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WASHINGTON, DC (April 16, 2012) – Applications for the 2012 Youth Awards are now closed. Good luck to all of Latino high school juniors across America who applied. Recipients will be contacted over the upcoming months and details concerning each regional ceremony will also be release. William Levy, who is the official spokesperson for the 2012 Youth Awards, was part of a national public awareness campaign in both English and Spanish.

HHF President and CEO Jose Antonio Tijerino said, “As the fastest growing segment of the population it is important we meet America’s priorities in the education, community and workforce.  Beyond celebrating the young leaders, they are funneled into our ‘leadership cycle’ which will put them on a fast track for leadership in the classroom, community and workforce.  But it starts with the Youth Awardees who embody the promising future of America.”

Recipients are selected for their accomplishments in the classroom and community, and for their focus on various categories (see below) and are awarded grants to be used for their college education or to fund a community service effort. The young leaders will also be positioned to serve as role models for their peers and offset negative stereotypes for Latinos.    

In each of the 10 regions, three students (Gold, Silver and Bronze) will be honored in various categories including those listed below (other categories can be added as sponsors are added).  The regions include: Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Jose/San Francisco Bay area, Phoenix, Chicago, Miami, New York/New Jersey/Philadelphia, and Washington, DC (new regions can be added as sponsors come onboard).  Students from across the USA can apply in the region nearest to their area of residence in an effort to ensure all Latino students have an opportunity for the Youth Awards. If selected, the students only have to attend the awards event to receive their award.

The 2012 Youth Awards categories are:

Business - BBVA Compass
Community Service - Sponsored by Southwest Airlines
Education - Sponsored by Target
Engineering & Mathematics - Sponsored by ExxonMobil            Healthcare - Sponsored by CVS Workforce Initiatives


In the fall (September – December), regional ceremonies with influential audiences and surprise speakers will take place in honor of the students and their families at top universities.  Host universities include: Rice University, University of Chicago, University of Southern California, Florida International University, Fordham University, Arizona State University, Stanford University, and Southern Methodist University.  After the regional ceremonies, the National Youth Awards will feature one national recipient in each of the categories and will celebrate the young leaders at a star studded event.

For more information, please visit:

After receiving the awards, the students – and applicants – will be funneled into HHF’s leadership cycle which includes: a Youth Speakers’ Bureau and Mi Mentors to inspire and guide younger Latinos; leadership training through LOFT (Latinos On Fast Track) Institute, and into the LOFT program which provides workforce development with a path in various industries. Please visit for a video featuring past Youth Awardees.

About the Hispanic Heritage Foundation

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation is a national leadership nonprofit organization, which identifies, inspires, promotes and prepares Latino leaders through educational, cultural and workforce programs. For more information, please visit


Roberto Callejas, 202.861.9797


To begin your application go to:


Postmarked Deadline: July 6, 2012.