Community: Second Annual Scholarship Brunch

Hillary Cummins

Last spring, the SALT Center hosted its second annual Scholarship Brunch. This event brought together students who benefit from SALT Center Scholarships and the donors who support them. The brunch was held at the University of Arizona Stadium Club, which offered a festive atmosphere, as well as excellent views of the mountains and Arizona Stadium.

As students arrived, they were given the opportunity to mingle with their scholarship donors. After a delicious meal, Director, Dr. Rudy M. Molina, Jr., along with Assistant Director of Admissions and Scholarship Committee Chair, David Cillo, opened the program by welcoming everyone and introducing our two guest speakers: Ramon Gaanderse and Armando Membrila. These young professionals shared words of advice and encouragement with a captivated audience of students. As alumni of the UA and the SALT Center, Ramon and Armando were able to make a special connection with the attendees:

I enjoyed getting to meet and have conversations with the scholarship recipients. It was huge for me to see, in person, how the contributions that I am making are improving the lives of students.

— Armando Membrila

Ramon was equally enthusiastic: “I enjoyed meeting those receiving the scholarship awards and learning about what their next steps are in school and in their professions. I especially enjoyed the opportunity to talk to one student seeking a career in the same field I am working in.” Both guest speakers made themselves available as resources for students, sharing contact information and encouraging students to reach out to them in the coming months.

After hearing from Ramon and Armando, our two student speakers volunteered to give a heart-felt thank-you to our honored guests. These students emphasized the dramatic impact that the SALT Center has had on their academic success at the UA. Brandon Siew said his experience as a student speaker was a great honor: “I was able to thank not only my personal donors, but also other donors who help make my peers’ scholarships possible.”

Perhaps no one captured the spirit of the event better than Christian Brown, our other student speaker: “What I enjoyed most about the Scholarship Luncheon was seeing old and new faces, and just having a great time with everyone.” Donors and students alike echoed this sentiment.

We are eternally grateful to the many friends of our program who support SALT Center scholarships. As Brandon put it, “Making a contribution to SALT Center scholarships will not go to waste. It will go to an individual who truly wants to further their education, and wants to overcome their disability through hard work and perseverance.” Thank you all for your continued dedication to our students and their success.

We invite all of our scholarship donors to join us for next year’s event! More information will be provided to you this fall.

(Left to Right): Ramon Gaanderse, Zachary Siew, Brandon Siew, Christian Brown, Dr. Rudy M. Molina, Jr., Armando Membrila, David Cillo

(Left to Right): Ramon Gaanderse, Zachary Siew, Brandon Siew, Christian Brown, Dr. Rudy M. Molina, Jr., Armando Membrila, David Cillo