Scholarship Set in Honor of Latina Trailblazer

The Hortencia “Tessie” M. Torres Endowed Scholarship has been established by her children, two USC alumni, with a $250,000 gift.

The scholarship will be awarded to meritorious and deserving graduate USC Rossier School of Education students, with special consideration given to those whose background experiences are similar to those of Torres Ed.D. ’80.

Torres, 75, began her career as an educator in East Los Angeles at a time when many Latinas were not encouraged to go to college - let alone pursue a doctorate degree.

She said she knew from an early age she wanted to pursue her doctorate in education at USC.

“By the age of 14, I knew I was going to get my doctorate from USC, so the goal was always there,” Torres said. “My two favorite teachers in Stevenson Junior High always talked to me about USC and the importance of education. I think I was one of their favorite students.”

After attending East Los Angeles College in the 1960s, however, Torres had six children.

“I wanted to raise them first,” she said. “It’s not as easy with a family.” READ FULL STORY

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