Hispanic Heritage Foundation Honors 15 DC Area High School Seniors

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) today announced the recipients of the Washington, DC Regional Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards. 15 local high school seniors will be honored for their leadership in the classroom and community, and promoted as role models during a ceremony on Capitol Hill. In commemoration of the 15th Anniversary of the Youth Awards, the ceremony will spotlight past Youth Awardees and special guests in attendance.

The Youth Awardees will receive grants for either their education, or to fund an idea or community project to encourage "actionable leadership," which is HHF's call to action. Recipients will then be mentored by past Youth Awardees as they prepare and attend college and into their careers through HHF's award-winning Latinos On Fast Track (LOFT) workforce development program. The Youth Awards are taking place in 10 regions across the country with 150 Youth Awardees being selected from thousands of applicants. The average GPA for the students is nearly a 4.0.

"We are thrilled to honor yet another class of outstanding young Latino leaders from Washington, D.C. who will certainly make an impact on our communities and workforce as they move forward in their careers," said Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO, HHF. "We also applaud the vision of our sponsors as they share our focus in supporting what we consider priority fields for America. We believe these are the young leaders of today, not tomorrow and frankly, we can't afford to wait. I will say that after 15 years of Youth Awards, there is no shortage of top, young, Latino talent."

Business & Entrepreneurship, sponsored by BBVA Compass:

Gold: Christian Alfaro - Richard Montgomery High School, Silver Spring, MD

Silver: Maria Reyes-Chian - Chantilly High School, Fairfax, VA

Bronze: Ana Ortez-Riviera - Eleanor Roosevelt High School, Greenbelt, MD

Education, sponsored by Southwest Airlines (Official Airlines of the Youth Awards):

Gold: Paolo Laure - Montgomery Blair High School, Silver Spring, MD

Silver: Aryana Bolourian - Walt Whitman High School, Bethesda, MD

Bronze: Mateo Carrasco - Westfield High School, Centreville, VA

Engineering & Mathematics, sponsored by ExxonMobil:

Gold: Andre Guzman - Poolesville High School, Gaithersburg, MD

Silver: Carolina Zarate - Poolesville High School, Germantown, MD

Bronze: TAyler Evans - Middletown High School, Middletown, MD

Healthcare Science, sponsored by CVS Caremark Workforce Initiatives:

Gold: Crystal Escolero - Walt Whitman High School, Bethesda, MD

Silver: Alexander Lopez - Walt Whitman High School, Bethesda, MD

Bronze: Nicolas Freeman - Stone Bridge High School, Ashburn, VA

Innovation & Technology, sponsored by Entertainment Software Association:

Gold: Megan Krest - Forest Park High School, Montclair, VA

Silver: Nicholas Franco - Washington Lee High School, Arlington, VA

Bronze: Nico Dominguez - Yorktown High School, Arlington, VA

One of the 15 recipients will receive an additional $500 grant and nutritional products through a special Fitness & Nutrition recognition by Herbalife for being sound not just in mind but in body.

Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) and Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) will also be recognizing Irasema Salcido, CEO & Founder of Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools, with the Hispanic Heritage Innovative Educator Award, sponsored by Qlovi, for her work in the Washington DC area.

After the regional ceremonies, the 150 Regional Youth Awards recipients will be narrowed to one National Youth Award recipient for each of the five categories and celebrated at the National Youth Awards presentation along with celebrities who are being recognized for being role models. National Awardees will also receive a laptop computer and all-expense-paid trip to the ceremony (location TBD).

Additional sponsors of the Youth Awards include UPS, Transamerica (Official Insurance Company), Discovery en Español, AT&T It Can Wait Campaign, and Crowell & Moring LLP. National partners include: Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS), Cesar Chavez Foundation, City Year, Jefferson Awards, LatinPointe, NRCCUA, OCI Group, Qlovi, Saber Es Poder, and Voto Latino. HHF also partners with thousands of high schools, colleges, community organizations, media outlets and business partners on the program.




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