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Lola Scholarship Fund

About the Fund

LEAD Filipino is building the Mama Verang and Lola Remi Scholarship Fund (Lola Scholarship Fund) to provide scholarships for current and incoming Filipino American college students.

LEAD Filipino organizer Daniel Lazo is leading the board to this scholarship fund and chose the name of the fund in memory and dedication of his two grandmothers.

“This scholarship honors two of my very different lolas, both teachers in their own way,” said Lazo, “Mama Verang raised nine children as a single mother. She was also a high school teacher in the Philippines and brought her entire family to the states for a better life. On the other hand, Lola Remi never finished high school and worked hard as a tailor and farmer. With her kind-heartedness and ambition, she put all of her seven children through college in order for them to build a better life. Both were advocates of higher education and this fund is in their legacy.”

According to a recent San José Spotlight article on high school dropout rates in Santa Clara County due to the pandemic, “Filipino students saw the highest increase in dropout rates among high school students in Santa Clara County schools. In 2019-20, an additional 160 Filipino students left school without a degree compared with the previous school year, Massaro said. That increase, from 37 to 197 dropouts out of the nearly 1,000 Filipino high school students in the county, represented a jump in their dropout rate to nearly 20% from about 4%.”

2021 Scholarship Winners

Celine Reyes De Villa
Sophomore at University of Southern California
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Excerpt from Celine’s essay: “Heavily motivated by my parents, I hope to use my education to make a positive change in the world by giving others a chance to have a better life. Their way of love offered me a chance to have a better life. I’ve developed a work ethic and the perseverance that will help me thrive in college, and hope to use it as I am inspired to become an immigration lawyer.”
Jocelyn “Juice” Canales (Just say my name)
Senior at San Francisco State University
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Excerpt from Juice’s essay: “Being Filipinx went from being my biggest burden to becoming my greatest inspiration. Though Filipinxs, have a dark history of being colonized, oppressed, and forced euro-centric ideology, there is beauty in every part of our identity. All those years of generational trauma and internalized suffering can end with me and how I choose to be free from colonial bondage.”
Keren Sheen Opiana Oczon (She/her/hers)
Senior at University of San Francisco
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Excerpt from Keren’s essay: “I see the opportunities to express the pride I have in my culture rather than shying it away as I was when I was younger. I became more ambitious, yet humble. I continue to yearn to learn about myself and understand my place n the world with the help and support of my Filipino identity. Everyone is on their path and I am on mine which makes it my story to tell in the end.”
Ysrael Quezon
4th year at University of California, Berkeley
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Excerpts from Ysrael’s essay: “The gift of the Filipino-American community has been to offer space for perpetual reclamation and reimagining of what it means to be Filipino. Being Filipino lies beyond the duality that we often perceive it as. It is beyond being Filipino and American; it transcends that binary. We, as F/Pilipino/x/a-American people, are a multiple. We are a multitude of greatness, strength, and prowess. What we touch, as Filipinos, blooms. What we build, stands. What we water, grows. When our people are oppressed, we organize and mobilize to make change happen.”

How to Apply

Eligibility Requirements

State: California
Race/Ethnicity: Filipinx/o/a American
Education Level: Undergraduate and graduate students

To apply, please write a short essay about your identity and how it has helped you get to this point in your life.

How to Donate

Donations are currently being accepted to expand the fund and ensure its longevity for years to come. Please consider giving a gift to our organization today.

For any questions or concerns about the scholarship or donating, please use the contact information below.


Daniel Lazo
Scholarship Director