The Hispanic Heritage Foundation Youth Awards program makes it easier for Latino students to access college and advance along their professional paths. This is the case of Elisa Juarez, 2001 award winner in the Miami region.
The Youth Awards was founded in 1998 by the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF), and over the past 20 years, the program has awarded nearly three thousand grants, and 100 percent of recipients have moved on to college.
Elisa Juarez, for instance, is one of the successful recipients who has excelled in her professional and academic life after receiving the award. In 2001 when she was a senior at Coral Reef High School in Miami, she was honored with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation Youth Award in the science and technology category.
The Youth Awards honor Latino high school seniors who excel in the classroom and community as Elisa did. The awardees receive grants for their education or an idea or community project. “While in high school, I did community service projects and was deeply involved in science projects with a local university and Jackson Memorial Hospital. I applied for the award and received the educational grant that helped me go to university,” Elisa remembers.
The Youth Awards take place in 10 regions across the country, and awardees are selected from thousands of applicants for their excellence in various categories including Business & Entrepreneurship, Community Service, Education, Healthcare & Science, Media & Entertainment, and Technology & Engineering. The average GPA for the students is nearly 4.0.
Elisa graduated with honors from Brown University with a dual degree in biology and Latin American studies.
Later, she got deeply involved in building resilient and thriving communities through corporate social responsibility (CSR), went to graduate school and got an MBA from the IAE Business School with coursework in social entrepreneurship and CSR. Now, she works for Target in the Corporate Social Responsibility Division.
Elisa has kept a close relationship with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation since she received the Youth Award. In the past, she managed HHF’s award-winning Latinos on Fast Track (LOFT) workforce development program and currently sits on the national board and acts as one of the main advisers to the president.
The 2018 recipients who have been selected from a pool of almost 13,000 applicants will become part of the HHF leadership cycle in which they will have the opportunity to be mentored by past awardees.
“The most important thing about the award, in addition to the recognition and the scholarship, is to be part of this great family that is passionate to help their community and that invests in the future of young Latinos,” she says.
And she concluded, “It is important to remember that the future is Latino, that is why we invite young people who identify with our culture, who have a passion for their community and wish to move on professionally, to be part of our family and to get involved in our projects. Through their voice, we can achieve the changes we need in this country.”
If you want to apply for the 2019 Youth Award, please visit www.hhfyouthawards.com.
Haz clic para leer en Español: Ofrecen becas a estudiantes latinos que desean ir a la universidad