Sylmar resident and high school senior Itzel Luna is one of 32 students throughout the state to be recognized by the Hispanic Heritage Foundation and be named one of its regional Hispanic Heritage Youth Award winners.

A student at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School in Lake Balboa, where she maintains a 3.89 grade point average, Luna  is the print Editor-in-Chief of the school’s student news website and magazine. She has been accepted to Stanford and USC, but is also considering Claremont McKenna College, on where to continue her education. 

 She was the “gold” recipient in the foundation’s media and entertainment category, and will be given a $1,000 scholarship.

 “I was looking for scholarship opportunities and found out about this award and decided to apply,” said Luna, 17. “I was very excited when someone from the foundation called me and said I had been chosen.”

Other Southland honorees included students Lucas Dovarganes (public service), Kellie Fernández (education), Guillermo González (engineering) and Natalia Rodríguez (social justice). All reside in Los Angeles except for Fernandez, who lives in Downey.

Luna and the other 31 honorees were recognized during a virtual ceremony on Tuesday, March 23. The awardees will receive grants to either continue their education, or fund an idea or community project.

Recipients will be mentored by past Youth Awardees as they prepare to attend college and into their careers through HHF’s award-winning Latinos On Fast Track (LOFT) workforce development program.

“There is no shortage of Latino talent across the United States and we are grateful to our dedicated sponsors who understand the importance of investing in the youngest and most dynamic segment of our population, said Antonio Tijerino, foundation president and CEO. “We’re in good hands as a community and as a country with these outstanding young leaders going forward.”