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HHF to Honors Six High School Seniors at 20th National Youth Awards

Hispanic Heritage Foundation

For Immediate Release:February 4, 2019                         Contact: Jose Gonzalez;


Hosted at Telemundo Center and Featuring a Special Performance by Manu Manzo with Celebrities Presenting Awards including Chef Ingrid Hoffmann


MIAMI, FL – The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF), sponsors, community, and business leaders will honor six high school seniors from across the United States – including one from the Miami region – and a parent at the 20th Annual National Youth Awards on Thursday, February 7, at Telemundo Center, 1 Telemundo Way, Miami, FL (reception 7-8 p.m., ceremony 8-9 p.m.).  HHF will promote the students and the parent as role models through a national multi-media campaign (visit and #NationalYA on HHF’s social media platforms).  Singer-songwriter Manu Manzo will perform a special version of her song “Caminando” and celebrities including Chef and Hispanic Heritage Award honoree Ingrid Hoffman will present awards to the students.

The National Youth Awardees students were selected from hundreds of regional recipients and close to 13,000 applicants.  Students were chosen for their leadership in the classroom and community and for their focus on “priority” categories (see below for categories) and boast a collective 4.0 GPA with countless hours of community service.  In addition to receiving grants for their education or for a community-based project, each of the awardees will be flown to Miami for the ceremony by Southwest Airlines with their families and receive personalized styling from Macy’s.

Manu Manzo was born in Caracas, Venezuela and raised in Miami.  After attending Berklee College of Music, she released her first six-track EP titled Como Soy in 2015.  She collaborated in the composition with Tommy Torres, Luis Enrique, Alex Ubago, Elsten Torres, Cris Zalles and Carlos Perez-Soto.  The EP was nominated for “Best New Artist” at the Latin Grammy® Awards.  “Caminando” has earned more than 5 million views on You Tube and a new single and video will be released on February 15th.

“We are proud to honor another outstanding class of young Latino leaders who are already making an impact on our classrooms, communities and soon our workforce as well as a parent for their impact on their children’s and our community’s lives,” said Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO of HHF.  “We are grateful to our sponsors for their shared vision and support as we focus in what we consider priority areas for America. We are also thrilled to have the dynamic presence of Manu Manzo who is a role model in the public eye and will sing a unique take of her hit song “Caminando”.  It will be a very special evening.”

The National Youth Awardees and Parent Award include (see for full bios of students):

  • Business & Entrepreneurship, presented by BBVA Compass: Jaylen Barrientos-Collins, Greensburg, PA
  • Community Service, presented by Colgate-Palmolive Company: Claudia Hamilton, Copley, OH
  • Education, presented by Southwest Airlines: Belen Gad, Alpharetta, GA
  • Healthcare & Science, presented by CVS Health: Carol Alata, Clayton, CA
  • Media & Entertainment, presented by NBC Universal Telemundo: Alejandra Baptista, Cape Coral, FL
  • Technology & Engineering, presented by Google: Gabriela Rojas, Escondido, CA
  • Parent Award, presented by Pearson

Additional partners of the Youth Awards include: include Capital Wire, Congressional Hispanic Caucus

Institute, Crowell & Moring, EsTiempo, Havas FORMULATIN, Indie Desk, Macy’s, Student Research Foundation, UPS, VMe and YWCA.

The Youth Awards program is the main pipeline to HHF’s “eco-system” of talent that tracks, prepares and positions vetted Latino youth through the award-winning Latinos On Fast Track (LOFT) program as they transition from high school, to college and graduate school, and into their careers. Join and follow LOFT on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Hispanic Heritage Foundation

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation – a nonprofit established by the White House in 1987 – inspires, prepares, and connects minority leaders in the classroom, community, and workforce to meet America’s priorities.  HHF also promotes cultural pride, accomplishment, and the great promise of the community through public awareness campaigns seen by millions.  HHF is headquartered in Washington, DC, and Los Angeles with satellite workspaces in New York, Silicon Valley, San Antonio, and Miami (Visit



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