September 20, 2002

The Hispanic Heritage Awards Foundation Honors National Winners of the Youth Awards

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Hispanic Heritage Awards Foundation (HHAF) will honor the six National Winners of the Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards —who each received $5,000 for their education and a laptop computer— at a press conference and televised award ceremony on September 20, 2002.

Hispanic Heritage Youth Award winners (from left to right): Jesse Rodriguez, Linda Chavira Moreno, Karen Sosa, Nancy Fernandez, Leslie Sanchez, and Brandon Garcia.

Previously, they were honored at an event in Miami that featured Emilio Estefan, Talk-Show Host Cristina Saralegui, Miami Heat Head Coach Pat Riley and new HHAF Chairman Dr. Pedro Jose (Joe) Greer. The Hispanic College Fund provided an additional $2,000 educational grant to each winner through their Affinity program. In Washington, they will be celebrated at the star-studded Hispanic Heritage Awards celebration on Sept. 20 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, which will be televised on NBC stations Oct. 12.

“As we announce the National Winners of the Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards, we celebrate the ‘best of the best,’” said Greer, who was formally announced at HHAF Chairman of the Board in Miami. “Not just as role models for Hispanic youth, but for all youth. Their Hispanic ancestry is just one of many rich heritages that make up this great nation of America. In Washington, we celebrate these impressive young people as we get a glimpse into the great future our nation has in store.”

The 2002 National Winners of the Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards are:

 Brandon Garcia (National Winner for Leadership/Community Service sponsored by Dr. Pepper) from Jesuit College Prep in Dallas

 Jesse Rodriguez (National Winner for Literature/Journalism sponsored by NBC) from South Miami Senior High School in Miami

 Karen Sosa (National Winner for Academic Excellence sponsored by JP Morgan Chase and MasterCard International) from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in the Greater-Washington, DC-Area

 Leslie Sanchez (National Winner for Science & Technology sponsored by Microsoft) from Lane Technical College Prep High School in Chicago

 Linda Moreno (National Winner for Sports sponsored by Hispanic Heritage Awards Foundation) from San Marcos High School in San Diego

 Nancy Fernandez (National Winner for Mathematics sponsored by the Exxon Mobil Corporation) from Loyola High School in New York.

“I applaud the sincere commitment of our sponsors,” said HHAF Executive Director Antonio Tijerino. “They share in our mission of promoting Hispanic excellence and providing role models—especially peer role models through our Youth Awards. There is no greater inspiration to a young person than another young person that succeeds in the classroom and community. The 2002 Winners of the Hispanic Heritage National Youth Award will carry on the exemplary tradition of past winners. It takes a collective effort to promote education and high standards as vehicles for success in an effort to break the vicious circle brought on by a lack of resources in the Hispanic community. Parents, teachers, community leaders and our corporate partners play an integral role in the future of these outstanding young people, who will surely be tomorrow’s leaders.”

Identifying and nurturing the next generation of Hispanic role models and leaders has been a special focus for HHAF since they created the Youth Awards in 1998, with the Fannie Mae Foundation. The concept was to promote the Youth Award winners as role models to their peers.

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