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HHF Regional Youth Awards @ Stanford

Hispanic Heritage Foundation



Students Receive Grants for Education or Community Project – Stanford University Hosted the Ceremony 


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) announced the recipients of the San Jose Regional Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards (see names below). Twenty-one local high school seniors will be honored for their leadership in the classroom and community during a ceremony at Stanford University; Paul Brest Hall, Munger Building 4, 555 Salvatierra Walk Stanford, CA 94305. In commemoration of the 17th anniversary of the Youth Awards, the ceremony will spotlight past Youth Awardees with special guests in attendance. To follow the Youth Awards Ceremony online, use the hashtag #YA15.


The Youth Awardees will receive grants for their education, or to fund an idea or community project to encourage “actionable leadership,” which is HHF’s call to action.  Recipients will then be mentored by past Youth Awardees as they prepare to attend college and into their careers through HHF’s award-winning Latinos On Fast Track (LOFT) workforce development program. The Youth Awards are taking place in 11 regions across the country with 231 Youth Awardees selected from thousands of applicants.  The average GPA for the students is nearly a 4.0.


“We are thrilled to honor yet another class of outstanding young Latino leaders from San Jose who will certainly make an impact on our communities and workforce as they move forward in their careers,” said Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO, HHF.  “We also applaud the vision of our sponsors as they share our focus in supporting what we consider priority fields for America.  We believe these are the young leaders of today, not tomorrow and frankly, we can’t afford to wait.  I will say that after 17 years of Youth Awards, there is no shortage of top, young, Latino talent.”


One of the 21 recipients will receive a special Leadership recognition by the United States Marines Corps for their leadership in the classroom and community. As a United States Marine, you must be able to “lead by example” and “make sound and timely decisions”. The student chosen exemplifies those qualities by maintaining a 3.50 minimum GPA while balancing extracurricular activities and inspiring others.


The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) will also recognize a teacher with the Hispanic Heritage Innovative Educator Award, sponsored by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence, for his or her achievements throughout their professional career.


After the regional ceremonies, the 231 Regional Youth Awards recipients will be narrowed to one National Youth Award recipient for each of the seven categories and celebrated at the National Youth Awards presentation along with celebrities who are recognized for being role models.  National Awardees will also receive a laptop computer and all-expense-paid trip to the ceremony (location TBD).


Additional sponsors of the Youth Awards include Direct Auto Insurance, UPS, and Crowell & Moring LLP. National partners include: Macy’s, The Raben Group, Saber Es Poder, and NCURA.  HHF also partners with thousands of high schools, colleges, community organizations, media outlets and business partners on the program.


2015 San Jose Regional Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards Recipients:


Business & Entrepreneurship, sponsored by BBVA Compass:

Gold: Jasmine Cardenas-Gonzalez, Everett Alvarez High School, Salinas, CA

Silver: Andrew Garcia Chavez, Mount Pleasant High School, San Jose, CA

Bronze: Jasmin Cazares, Armijo High School, Fairfield, CA


Community Service, sponsored by Colgate Palmolive:

Gold: Jacqueline Salas, Notre Dame High School, San Jose, CA

Silver: Alejandra Fraume Valencia, Gunderson High School, San Jose, CA

Bronze: Celssy Valencia Moran, Roseland University Prep, Santa Rose CA


Education, sponsored by Southwest Airlines (Official Airlines of the Youth Awards):

Gold: Gabriela Huerta, Half Moon Bay High School, Half Moon Bay, CA

Silver: Victoria Rubio, Ukiah High School, Ukiah, CA

Bronze: Stephanie Velasco, Peter Johansen High School, Modesto, CA


Engineering & Mathematics, sponsored by ExxonMobil:

Gold: Cristian Mendoza, Glacier High School Charter, Oakhurst, CA

Silver: Andrew Braun, Armijo High School, Fairfield, CA

Bronze: Jesus Cervantes, James C Enochs High School, Modesto, CA


Healthcare Science, sponsored by CVS Health:

Gold: Mathias Tevendale, University High School, Kingsburg, CA

Silver: Gage Marquez, Clovis East High School, Clovis, CA

Bronze: Jennifer Morales-Salazar, Mt. Pleasant High School, San Jose, CA


Innovation & Technology, sponsored by Entertainment Software Association:

Gold: Jorge Avelar-Lopez, Lionle Wilson College Prep Academy, Oakland, CA

Silver: Alejandro Hernandez, Middle College High School, San Pablo, CA

Bronze: Susana Cacho Lopez, Palo Alto Senior High School, Palo Alto, CA


Sports & Fitness, sponsored by Hispanic Heritage Foundation:

Gold: Lydia Ruiz, San Jose High School, San Jose, CA

Silver: Ashtyn Bracamonte, Central High School- East Campus, Fresno, CA

Bronze: Brianna Ruloma, Granda High School, Livermore, CA


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About Hispanic Heritage Foundation

Established by the White House in 1987, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation inspires, identifies, prepares and positions Latino leaders in the classroom, community and workforce to meet America’s priorities as well as promote cultural pride, accomplishment and the great promise of Latinos.  HHF is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization and all support is tax deductible.  Visit  Follow HHF on Facebook at on Twitter at @HHFoundation‎.


The Youth Awards is the beginning of HHF’s “Actionable Leadership” cycle as Youth Awardees and other students are tracked, prepped and connected through the Latinos On Fast Track (LOFT) program as they transition from high school, to college and grad school, and into their careers.  Through LOFT, students and young professionals take part in leadership trainings, industry-tailored symposia and workshops; connected and mentored through a network of tens of thousands (aged 17-30); and placed in hundreds of internships, mentorships, fellowships and full-time positions. To join the LOFT Network visit or






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