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.
We're happy to announce that this year our generous donors have made it possible to award two scholarships.
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. Melanie Morales, one of the 2022 award recipients.
Ms. Melanie Morales will graduate this spring from Compton Early College High School. Her college plans include attending the University of California, Riverside, with a major in Business Administration. After graduating from the university, she intends to give back to her community, where she will encourage other young people to set their sights on obtaining a college education. She especially wants to serve as a role model to her younger siblings so they can see that it is possible to acquire a higher education, despite financial obstacles. Melanie’s parents are her inspiration. From them, she learned the value of hard work, resilience, diligence, and never giving up in the face of problems. Her parents have taught her to be goal-oriented. Her determination to be successful in life is one of the ways she hopes to show her gratitude for how hard they have worked.
Margaret L. Mitchell - Chair - Compton, CA
Aidsand F. Wright-Riggins - Vice-Chair - Collegeville, PA
Arlynn Page - Secretary - Pasadena, CA
Aidsand F. Riggins IV - Treasurer, Sherman Oaks, CA
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