LOS ANGELES – Community leader Dionicio Morales led a group of five people honored by the Hispanic Outreach Taskforce at the 13th annual Positive Image Awards at the Omni Hotel in Los Angeles on Thursday. Also receiving Positive Image Awards were film producer Moctesuma Esparza, former Rio Hondo College President Rose Marie Joyce, financial planner and author Louis Barajas and Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Pete Espinosa. George Ramirez, vice president of Union Bank, was honorary chairman at the event; KABC reporter Sid Garcia served as master of ceremonies. “The purpose is to promote education in the Latino family and to identify possible role models for our youth,” said Mary Romero, executive director of HOT. Morales of Pico Rivera was an activist in the 1960s and began his career fighting on behalf of farm workers during the brasero era. In 1963, he founded the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation to provide job training and social services to low-income Mexican Americans. Esparza was recognized with the entertainment award. Some of his films include “The Milagro Beanfield War” in 1988, “Selena” in 1997, and most recently “Walkout,” based on the 1968 East L.A. walkouts. Barajas, winner in the business category, is a nationally recognized expert on small-business issues. Joyce and Espinosa were recognized for their many outstanding contributions to the local Latino community. HOT was established in 1989 with Romero being one of the founders. “I had lived in Whittier for 20 years and I knew of a lot of resources that people couldn’t access,” Romero said. “We felt compelled to help them out.” HOT activities include health fairs, parent education conferences and scholarships for local youth. This year, HOT awarded 13 $1,000 scholarships to high school students in the Whittier and Rio Hondo College areas. For the first time they also awarded scholarships to students starting their second year in college. This year’s scholarship recipients were: Daisy Arias, Pioneer High; Elizabeth Belman, Pioneer High; Bruno Benavides, La Serna High; Cory Calderon, La Serna High; Jenevieve Chavira, California High; Elizabeth Gutierrez, Santa Fe High; Ana Hernandez, Santa Fe High; Justin Ibey, California High; Ian Jimenez, Whittier High; Maria Padilla, El Rancho High; Giovanni Quevado, Whittier High; Vanessa Rios, California High; and David Talavera, El Rancho High. College students receiving scholarships were: Jessica Carrillo, UCLA/Whittier High School, $5,000; and Sonia Guevara, Whittier College/La Serna High School, $3,000. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!