SANTA MONICA—Santa Monica College has honored student Cinthia Magaña with the Chui L. Tsang Transfer Scholarship, which will allow her to complete her bachelor’s degree at UCLA. Magaña will receive $15,000 scholarship.

The scholarship was granted after the SMC faculty carefully considered the nominee’s academic accomplishments and financial needs. Dr. Tsang, whom the award is named after, made the final decision for the third annual scholarship award. Dr. Tsang is the former Superintendent and President of Santa Monica College.

Magana, an illegal immigrant from Mexico moved to the United States. She moved to a crime-stricken neighborhood when she was 5. At the age of 12, she entered the job market in order to help take care of her family’s needs. She was simultaneously attending school.

Magaña has taken part in multiple extracurricular activities. She was once the President’s Ambassador for SMC. The position allowed her to work with other illegal immigrants who attended SMC. She also received the opportunity to intern at the US Department of Education in Washington DC.

At the college, Magaña has been a member of the Associated Students Board of Directors. The board aims to “represent student interests” and to approve spending funds. She also became the Outreach Director of the club IDEAS (Improving Dreams, Equality, Access, and Success). The purpose of this student club is “to provide a safe environment for the undocumented AB540 community on campus.”

In her neighborhood, she is part of the Westside Dream Team, which works to unite undocumented students in order to form a scholarship fund for education.

Since her illegal status prevents her from receiving government financial aid, the scholarship will help Magaña with her studies.