Graduating senior Luis E. Chavez, recipient of 2020 Janessa Ramirez scholarship


$2,500 is granted to qualifying seniors in the Central Unified school district to help keep Janessa's memory alive

FRESNO, California (KSEE/KGPE) – Six students were chosen to receive the Janessa Ramirez scholarship from the Foundation at Central Schools.  Today, we feature Luis E. Chavez, one of the exceptional students receiving the award in remembrance of Janessa Ramirez.

It’s been five years since Janessa Ramirez was caught in a crossfire shooting at a laundromat in West Central Fresno, leading to her death.  The tragedy gave rise to an annual scholarship in her name, granting $2,500 to qualifying seniors in the Central Unified School District to help keep Janessa’s memory alive. 

“Janessa was a very inspiring girl.  I think that seeing the way that Central’s Foundation has helped fund these kids is really important and I think than if it was just money being handed to them,” said Luis E. Chavez, who’s a senior in the Central Unified School District.

Handouts aren’t something Luis is familiar with as he’s worked up a long list of hard-earned achievements that put him at the top of the class.  He’s ranked number one out of 698 students.

“We were very impressed with your application.  You’re going to go far, we all know that with everything we’ve seen.  So on behalf of the Foundation, congratulations Luiz, you have just received $2,500 bucks for your collegiate career and go far, please,” Joe Doyland of the Foundation for Central Schools said.

Luis will be a first generation college student and writes in an essay, “Everything I have, I earned and everything I’ve learned, I’ve actively seeked out.”

“I really appreciate my family helping me through this process of helping me encourage my academic career.  I’m really grateful towards the Foundation, Central’s Foundation, for offering this scholarship in honor of Janessa Ramirez and helping out students like me achieve their dreams and help further their academic progress.  I appreciate all the wonderful teachers at Central. I just think of those moments where they really helped me out and they gave me the drive to go forward.” 

Luis chose the University of California, Berkeley to pursue a bio-engineering career.

With this year’s scholarship awards, the Foundation’s total awards are $60,000. 

For more information about the Janessa Ramirez Scholarship Awards & Virtual Event visit or visit them on Facebook @foundation4central

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