First Annual Gustavo Gomez Diaz Memorial Scholarship

Amount of Scholarship: One (1) $1,000 award

Purpose: This is the first annual Gustavo Gomez Diaz Memorial Scholarship setup to honor Gustavo’s memory, and continue his desire for fighting for social justice. Although this is a newly established scholarship, it is the hope of Gustavo’s friends & family that his legacy live on through others whom share similar desires in fighting for social justice. The intent of this scholarship is to help inspire Hispanic youth to become leaders and stand up for social justice and equality.

Gustavo Gomez Diaz was born near the city of Guadalajara, Mexico in 1959. At the age of 8 years old, Gustavo’s parents immigrated to the United States in search of a better future. His family ultimately settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1969. As an adult, he joined the Milwaukee Iron Workers Local 8 Union. He had pride as well as a strong passion for the work he did and was very proud to have worked on projects such as Miller Park and repair work at the Mitchell Park Domes (pictured below). Unfortunately, when Gustavo was young and his family immigrated to the United States, immigration laws were lax compared to today’s current legal climate and he did not seek naturalization for himself. Later in life, Gustavo was imprisoned for several years whereupon his immigration status came into question. Gustavo’s time in prison, and his struggle with immigration laws galvanized him and motivated him to volunteer in the Catholic Church as well as to participate and give speeches on behalf of social justice programs. Gustavo’s trials and tribulations, his passion for his work, his willingness to help others, and his desires to be a better person earned him many friendships throughout the years. Ultimately, and after several years of legal battles, Gustavo was deported back to Mexico in 2008. Throughout the years, many of Gustavo’s friends came to his side to try to help him in any way they could because he had done the same for so many others. The friendships that Gustavo had were a shining example that no matter your race, the language you speak, or your socioeconomic background, our willingness to help each other is what unites us. When Gustavo was deported, he was 49 years old, had decades working as an iron worker, and most importantly he had raised his entire family here in the United States. In 2010, while deported, Gustavo passed away in a tragic car accident in Guadalajara, Mexico. At the time of his death he had high hopes of returning to his family and continuing to fight even harder for social justice and equality here in the United States of America.

Scholarship Award: One (1) $1,000 scholarship will be awarded for the 2020-2021 academic year. Winners will be notified in early September and announced at the Voces de La Frontera Gala.

Eligibility Criteria:

-Must submit an essay expressing your interests in social justice as outlined below.

-Must be Hispanic and a member of the Voces de la Frontera’s “YES!” Program (Youth Empowered in the Struggle)

-Must be a high school/GED graduate who will enroll for the first time in an accredited college or university in Wisconsin for the 2020-2021 academic year. Proof of enrollment must be submitted after scholarship award winner is selected.

-Undocumented students are welcome and encouraged to apply for the scholarship (Please note, this scholarship does not require any proof of citizenship or permanent residency)

Essay Requirements:

  • Write an essay discussing your interest in social justice including some of the initiatives you have participated in, some of the initiatives you would like to be a part of in the future, your dreams or ideas regarding social justice and equality, and/or how social issues have impacted your life. This is intended to be an open-ended essay, please feel free to express any thoughts or ideas.
  • Essays will be reviewed by a panel of three (3) judges and awarded to the student whom the judges feel has the highest interest in social justice.
  • Entries should contain a between 1,500 to 3,000 words. Please type essay double spaced with 12-point Arial font.
  • Audio essays between 3:00 to 5:00 minutes may also be submitted instead of written essays if a student prefers.
  • The above written/audio essay lengths are guidelines only. Essays that are shorter or longer than the guidelines above will not be penalized.
  • Essays may be submitted in either English or Spanish.
  • Submit PDF’s of essays to
  • The deadline for entries is September 21ST, 2020.

Gustavo Cantoral, the nephew of Gustavo Gomez, serves as the coordinator for the Scholarship and will serve as one of the three essay judges. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact:

Gustavo Cantoral – Gustavo Gomez Diaz Memorial Scholarship Coordinator

Phone: 414-554-5735

You may request a copy of this application at:

Gustavo Gomez Diaz Memorial Scholarship Application Cover Sheet
First Name 
Last Name 
Desired Major 
Desired School 
Phone Number 
Essay format you are submitting:
Written (or)
*Please follow the essay requirements outlined on Page 2.  Attach this cover sheet to your essay application.