AAUW Academic Achievement Awards 2024

Photo by Edna Ethington Pictured on April 18, 2024, at the Academic Achievement Awards at ABCUSD Adult Education Center in Cerritos are award winners at center left, Karissa Guzman and Paola Mayoral Jimenez, next to her, holding their certificates. At left, is Gail Ross and at right, is Joan Pylman, Co-Administrators for the La Palma-Cerritos Branch of the AAUW. Joan is also the Chair of the Academic Achievement Awards Committee and Gail was a member of the Awards Committee.

Joan Pylman and Gail Ross, Co-Administrators of the La Palma-Cerritos Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), awarded Academic Achievement Awards to two women from Cerritos College at their April 18, 2024, meeting at the ABCUSD Adult Education Center in Cerritos. CA. At this 31st Annual Recognition and Awards Program, Karissa Guzman and Paola Mayoral Jimenez received Certificates of Recognition for their outstanding academic achievements and involvement in service activities at Cerritos College and in their communities. Each of the women will receive a scholarship of $1,500 upon confirming their enrollment at a four-year college or university in the Fall of 2024.

Dr. Etelvina De La Torre, Interim Executive Director of the Cerritos College Foundation, came to the meeting and offered her congratulations to the two award winners. The Cerritos College Foundation worked jointly with the La Palma-Cerritos Branch of the AAUW to gather names of qualified nominees for the Academic Achievement Awards. The
Branch’s Academic Awards Committee then selected the winners and will provide the scholarship funds in the Fall.

Other members of Cerritos College who spoke at the meeting were Harvey Chew, Cerritos College Counselor, who nominated Re-Entry Student Karissa Guzman, and Dr. Carlos Aguirre, Director of MESA (Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement) program at Cerritos College, who nominated Paola Mayoral Jimenez.
Karissa, is a 26-year-old “Re-entry student,” who maintained a 4.0 GPA while completing five Associate of Art degrees in Mental Health and Behavior Sciences at Cerritos College. She plans to work on a double major in Psychology and Sociology, complete requirements for a Master’s degree in Clinical Therapy or Marriage and Family Therapy, and become a children’s therapist for foster children. She was a member of Phi Beta Honor Society. Karissa supports herself by working as a babysitter but still found time to volunteer as a tutor and worship leader at her church.

Paola, is a 19-year-old “Transfer student,” and is a first-generation Hispanic woman seeking a STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) career. She had a 3.56 GPA at Cerritos College with a major in Aerospace Engineering. She was a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and a member of MESA (Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement) program, and NCAS (NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars) program, in which she competed in their Engineering Design Challenge. She was a past Chief of Staff of ASCC (Associated Students of Cerritos College).

Karissa and Paola received the congratulations and Certificates of Recognition from Benjamin Montelongo, 36th Senate District Representative for Senator Janet Nguyen, and Joe Pak, 67th District Representative for Assembly Woman Sharon Quirk-Silva. They also received Certificates of Recognition from 45th Congressional Representative Michelle Steele, State Senator District 30 Bob Archuleta, and County Supervisor 4th District L.A. Janice Hahn.

For more information about the Academic Achievement Awards at Cerritos College, contact Awards Chairperson Joan Pylman at 562-865-6592.