The Hispanic Heritage Awards Foundation (HHAF) launched its eighth annual search for the top Hispanic high school seniors in 12 regions in an effort to identify and promote the next generation of role models. Students can apply online at www.HispanicHeritageAwards.org. Applications are due February 11, 2005.
Students can apply to win a Gold or Silver Medallion in six categories: Academic Excellence, sponsored by Chase and MasterCard International, Community Service sponsored by Dr Pepper, Engineering & Mathematics sponsored by ExxonMobil, Healthcare sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline, Journalism sponsored by NBC Universal and Telemundo, and Sports sponsored by Subway. Southwest Airlines is once again the Official Airline of the Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards.
Gold Medallion winners will receive a $3,000 educational grant and a chance to be one of six National Award recipients. Last year, our National Award recipients received an additional $5,000, a laptop computer, and an all expense paid trip to Miami, FL and to Washington, DC, for the star studded Hispanic Heritage Awards, which aired on NBC and Telemundo television stations. Silver Medallion recipients will receive a $2,000 educational grant.
To qualify for the awards, each applicant must demonstrate an interest in the category to which they apply, in addition to excellence in academics and a commitment to community service. The candidates must also write an essay about the influence of their Hispanic heritage in their lives. Local selection committees are established in the 12 regions to choose the award recipients and, subsequently, special events are coordinated in every city in celebration of the Regional Youth Recipients’ achievements.
Beyond the Youth Awards, HHAF celebrates the outstanding achievements of Hispanic Americans and provides role models to inspire youth. For 19 years, the non-profit has annually honored five notable Hispanics who have distinguished themselves in the arts, sports, literature, education and leadership. Past Honorees have included Gloria Estefan, Ambassador Bill Richardson, Henry Cisneros, Celia Cruz, Andy Garcia, Dr. Antonia Novello, Sammy Sosa, Isabel Allende, Cristina Saralegui, Ricky Martin, Astronaut Dr. Ellen Ochoa, actor Martin Sheen, and Latino Leader Raul Izaguirre, among many others. The Hispanic Heritage Awards is the only program endorsed by 34 national Hispanic organizations, which serve as the nominating committee and host the event.