Aaliyah Simmons, Kealalaina Ng, Alyssa Jones, Cassidy Williams, Dae’Tian Nanton, Johnaiya Miller, Liana Sosa Arroyo, Mary Brown, MyAzia Williams, Nylia Shaw, Tiana Walker, Yabdeliez Velez were honored at LULAC Herencia Council #4297 Gala and Scholarship Banquet Saturday night at Fort Hood.

FORT HOOD — More than 190 LULAC Herencia Council #4297 guests gathered in the Phantom Warriors Club on Fort Hood to celebrate the My Heritage, My Legacy Gala and Scholarship Banquet.

Every young girl celebrates either a quinceañera, sweet sixteen, or debut; and the local LULAC group combined all of those because a community is “everybody,” officials said.

“Even though we are a Latino organization, we welcome our whole community. We don’t leave anybody out,” said Deputy District Director for Central Texas LULAC Analuisa Carrillo-Tapia about the gala, which was meant to celebrate and recognize the young womens’ development into adulthood.

This year, the following 14 young ladies were honored at the gala: Liana Sosa Arroyo, Madison Barnett, Mary Brown, MyAzia Williams, Nylia Shaw, Tiana Walker, Yabdeliez Velez, Aaliyah Simmons, Adli Cruz Santana, Alyssa Jones, Cassidy Williams, Dae’Tian Nanton, Johnaiya Miller, and Kealalaina Ng. Scholarship winner Juan Villafana, distinguished guests, and Bilingual Teachers of the Year Minerva Cotton and Temeka Jennings were also recognized.

“We want to impact the community. We pretty much help out with anything and everything. We wanted to make sure it was something families can attend and celebrate with their daughters. We wanted to celebrate them and also impart and remind them of everything that is already in them,” said Carillo-Tapia on LULAC and the gala’s purpose.

In addition to being recognized over one special night, the ladies were provided with classes in etiquette, conflict resolution, school orientation to positively affect the way they are perceived in the community.

Invitations to participate were distributed throughout KISD and will be redistributed to any young woman within the community interested in making a difference. Scholarship applications will also be available. Visit the LULAC Herencia Council 4297 Facebook to learn more and email for My Heritage, My Legacy Gala and Scholarship Banquet applications.

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