Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza and Family Honor Mother’s Memory Through Designated Award
For Immediate Release: March 22, 2004
Contact: Kristen Habbestad, Public Affairs; (562) 860-2451, ext. 2287, ude.s1582485225otirr1582485225ec@da1582485225tsebb1582485225ahk1582485225
>NORWALK, CA –March 22, 2004 – Cerritos College Foundation announced today that it has established a new student scholarship thanks to a gift from the Honorable and Mrs. Peter Espinoza in memory of Judge Espinoza’s mother and long-time educator, Esther Espinoza. The Esther Espinoza Teacher TRAC scholarship will be given to a student in Cerritos College’s Teacher TRAC program, an accelerated teaching degree program enabling students to transfer to and graduate from Cal State Long Beach with their credentials and a position in ABC Unified School District within four years.
“My mother raised four kids and dedicated her whole life to the teaching profession,” said Judge Espinoza. “A scholarship on her behalf that is specifically designated for a student training to be a teacher is very fitting. This is our way of honoring her memory.”
Esther Espinoza spent 35 years teaching in the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District. She passed away in April 2003 at the age of 76 and is survived by her four children and six grandchildren.“Our purpose as a Foundation is to support students in reaching their goals through scholarship assistance,” said Foundation Chairperson Nick Van Hoogmoed. “It’s clear through her life’s story that Esther Espinoza dared to dream as an educator, and through this award, we get to support another dream – that of a student’s passion for educating others.”
Judge Espinoza, himself a Cerritos College graduate along with his three siblings, remembers that his mother always stressed education and encouraged him to have direction in his life. She urged him to do his best and championed education as a way to accomplish one’s goals.
The Honorable Peter Espinoza currently serves as a judge for the Superior Court in Norwalk. He received his A.A. degree from Cerritos College, transferring to San Francisco State University where he received his B.A. and in 1980 graduated from the UCLA School of Law.
Judge Espinoza has served on the Bench since 1990 and, since 1997, has served as a judge for the Superior Court. He is actively involved in the “Access First” program that sends offenders back to school in lieu of incarceration. Judge Espinoza works with Cerritos College in this capacity and also as a board member for the Cerritos College Foundation. Dyanna, his wife, is also a graduate of Cerritos College and serves as an adjunct professor at Biola University.
The Cerritos College Foundation, a non-profit organization, serves as a charitable vehicle for the community, individuals and alumni, to assist with financial support of Cerritos College beyond that which state funding supports. Visit the Foundation online at www.cerritos.edu/ccf.
For nearly 50 years, Cerritos College has served as a comprehensive community college for southeastern Los Angeles County communities including Artesia, Bellflower, Cerritos, Downey, Hawaiian Gardens, Lakewood, La Mirada and Norwalk. The college offers degrees and certificates in more than 180 areas of study in nine divisions. Annually, more than 1,200 students successfully complete their course of studies, and enrollment currently surpasses 24,000 students. Visit Cerritos College online at www.cerritos.edu.