Scholarship Grants

Concilio attends every high school senior awards night to give multiple scholarships. Concilio serves numerous schools in Yolo County: Woodland HS, Pioneer HS, Cache Creek Continuation HS, Davis HS, Da Vinci Charter School, King HS, Esparto HS, Winters HS, River City HS, Yolo HS and Delta HS. Concilio also provides scholarships to college students attending Woodland Community College and UC Davis.

They also give scholarships to the Balet Folklorico Latino de Woodland, and to other organizations that support scholarships.

Assistance to the Neediest in Yolo County

Programs that help this segment of the population include: CommuniCare Health Centers, Elderly Nutrition Program, Yolo Food Bank, Empower Yolo (The Center for Families) Davis Community Meals, STEAC, Mexican Open, Yolo Interfaith Immigration Network (YIIN), National Coalition of Hispanic Organizations,Cesar Chavez Youth Leadership Conference, UFW, National Council de la Raza and others.

Press Releases

Yolo County Concilio 32nd Anniversary Dinner


The Yolo County Concilio awarded 14 students with scholarships for academic excellence and school community service. The Concilio also awarded nine county individuals for Community Service Recognition Awards.


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Yolo County Concilio 30th Anniversary Dinner


On Saturday night at the Woodland Community and Senior Center, the Yolo County Concilio celebrated its 30th anniversary giving out awards to community members and leaders and scholarships to 14 local area high school students.

(Please note due to a scheduling conflict, Delta High School Students were not at the event to receive their award).

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30th Annual Concilio of Yolo County awards scholarships, honors those making a difference

The Woodland Community Center gymnasium was transformed into a dining hall Saturday night, bringing nearly 500 people together to recognize student achievement and county leadership.

In what has become a hallmark of supporting multi-cultural collaboration, the 30th Annual Concilio Recognition Dinner and Dance featured praise for 10 adults and scholarships for 14 high-achieving students from seven county high schools.

For three decades, Concilio of Yolo County has worked to provide assistance to low-income local residents — a mission culminating in the Concilio Recognition Dinner/Dance and Scholarship Fundraiser.

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30th Annual Concilio of Yolo County honors community leaders, raises scholarship funds


The Concilio of Yolo County holds its 30th annual Recognition Dinner and Scholarship Fundraiser on Saturday, Oct. 25, and the event is moving to a new and more spacious location: the Woodland Community and Senior Center, 2001 East St. in Woodland.

"It's a beautiful building, just a few years old," said Rick Gonzales Jr., who volunteers hundreds of hours organizing this annual event. "The kitchen still feels new … our caterers are ecstatic. And it's got more room that we've ever had before."

Which is a good thing, because the annual Concilio dinner now draws more than 400 people — a veritable cross-section of Yolo County's movers and shakers. What began as a dinner/fundraiser primarily targeting the Latino community has gradually expanded into a larger event that includes participants from African-American, Asian and Anglo backgrounds.

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Concilio also supports the Migrant Summer Soccer league. These games are played during July and August. Teams have coaches, uniforms and are co-educational. Those migrant centers are located in Davis, Dixon, Madison and Winters. Additonal teams are in Woodland and Knights Landing. This league culminates with a final tournament that is played at the Rick Gonzales Sr. Park in Woodland each year. The Migrant Summer Soccer League is operated and supported by the following organizations: Yolo Housing, the Yolo Inter-Faith Immigration Network (YIIN), the Yolo Family Resources Center (YFRC), the Health Education Council and the Concilio of Yolo County.

29th Annual Concilio Recognition Dinner/Dance & Scholarship Fundraiser


Saturday, October 19, 2013 marked the 29th annual Concilio Recognition Dinner/Dance & Scholarship Fundraiser where the proceeds from the event go to scholarships to help provide assistance to low-income local residents go to college.

Those being recognized this year include: Landy Black and G Richard Yamagata with the Board of Directors Award; Bob Ekstrom of the Yolo Family Resource Center and Marge Lee of CommuniCare Health Centers with the Community Award; Marlene Bell of CTA and Sandra Olszewski, a teacher at Woodland High School with the Education Award; owners Richard Cruz and Ismael Resendiz of Master Tech of Woodland with the Business Award; Norma Alcala with the PilarAndrade Award and Carlos Alcala with the Rick Gonzales Sr. Award.
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27th Annual Concilio Award 14 Students with Scholarships
Written by David Greenwald

Saturday marked the 27th annual Yolo County Concilio Recognition Dinner and Scholarship Fundraiser. On this evening, 10 members of the community were awarded for their work and 14 Latino Students from seven high schools across Yolo County received a scholarship.

The proceeds from the event on Saturday night will go toward awarding scholarships to deserving Latino and other students in June. Two years ago they awarded eighty scholarships. They also fund 30 adult grants and non-profit program sponsorships in Yolo County.

The event was hosted by Viviana Paez, the Mistress of the Ceremony, the News Anchor from Univision 19.
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Teaching Moments

Honoring the Life and Family of Rick Gonzales Sr.
By Adrienne Monroe

Rick Gonzales Sr. was born in Saguache, Colorado in 1919 and raised in Elko, Nevada.  He was drafted into World War II, as was the case for a disproportionate number of minorities back then.  Still, he would proudly serve his country in Okinawa in the Pacific campaign.  As anyone in the military will tell you, regulation haircuts are a regular occurrence.  But back in those days, just getting a haircut wasn’t exactly easy.  Latinos in Woodland would have to drive all the way to Sacramento for a haircut because barbershops in town would not serve them.  Recognizing the absurdity of this, and upon his Honorable Discharge from the military, Rick Gonzales enrolled in barber school in San Francisco where he met his wife, Angela Duran.  Together they had four sons, LaVerne, Garry, Rick Jr. and Jerry.

Barber school would soon prove to be far more than a career decision; it was a move that would open Rick’s eyes and begin his lifelong journey as an agent for change for many Latinos throughout Woodland and Yolo County.  In 1953, Rick’s Top Hat barbershop was open for business in Woodland and it wasn’t long before the community realized that not only was Rick pretty good with a straight razor, but he was a good listener and a true friend as well.  Though English was his first language, he learned to speak Spanish and soon the barbershop became a central hub of information on political and social issues.

Rick and Angela knew that women in the community would also be an important component for bringing about social and political justice.  Angela opened the Velvet Touch Beauty Salon.  Many Latinos in leadership positions today were once the small children found hanging around the barbershop or the beauty salon asking questions, and finding inspiration to go out and change the world.  Rick called these critical moments with people, “teaching moments.”  And so it was as generations of people, who thought they were just going in for a haircut, came out with a new lease on life.

Giving a voice to the “voiceless” and restoring hope to the disenfranchised of all races was Rick’s destiny.  He had a natural talent for analyzing problems and though he came within just a few votes of victory, when Rick ran for City Council, Sacramento’s first Latino Mayor Joe Serna himself came to help him.  His innate leadership qualities naturally placed his as Chairman of many boards and commissions upon which he served.  He was the Youth Group President for the Pan American Club, Chairman of the Park and Recreation Commission, the only person in Yolo County to receive the prestigious Liberty Bell Award from the Yolo County Bar Association twice, a member of the Grand Jury, one of the founding members of the Concilio of Yolo County and Chairman of the Economic Opportunity Commission’s War On Poverty.  Just to name a few.

A life-long friend in the 70’s, David Armendariz, gave Rick the nickname “The Godfather” because he was involved in just about everything and truly embraced people as his own family.  In fact, he would often introduce people as relatives when there was no blood relation, but to Rick this did not matter.  He loved them and he claimed them. 

Just as he loved and claimed members of the community as his own family, shortly before his passing, his community claimed him.  And they wanted him to know it. While it is customary to name public buildings after someone who is deceased, in 2004, the Yolo County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to name the Department of Employment and Social Services building in honor of the many contributions he gave to the people of Yolo County and to humanity.  It was the last ceremony he would ever attend.

Rick Gonzales Sr. and his entire family, made many sacrifices of discretionary family time and income along the way.  Hundreds of deserving students were guided toward the path of financial aid and professional success.  Hundreds more received letters of recommendation to help them get good jobs.  Now Rick Jr. continues the important work started by his father many years ago with the Concilio.  When asked to give five words to describe his father, Rick Jr. replied, “Dedication, Leadership, Equality for All, Compassionate, Negotiator.”  Rick’s wife Angela was at his side helping him even in his final days, comforted by the outpouring of untold stories and gratitude from hundreds who came forward to tell how her husband made a difference for them.

There is still much work to be done and now it is up to the next generation of leaders.  Today 32% of Californians are Latino and 1 in 3 are living at or below the poverty line.  If one man in a barbershop could do so much to change his world, always making time for those “teaching moments,” just think of what is possible for young people today.


Grantee Testimonials

Ana Rivera

I am extremely grateful and honored to have received this scholarship.