The Elva S. Riggins Scholarship Fund awarded its first scholarship in 2009. The scholarship was named for Elva S. Riggins—wife, mother, and teacher—who taught secondary-level English in the Compton Unified School District for 35 years. She was among a handful of “Pioneer Black Teachers” who integrated the previously all-White district in the mid-1950s.
Elva Riggins possessed the gift of seeing what was special in others, encouraging them to develop and utilize their unique qualities and gifts. Her tutelage and mentoring helped many of her students set their sights higher, pursue higher education, and increase their value to the community.
Mrs. Riggins ensured that her own four children grew up with a deep appreciation for learning and education. Their home was filled with books. Getting a library card was almost a rite of passage. They were taught they could accomplish anything they set their minds to, even when society did not treat them as equals.
All of the siblings acquired college degrees. They also absorbed their mother’s values: honesty, hard work, kindness to others, tenacity, commitment to God and family, and a deep sense of social responsibility.
To honor her legacy, Elva’s children and grandchildren pooled the modest inheritance she had left them and established a scholarship in her name. Together with your contributions, scholarships are awarded annually.
The mission of the Elva S. Riggins Scholarship Fund is to support Black Students and Students of Color (SOC) from middle school through college to pursue educational goals that prepare them to use their talents in service to their communities.
The Elva S. Riggins Scholarship Fund congratulates Ms. Jamileth Zaragoza as one of this year's award recipients .
Jamileth Zaragoza is a graduating senior from Dominguez High School in the Compton Unified School District. She will attend the University of Southern California this fall, where she has been accepted as a Global Health major on the pre-med track. She will study to become a surgeon and will give back by becoming a part of Doctors Without Borders.
Ms. Zaragoza wants to travel to underserved communities and give them free healthcare because she believes that healthcare should be free for all. She has already started accomplishing her goals by getting involved in the healthcare field and taking a CNA course. In addition, she has been recognized by the County of Los Angeles for completing the Bioflex Pre-Apprenticeship Program.
Ms. Zaragoza is a first-generation college student with high aspirations. She is a dog mom with three fur children that she enjoys going out with during her free time. Apart from these responsibilities, she also enjoys reading and watching film adaptations of books.
The Elva S. Riggins Scholarship Fund congratulates Ms. Nancy Chavez-Jacobo, one of the 2023 award recipients.
Nancy Chavez-Jacobo is a graduating senior at Compton Early College High School. This fall she will be attending the University of California, Irvine where she was accepted under the biomedical engineering major. She plans to focus her studies on cancer research and, most importantly, give back to her community. She looks forward to becoming a woman in STEM and making contributions to the medical field.
As the oldest daughter and first-generation college student in her family, she would like to serve as a role model for her younger siblings who were with her on her journey. She considers her parents to be her biggest support system and her motivation to continue achieving her goals. She feels she wouldn’t be where she is today without them.
She hopes to achieve her dreams and represent her community and her roots well.
Margaret L. Mitchell - Chair - Compton, CA
Aidsand F. Wright-Riggins - Vice-Chair - Collegeville, PA
Arlynn Page - Secretary - Altadena, CA
Aidsand F. Riggins IV - Treasurer, Sherman Oaks, CA