FORT HOOD — The League of United Latin American Citizens Council 4535 awarded $12,000 in scholarships to local high school and college students during a ceremony Saturday night.

LULAC awarded eight scholarships to Killeen Independent School District high school seniors, two scholarships to Copperas Cove ISD seniors and one scholarship to a student at Central Texas College and a student at Texas A&M University-Central Texas.

More than 39 seniors applied for the scholarships this year.

“We interview each and every student,” said Raul Villaronga, LULAC president. “It is absolutely a blast to get together with these young folks.”

Retired Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, the evening’s guest speaker, offered advice to recipients as they moved forward with their academic careers.

Lynch, a former Fort Hood and III Corps commander, told the recipients to continue their love of learning and to remember to contribute to society and serve others.

“You’ve got to make a point to dedicate your life to the service of others,” Lynch said. “You’ve got to contribute.”

Lynch also advised the scholarship recipients to enjoy themselves and have a positive attitude.

“Learn, contribute and have fun,” he said.

LULAC has been awarding the scholarships since 2002.

Many of the students thanked their parents, teachers and others who helped and encouraged them.

“I appreciate all those who were a part of this most gratifying moment,” said Georgina Quillas, a student at Killeen ISD’s Pathways campus.

At Saturday’s banquet, LULAC members also swore in new officers.

Contact Chris McGuinness at or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

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