Cheers West Edition


Wave Staff Report

Debbie Allen –– an American actress, singer, choreographer, television producer and more — was honored for being a positive public role model.

Presented by L.A. Focus, a newspaper that covers African-American issues, Allen received the Icon Award during the annual First Ladies High Tea Sept. 8 recognizing the artist’s decades of work on and off screen.

Allen, who was born in Houston, is a Howard University alumna and taught choreography to former Los Angeles Laker dancer-turned-singer Paula Abdul.

Beverly Cole

Beverly Cole, chief executive officer for a family-owned real estate company, recently was elected to the Bank OZK board of directors.

Bank OZK, headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas, conducts banking operations nationally and has billions in total assets.

Cole earned her bachelor’s degree from Boston University before attending Fordham University School of Law and the Wharton School for a master’s in business administration.

Maria Manjarrez

Maria Manjarrez, a junior at the University of Southern California, recently was appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown to the California Student Aid Commission, which supplies aid to state vocational schools and universities.

Manjarrez, a first-generation college student, transferred from Pasadena City College to USC, which she described as her dream school.

She has researched homelessness on Skid Row, interned for U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu and spent last summer in New York working at a political consulting firm.

Compiled by Dorany Pineda.

Cheers! features the everyday accomplishments of everyday people in South Los Angeles. To submit an item, send an email (with picture) to