From hard labor in the California sugar beet fields to the Valle Verde EPCC campus, Alfredo Corchado came to El Paso as a young man in a white Camaro, and later put himself on the map for his achievements in journalism.
Photo by Isaac Viera/ Tejano Tribune
Senator Jose Rodriguez presented with the mentor award at the 2015 Mentor's Dinner.
Corchado, among others, were recognized Wednesday, Oct. 14, at the annual Hispanic Heritage Month Mentor’s Dinner put on by the Diversity Programs of El Paso Community College.
Corchado, a 1984 EPCC graduate, esteemed journalist and author, was the keynote speaker at the dinner.
In his speech, he said EPCC played a key role in his life.
“As a community, you have pampered [my family] and guided us through thick and thin,” Corchado said.
“You have given me the tools to make something of my life. How could I fail with all these mentors?”
“Every year we try to make sure that our roots, culture, history, folklore, dancing, music, and food, are preserved for our Hispanic culture,” Aragon said, “With various activities during those months, we try to bring awareness to diversity.”
Committee chair on the HHC, Olga Chavez, said the mentors chosen are “icons and embodiments of success for this community, leaders for so many, and role models that will have an impact on a multitude of generations.”
Mary Gonzalez, Member of the Texas House of Representatives and the second mentor honoree, represents Colonias and works to increase economic development, improve public schools, equality, and support agriculture in District 75.
“The area I represent is an area with high needs,” Gonzalez said, "and I’ve been working really hard to get Colonias water, electricity, roads, sewage. I have a history of being involved in the Latino Community, everything from being the director of the National Hispanic Institute to being National President of a Latina Service Sorority to now being actively involved in legislature.
So, in my short time of life, I have been involved in creating social justice, particularly through a Latino lens.”
Senator Jose Rodriguez was among the mentors honored at the dinner Rodriguez said he had mentors that encouraged him to stay in school and that it is important to recognize those mentors.
“I had political teachers and leaders like the first El Paso Chicano County Judge, Alicia Chacon, who hired me as her legal advisor,” Rodriguez said.
“She was a mentor to me before I ran for public office and got elected county attorney. So, I think it’s important for us to mentor others.
When I was the El Paso County Attorney, I had my whole office in a mentor-ship program for South Loop Elementary School students.
I felt it was important for some of these kids that might have not had fathers, or come from single-parent homes, to have a mentor to let them know they can do whatever they want to do in life as long as they apply themselves.”