Senior Awards Ceremony
Broward County, Florida
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. It is with great honor that I stand
before you this evening to present this award on behalf of my mother,
Norma Delores Earle. Unfortunately, my mother passed away in October of
2006 after battling cancer for nearly two years.
As an avid reader, writer, and orator, my mother always pushed her family
members to excel in our academics, especially in the area of reading. She
taught us early on, that the only solid bridge that may guide us over our
troubled waters is education. Reading is the tool that guides us along life’s
path; it is the map that teaches about ourselves and the world around us.
Before her passing, I assured her that her spirit and memory would remain
alive in those children who too believed in the power of words, reading, and
education. Tonight’s Norma Delores Earle Foundation Achievement of
Reading Excellence Scholarship recipient will receive $1,000.00. These
monies will be sent directly to their attending University to help offset the
growing costs of collegiate education. Tonight’s award recipient is special
for she is the first. She has a responsibility to continue to motivate and
educate others in the area of reading.
Tonight’s recipient is also the 2007 recipient of the Reading Across Broward
award. In this year alone, she has read over 50 books and is currently
reading one of my personal favorites, Sandra Cisneros’ The House on
Mango Street. She is in the National Honor Society, the Spanish National
Honor Society and recently passed her AP Psychology Exam with flying
colors. It is no wonder, then, that she has chosen a future career in Neuro-
On behalf of the Norma Delores Earle Foundation, I present this scholarship
to a young woman who exhibits excellence in reading and achievement. Her
dedication and insight were immediately evident when she relayed during
her interview, “reading helped me learn more about this country, its history,
and the people in it. Through reading, I continue to learn about different
cultures and myself. I learn how to be part of the American culture without
losing my own self-identity.”
Like my mother was, Maria is dedicated to Reading and understands its
crucial role in educational success.
Maria spoke to me about the most memorable book she has ever read, “A
World for Julius” by Peruvian author, Alfredo Echernique. Given to her by
her mother, Maria relayed that his remarkable story teaches a lesson to us
all: no matter what culture or class we exist in, we all have struggles. It is
our job, however, to find ways to work through those struggles so that we
may continue to develop and grow as individuals.
The Norma Delores Earle Foundation has made an investment in Maria, her
future, and the young readers that she will continue to impact.
This is why it is with great honor that I present The Norma Delores Earle
Foundation Achievement of Reading Excellence Scholarship to:
MARIA FERNANDA QUEZADA for
Her outstanding contributions and commitment to Reading
for the 2006-2007 Academic school year.