SoCal: Riverside County Youth Awarded Jamil Dada Character Excellence Youth Awards

Cash Scholarships Awarded to 10 Students Demonstrating Exemplary Character during Adversity

The recipients for this year’s Jamil Dada Character Excellence Youth Awards, include 10 Riverside County youth who displayed exemplary character while overcoming adversity, such as poverty, child abuse, drug abuse, abandonment and homelessness. Each youth was awarded a scholarship of $2,500 towards their education.

These young people have made a difference not only for themselves, but they’re working to make a difference for everyone in their circle, or along their journey,” said Jamil Dada, Chairperson of the Riverside County Workforce Development Board.

This year’s award recipients are:

Tabitha Parrish, Rubidoux Youth Opportunity Center

Marlene Ozuna, Hemet Empower Youth Opportunity Center

Alexander Mulvaney, Hemet Empower Youth Opportunity Center

Ana Luna-Flores, Lake Elsinore Planet Youth Opportunity Center

Jordan Leverette, Lake Elsinore Planet Youth Opportunity Center

Yunuen Ibarra, Indio WIN Youth Opportunity Center

Steven Serrano, Moreno Valley Youth Opportunity Center

Guadalupe Rodriguez, Riverside Learn 4 Life Center

Analinda Heredia, Perris Oasis Youth Opportunity Center

Rebecca Marie Lara, City of Indio Teen Center

The Jamil Dada Character Excellence Youth Awards have awarded scholarships to more than 110 Riverside County youth over the past 13 years. Despite the honorees’ challenging and sometimes tragic situations, the young recipients are recognized leaders in their respective communities. Despite their adversities, they are determined to earn a high school diploma and are in pursuit of a post-secondary education.

Nominees for the award must take part in a formal selection process and display the following attributes for strong character in their daily lives: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.

A celebration honoring the recipients included a keynote speaker, Darrel Thomas from the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 1981 World Series Championship team, as well as trophies, certificates of recognition from elected officials. The scholarships will help the youth with tuition, books, transportation, and living expenses in their pursuit for post-secondary education.

The annual event is made possible by the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, the Workforce Development Board, ResCare, the California Family Life Center, the Workforce Development Centers and Economic Development Agency staff.

For more information about the Jamil Dada Character Excellence Awards, please contact Assistant Marketing Manager, Nathan Hultgren at (951) 955-3485 or

Press Release Provided by Riverside County