16th Annual DC Regional Youth Awards Honor Latino High School Seniors

Congressman John Delaney (D-MD) and Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) expected to attend in support of award-winning constituents.


Washington, DC [CapitalWirePR] December 10, 2014 – The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) and its sponsors will honor 21 Latino high school seniors from the DC region for their accomplishments in the classroom, community and their focus on various categories during the 16th Annual DC Regional Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards on December 9 at the Rayburn House Office Building.

HHF will also promote the young leaders as role models for their peers through social media as they move forward to college and provide them with grants, which can be used for their education or social entrepreneurship to support their leadership for years to come.  Past Youth Awardees will join elected officials, educators, community and business leaders, and families in celebration of the students’ achievement.

After the Regional Youth Awards Ceremonies in 10 markets, one recipient will be chosen in each of the categories to attend the National Youth Awards in San Juan, Puerto Rico in January 2015 with celebrities.  (Recipients’ average GPA is over a 3.5).

The Youth Awards Ceremony took place at the Rayburn House Office Building – Energy & Commerce Committee Room 2123.

Business & Entrepreneurship – sponsored by BBVA Compass

  • Gold: Jenna Ramirez, James Hubert Blake High School
  • Silver: Axia Nicolle Hernandez, Gaithersburg High School
  • Bronze: Lisette Obando Pardo, Fairfax High School

Community Service – sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive Company

  • Gold: Santiago Paul Jauregui, Centreville High School
  • Silver: Alicia Rodriguez, Fairfax High School
  • Bronze: Flor Jasmin Chavez, JEB Stuart High School

Education – sponsored by Southwest Airlines

  • Gold: Sophia Marie Caldera, Walt Whitman High School
  • Silver: Andrew Joseph Suarez, James W. Robinson, Jr. Secondary School
  • Bronze: Michelle Luna-Victoria, JEB Stuart High School

Engineering & Mathematics – sponsored by ExxonMobil

  • Gold: Laura Vazquez-Bolanos, Tuscarora High School
  • Silver: Matias Moreno, Washington-Lee High School
  • Bronze: Natalie Diaz, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

Healthcare & Science – sponsored by CVS Health

  • Gold: Karla Rivas, New Town High School
  • Silver: Jessica Statler, Academy of the Holy Cross
  • Bronze: Miguel Portillo, Capital City Public Charter School

Innovation & Technology – sponsored by Entertainment Software Association

  • Gold: Chris Michael Issing, Wilbert Tucker Woodson High School
  • Silver: Emily Samuels, Gaithersburg High School
  • Bronze: Diana Katerina Carney, Lake Braddock Secondary School

Sports & Fitness – sponsored by NASCAR

  • Gold: Emily DeVilliers, Riverend High School
  • Silver: Diego Zarate, Northwest High School
  • Bronze: Alexander Corbett, Lake Braddock Secondary School

“The Hispanic Heritage Foundation is looking forward to another group of young leaders from the DC area that we can count on for the future and right now,” said Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO of HHF.  “We want don’t want to simply honor the outstanding students but more importantly put them in a position from which to lead.  Our model is to support innovative leaders to impact thousands of others in industries and fields which are priorities for America’s workforce. And we are grateful to our dedicated sponsors who also realize the importance of tapping a resource like our Latino youth to move not just our community but America forward.”

After receiving the awards, the students are funneled into HHF’s LOFT (Latinos On Fast Track) award-winning, leadership and workforce development program focused on 10 “Tracks” or fields including healthcare, science, technology, engineering, education, public service, entrepreneurship, media and entertainment, finance and Latinas.

Tens of thousands of students and young professionals are connected to each other through the LOFT Network;  thousands are prepared through trainings, priority-field-tailored symposia, workshops, and Charlas (online Google hangouts with experts); and hundreds are placed into internships, mentorships, fellowships and full-time positions with Fortune 500 companies and government agencies.  Join and follow LOFT on Facebook and Twitter.


Youth Awards Regional Ceremonies have taken place or will take place in:

Phoenix                            Oct. 21, 2014                    Arizona State University

Los Angeles                       Oct. 22, 2014                    University of Southern California

Miami                               Oct. 28, 2014                    University of Miami

Atlanta                            Nov. 18, 2014                    Georgia Tech University

Dallas                               Nov. 20, 2014                    Southern Methodist University

Chicago                            Nov. 24, 2014                    Loyola University

Houston                            Dec. 2, 2014                     University of Houston

San Jose                           Dec. 4, 2014                     Stanford University

Washington, DC                 Dec. 9, 2014                     Capitol Hill

New York                          Dec. 16, 2014                    Viacom

National Youth Awards         January 2014                     TBD


Additional partners of the Youth Awards include: UPS, PhRMA, Google, NRCCUA, Direct Auto Insurance, Rebuild the Dream, Qlovi, i.am.angel Foundation, OCI Group, Es Tiempo, and Voto Latino.


About the Hispanic Heritage Foundation

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation – a nonprofit established by the White House in 1987 – inspires, prepares, and connects minority leaders in the classroom, community and workforce to meet America’s priorities in 10 areas of focus.  HHF also promotes cultural pride, accomplishment, and the great promise of the community through public awareness campaigns seen by millions.  HHF is headquartered in Washington, DC, and has offices in Los Angeles, New York, Miami and the LOFT Institute is housed at Michigan State University (Visit www.HispanicHeritage.org).



About Ramón Jiménez

Ramón Jiménez, actual Managing Editor de MetroLatinoUSA. Periodista que cubre eventos de las comunidades latinas en Washington D.C., Maryland y Virginia. Graduado de la Escuela de Periodismo de la Universidad del Distrito de Columbia. Galardonado en numerosas ocasiones por parte de la Asociación Nacional de Publicaciones Hispanas (NAHP) y otras organizaciones comunitarias y deportivas de la región metropolitana de esta capital. También premiado en dos ocasiones como Mejor Periodista del Año por la cobertura de la comunidad salvadoreña; premios otorgados por la Oficina de Asuntos Latinos del Alcalde de Washington (OLA) y otras organizaciones. Ha sido miembro del jurado calificador en diferentes concursos literarios, de belleza y talento en la región metropolitana. Ha visitado zonas de desastre en Nicaragua, Honduras y El Salvador e invitado a esos países por organizaciones que asisten a personas de escasos recursos económicos. Antes trabajó en otros medios de prensa de Virginia y Washington, D.C., incluyendo reportajes para una agencia noticiosa mundial.

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