Staci Gass / Tejano Tribune
Mentor's Dinner honorees Denise Chávez, Paul C. Moreno, Lucy Scarbrough, and Lucy Acosta's son Alejandro Acosta Jr. with the Hispanic Heritage Month Comittee, the EPCC board members and EPCC President William Serrata.
Concluding the series of events held to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, El Paso Community College hosted an evening festivity honoring the Latinos and Latinas who impacted local and national Hispanic culture throughout their lives with their work.
“It’s important to contribute to Hispanic culture because it’s my culture,” said Denise Chávez, an author, playwright and stage director who was one of the mentors being honored for her extensive contributions to Latina borderland literature.
“It’s vibrant, it’s essential and it’s fun. We’re the life of the border.”
This was the 13th annual Mentor’s Dinner and also marked the 6th anniversary of the EPCC Mariachi Real de El Paso band to play for the event.
Together, Lily Cortes and La J. G. De Juarez Hugo sang classic Hispanic love songs as part of the entertainment.
Lucy G. Acosta, the first woman to be elected to the EPCC board of trustees and the first woman in the history of El Paso to be appointed civil service commissioner, was honored for her outstanding involvement in the advancement of women, Hispanics and the younger generation.
Unable to attend the event, her civil service role in the community was still recognized.
Acosta was inducted to the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame in 1987.
Super Chef Catering and Cuisine provided food and drinks.
EPCC JROTC provided the presentation of flags during the opening ceremony.
Part of the ticket revenue went to funding the Hispanic Heritage Scholarship.
Piano performer, composer and former EPCC music professor Lucy Scarbrough was also honored at the dinner.
She has been awarded with the Burlington Foundation Teaching Award, the National Teaching Excellence of U.T. Austin Award and the Minnie Stevens Piper Higher Education Award of Texas.
A video compilation showed her playing an impromptu piano performance and showing off her skills as a symphony conductor. Scarbrough also organizes the El Paso Chopin Festival every year.
“This is a wonderful event and I’m very honored to be a part of it,” Scarbrough said.
“It’s unusual to be given the opportunity to be recognized for my contributions and I feel thankful.”
Former state Rep. Paul C. Moreno was also an honoree at the event.
He has the distinction of being the longest-serving Hispanic official in the country and presided as the Dean of the Texas House.
Moreno is also a co-founder of El Paso Legal Assistance and a founding member of the Tejano Democrats.
Moreno has continued to be an advocate for the poor, the disabled and the disenfranchised throughout his career.
“It was interesting witnessing the accomplishments and achievements these mentors have achieved,” said Angel Cadena, student spectator at the event.
“I am truly in awe of how these people have inspired and changed lives in the community.”