TAYLORSVILLE — Salt Lake Community College student Israel Santana recently received the 2015 Youthlinc Utah Young Humanitarian Award and a $5,000 scholarship.
The award recognizes Santana’s involvement for the past six years with the Mestizo Arts and Activism Collective, helping to empower youth on Salt Lake City’s west side to become community leaders.
In high school, he used poetry and photography to share his experiences growing up on the west side, where drug and gang activity in his community could have steered Santana from his academic path.
“If it hadn’t been for the Mestizo Arts and Activism Collective, I would have either been in prison or dead,” he said.
As a college student, he has been mentoring younger students about the value of education.
Santana’s plan is to finish at SLCC this fall and transfer to the University of Utah next spring.
Youthlinc is a service-based nonprofit in Utah. The annual scholarships of $5,000, $3,000 (runner-up), $1,000 (three awards) and $500 (five awards), are funded by the George S. & Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, the Robert D. Kent Jr. Trust, and by Shaun Michel.