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Hispanic Heritage Foundation’s Youth Awards to honor high school seniors from Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee

Hispanic Heritage Foundation

Visit to meet and welcome the new class of Youth Awards recipients representing Latinx innovation, leadership, and impact from across the US


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) announced the Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards recipients for the Orange region, which includes Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. 30 local high school seniors will be honored for their leadership in the classroom and community during a virtual ceremony on February 24th, 2022.

Three students (Gold, Silver, and Bronze) will be honored in various categories including:

Business & Entrepreneurship (sponsored by Wells Fargo) 

Gold – Yesenia González– Brandon, MS

Silver – Isacc Vélez-González – Greensboro, NC

Bronze – Brithany Salazar – Montevallo, AL

Community Service (sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive)

Gold – Verónica Cifuentes – Charlotte, NC

Silver – Valeria González Bautista – Hope Mills, NC

Bronze – Berenice Díaz-Acosta– Siler City, NC

Education (sponsored by Southwest Airlines)

Gold – Anabella Guzmán – Mooresville, NC

Silver – Katherine Miller– Mandeville, LA

Bronze – Isabella McCarthy– Matthews, NC

 Engineering (sponsored by HHF)  

Gold – Kaden Oquelí -White – New Orleans, LA

Silver – Kathryn Wood – Chattanooga, TN

Bronze – Alexander Soto – Springdale, AR

Healthcare & Science (sponsored by CVS Health)

Gold – Levi Cruz – Clinton, NC

Silver – Racheal Oladimeji – Goose Creek, SC

Bronze – Luzelena Morales – Lowell, AR

Media & Entertainment (sponsored by Comcast NBCUniversal/Telemundo)

Gold – Carmen Alcocer – Knoxville, TN

Silver – Madison Cuevas – Franklin, TN

Bronze – Gabriella Rodríguez-LeBron – Cary, NC

Public Service & Social Justice (sponsored by Nike)  

Gold – Isaac Carreño – Goldsboro, NC

Silver – Nancy García Villa – Dobson, NC

Bronze – Andrea Chávez – Graham, NC

Sports & Fitness (sponsored by NFL)

Gold – Adriana Thompson – Fort Mill, SC

Silver – Isabel Santana –Raleigh, NC

Bronze – Adrián Archer– Pinehurst, NC

Sustainability (sponsored by Coca-Cola)

Gold – Emely Hernández Urbina – Charlotte, NC

Silver – Holden Guidao – Memphis, TN

Bronze – Jaqueline Pozos – Charlotte, NC

Technology (sponsored by T-Mobile)

Gold- Felipe García Cruz – Charlotte, NC

Silver- Isabella Gallito – Conway, SC

Bronze- Marvin De La Cruz Serrano – Russellville, AL

After the regional ceremonies conclude, one national recipient per category, for a total of 10, will be recognized and celebrated at the National Youth Awards Ceremony in person (depending on the Covid restrictions). To follow the Youth Awards virtual ceremonies online, use the hashtag #YA23. Please visit to register.

“We are thrilled to honor and celebrate 300 Latinx outstanding young leaders, but it is also a call to action because they give our community and our nation our best hope,” said Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO of HHF. “We are grateful to our dedicated sponsors for continuing to invest in these leaders of today. Also, a big thank you to singer Ozuna who was the spokesperson for the Youth Awards promoting our applications during Hispanic Heritage Month in partnership with the NFL.”

The Youth Awards for more than two decades are the main feeder to the LOFT (Latinx On Fast Track) Leadership Institute (LLI), which is an active institution focused on leadership, workforce, community, culture, and social justice across 10 sectors (10 cohorts of 30 students bridging the end of their senior year in high school to freshman year in college) founded by Trinity University and HHF. The Youth Awardees and the applicants will also be funneled into the LOFT Network with access to mentors, resources, networking, workshops, symposia, summits, Charlas, and internships and full-time positions with Fortune 500 Companies.

About the Hispanic Heritage Foundation and the Youth Awards

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation is a national non-profit focused on education, workforce, social impact, and culture.  Through HHF’s 23-year-old Youth Awards program, more than 20,000 impactful Latinx high school students have been identified, celebrated, prepared, and connected across the country and provided with more than $5 million in grants for their education or for an idea or project. Visit and follow HHF on Facebook, InstagramTwitter, and TikTok



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