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Nat’l Youth Awards Brings Star-Studded Talent

Cynthia Pleitez

Marketing and Communications Strategist

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) and their sponsors hosted the 18th Annual National Youth Awards Ceremony Thursday, January 26th, in Miami, Florida!
Eight Latino high school seniors were flown out from across America by Southwest Airlines and accommodated at The Hilton Cabana in Miami Beach for an all-expenses paid trip   because of  their excellence in the classroom and community. The students were the top regional winners of 20,000 Latino youth applicants. The 8 winners were the top of their “priority fields” including Accounting (Clarissa, C) sponsored by PWC, Business & Entrepreneurship (Anthony A) sponsored by BBVA, Community Service (Henry R) sponsored by Colgate, Education (Maria S.) sponsored by Southwest Airlines, Engineering (Adheli), Healthcare & Science (Debora G) by CVS Health, Innovation & Technology (Julianna R) sponsored by ESA, and Media & Entertainment (Jonathan S) sponsored by NBC Universal Telemundo, Parent Award (Suyapa M.) sponsored by Learning Heroes.

Many surprise guests arrived in style including actor, journalist Candela Ferro, Willy Martin, actor Aaron Diaz, actor Khotan Fernandez, singer Diana Fuentes and performances by Grammy and Latin-Grammy nominated Locos Por Juana and Latin-Grammy nominated producer, Mr. Pauer.  The National Youth Awards wardrobe sponsor was Macy’s and winners enjoyed a complete day-of wardrobe makeover by Macy’s in days leading up to the event. Female winners also enjoyed the perk of a personal makeover by Bobbi Brown makeup artists.

Winners and sponsors enjoyed an evening of gala with friends, family while networking with media talent, entrepreneurs, Latino leaders and corporate sponsors. At the end of the jam-packed event, students hopped on stage to dance to the tunes of Locos Por Juana. The event will be broadcast on VME tv and announced on The Hispanic Heritage Foundation social media.
Hundreds of students received grants earlier this year and were presented with medallions by sponsors during ten Youth Awards Regional Ceremonies across the country. National winners were selected from about 20,000 applications that were collected in each of the markets. Markets included Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, San Jose, Phoenix, Washington, DC, New York City, Atlanta, and Miami. From there, one national recipient was selected in each of the eight categories.   Their average GPA is approximately a perfect 4.0 and they are on their way to top colleges.

These young Latino leaders are on a fast track to success and we are excited to have them be a part of our Latinos On Fast Track (LOFT) Network!

View our Photo Album here!