15 each year to acknowledge the contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central American, and South America. The celebration began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week during the Johnson presidency and was expanded by President Reagan in 1988.
September 15 was chosen as the start of the annual celebration because it is the anniversary of independence for the Latin American countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days during September as well.
In addition to witnessing the awards ceremony, participants at the event enjoyed speeches by several distinguished leaders from the Latino Community in Michigan. Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Patricia Perez Fresard , Civil Division, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Maria Oxholm, Family Law Division, and entrepreneur Lydia Gutierrez, president of Hacienda Mexican Foods, addressed the current state of Hispanic residents of Michigan.
Donations to the Navarro-Vezina Scholarship are welcome and are tax-deductible. Checks should be addressed to Thomas M. Cooley Law School Navarro-Vezina Scholarship. Donations should be mailed to the attention of Associate Dean James Robb at Cooley Law School, 2630 Featherstone Drive, Auburn Hills, 48236.