From left: GIMS founder Taly Haffar, Edith Rodriguez, Woodrow teacher Marjorie Shaw, Kevin Gomez, Yadira Leon, GIMS board member Lindsey Galbraith

Back in 2006, we wrote about the first Gustavo Ipina Memorial Scholarship, and the prosecutor who was so affected by this Woodrow Wilson High School student’s story — the first in his family headed to college until his life tragically was cut short by a road rage incident — that he created a memorial scholarship in his name for other students like Gustavo.

Fast forward five years, and former Dallas assistant district attorney Taly Haffar now works as a federal prosecutor for the U.S. Department of Justice, and he still remembers Gustavo each spring with a memorial scholarship, supported by numerous fundraisers throughout the year (including one this Saturday; find details below). The GIMS fund has awarded seven scholarships in six years, totaling $35,000, and each given to a Woodrow ESL student. Most years only one student receives the $5,000 scholarship; a couple of years, two students have been recipients.

This year, the GIMS fund gave $5,000 to three students, pictured at left. (One of the students, Edith Rodriguez, was featured in our May cover story.)

“It was really difficult this year,” Haffar says. “After narrowing down to three kids, we kept going back and forth on who to give it to. Finally, I decided since we have the money, let’s give it to all three.

“Each are amazing young people with bright futures in front of them. One wishes to become a nurse, another a business owner and the third hopes study law and prosecute domestic violence cases in the future.  All three students have maintained excellent grade point averages while volunteering countless hours in the East Dallas community, as well as working to help their families in these difficult economic times. … Times are tough, and if there has ever been a need for our youth to enter higher education, it is now.”

The 6-9 p.m. fundraiser this Saturday, May 21, is “Deep in the HeART of Texas“, a reception (cash bar and hors d’oeuvres) and art auction to raise money for the GIMS fund at Quality Art House, 2910 Commerce in Deep Ellum.

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