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Hispanic Heritage Foundation’s Youth Awards to honor high school seniors from Arizona and New Mexico

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 Yellow region, which includes Arizona and New Mexico. 30 local high school seniors will be honored for their leadership in the classroom and community during a virtual ceremony on March 3rd, 2022. Three students (Gold, Silver, and Bronze) will be honored in various categories including:

Business & Entrepreneurship (sponsored by Wells Fargo) 

Gold – Caitlin Campos – Phoenix, AZ

Silver – Arianna Velarde – Albuquerque, NM

Bronze – Angela Aparicio – Yuma, AZ

Community Service (sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive)

Gold – Jonathan Martínez – Tucson, AZ

Silver – Jessica Udelman – Scottsdale, AZ

Bronze – Leonel Almanzar – Phoenix, AZ

Education (sponsored by Southwest Airlines)

Gold – Kayla Riggs – Casa Grande, AZ

Silver – Elisa Terrazas – Rio Rico, AZ

Bronze – Karina Gonzales – Peoria, AZ

Engineering (sponsored by HHF)  

Gold – Marcus Guzmán – Mesa, AZ

Silver – Joel Meneses Ortega – Mesa, AZ

Bronze – Melaki Jones – Espanola, NM

Healthcare & Science (sponsored by CVS Health)

Gold – Emma Podol – Scottsdale, AZ

Silver – Boaz Goldberg -Scottsdale, AZ

Bronze – Aylin Ríos -Santa Fe, NM

Media & Entertainment (sponsored by Comcast NBCUniversal/Telemundo)

Gold – Dylan Murillo – Tempe, AZ

Silver – Isabel Mills – Chandler, AZ

Bronze – María Pérez – Phoenix, AZ

Public Service & Social Justice (sponsored by Nike)  

Gold – Adrián Chávez – Albuquerque, NM

Silver – Joel Herrera – Jal, NM

Bronze – Samuel Edward Cristerna – Gilbert, AZ

Sports & Fitness (sponsored by NFL)

Gold – Diego Foster – Chandler, AZ

Silver – Brenna Ramírez – Gilbert, AZ

Bronze – Gabriel García – Maricopa, AZ

Sustainability (sponsored by Coca-Cola)

Gold – Isabel Ross – Tucson, AZ

Silver – Briana Coronado – Maricopa, AZ

Bronze – Vanessa Fajardo – Avondale, AZ

Technology (sponsored by T-Mobile)

Gold – Ethan García – Santa Teresa, NM

Silver – Luis Escamilla – Rio Rancho, NM

Bronze – Leslie Meléndez – San Tan Valley, AZ

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 FacebookInstagramTwitter, and TikTok



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