When Bertha Miranda isn't overseeing meal preparation in the kitchens of her eponymous restaurant in Reno, she is welcoming customers with a warm smile, chatting with diners, or promoting academic scholarships for liberal arts and Latino students.
The Miranda family will host "Bertha Miranda's Nostalgic Cultural Night," a fundraising dinner that kicks off at 6 p.m., Oct. 19, at Harrah's National Automobile Museum. Proceeds will benefit academic scholarships for University and Truckee Meadows Community College students.
"Education is a cornerstone for success and it is important to encourage student achievement and help them to realize their professional and personal dreams," Miranda said. "Through this event, I share with others those things which mean most to me - my family's recipes and my belief in academic success."
Miranda, a.k.a the first lady of Mexican food, established scholarships at the University and TMCC in 1996. Since then, 42 University students have received financial support to advance their education.
Miranda's scholarships support students pursuing a degree in the College of Liberal Arts, with a preference for students of Hispanic and Latino descent.
University Hispanic and Latino student enrollment is increasing. In 2007, the entering freshman class was nine percent Hispanic and Latino.
"We perform outreach in nontraditional venues including community centers and local churches, which increases opportunities for families of color to participate in decisions to prioritize a college education," said Steve Maples, University admissions director.