OGDEN -- Ogden-Weber Applied Tech College partnered with the Ogden Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month on Friday. The event featured dancers, free food, prize drawings and the presentation of four scholarships to Hispanic students.
The Ogden Hispanic Chamber of Commerce delivered $500 and $1,000 scholarships to four young women: Jessica Lopez, studying medical assistance; Janell Meza, studying business technology; Jasmine Calleros, studying medical assistance; and, Yanelly Martinez, studying graphic design.
Elsa Zweifel, director of Marketing and Diversity for the OWATC, said she was excited to see so many people turn out for the event.
"That's really what we're all about. We want to be part of the community. We want them to know how much we care about them and what a great opportunity coming to the tech college is," she said.
"We change lives every day. We can take people who don't have a skill, don't have a good job, and then they can train, and within a year on most of our programs, they can turn around and be out making really good money with a great job."
Mac McCullough, Diversity Committee Outreach and High School Liaison for OWATC, said he hopes to make the college's Hispanic Heritage Celebration one of the largest in Northern Utah.
McCullough also said he is glad the college's leaders are so committed to the community and to diversity.
"The tech college has always been committed to being a part of the community," he said.
"But understand that it's about so much more than just this event that we're putting on; this is kind of a segue into continuing your education, being part of the community as a whole. It's so important to the college, so that's why we do it.
"We are just thankful that the college is committed to supporting events like this -- this one, black history and other events as the years go on."
Jessica Lopez said she thinks this event helps people understand her culture and the Latino community, and that's a good thing.
She also said she hopes her peers take advantage of the opportunities offered by OWATC.
"The ATC to me means an opportunity to do better things, a place where I can go learn, get an education, and go off and do better things. I think they should consider it because it's cheap, it's fast, you go at your own pace."
Food for the event was provided by Javier's, Walmart, Pepsi and the OWATC culinary department.
The event also featured dancing by Tutuli performers, the Utah Urban Dance Organization, and the Prado family, who performed "La Danza de los Viejitos" ("The Dance of the Old Men").