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Hispanic Heritage Foundation’s Youth Awards to honor high school seniors from Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming

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

Versión en español

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Today, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) announced the Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards recipients for the Teal region, which includes Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. 30 local high school seniors will be honored for their leadership in the classroom and community during a virtual ceremony on February 7th, 2023.

Thirty students will be honored in various categories including:

Business & Entrepreneurship (presented by Dutch Bros Coffee) 

Gold – Melanie Brousseau – Fountain, CO

Silver – Ella Irving – Tigard, OR

Bronze – Marelynn De Jesús Martínez – Portland, OR

Community Service (presented by Colgate-Palmolive)

Gold – Fátima Garnica Escamilla – Seattle, WA

Silver – Alana Schmalzried-Lugo – Olathe, KS

Bronze – Areli Lica – Parkdale, OR

Education (presented by Southwest Airlines)

Gold – Reina Ortiz – Denver, CO

Silver – Paloma Leyva – Burlingame, KS

Bronze – Lorena Garza – Othello, WA

Engineering (presented by HHF)  

Gold – Ignacio Arturo Huber Leiva – Littleton, CO

Silver – Alejandra Vásquez – Denver, CO

Bronze – Omar Sánchez – Lakewood, CO

Healthcare & Science (presented by CVS Health)

Gold – Alexis Korzan – Mitchell, SD

Silver – Dayanara Zarate – Logan, UT

Bronze – Emiliano Gonzales-Serrano – Greeley, CO

Media & Entertainment (presented by Comcast NBCUniversal/Telemundo)

Gold – Nicole Hernandez Abud – Hillsboro, OR

Silver – Daniel Winnett – Kuna, ID

Bronze – Dana Arenivar – Englewood, CO

Public Service & Social Justice (presented by Nike)  

Gold – Osvaldo García Barron – Boulder, CO

Silver – Luke Martínez – Omaha, NE

Bronze – Abigail Morán – Granger, WA

Sports & Fitness (presented by NFL)

Gold – Alexander García Silver – Coos Bay, OR

Silver – Matthew Wantulok – Powell, WY

Bronze – Beija López – Pueblo, CO

Sustainability (presented by Coca-Cola)

Gold – Mia Perales – Omaha, NE

Silver – Lilly Figueroa – Mancos, CO

Bronze – Alexa Ferreyra-Peterson – Omaha, NE

Technology (presented by T-Mobile)

Gold- Eric Claassen – Orting, WA

Silver- Jerron Hunt – Johnstown, CO

Bronze- Kimberly Sosa – Basalt, CO

Other supporters of the Youth Awards include the American Federation of Teachers, Capital Wire, Crowell & Moring, Es Tiempo, Freddie Mac, Mastercard, Teach for America, and Wells Fargo.

Actor and singer, Michael Cimino, star of Hulu’s “Love, Victor,” will be hosting the  virtual ceremony in which three students per category will be honored with Gold, Silver, and Bronze medallions. After the Youth Awards ceremonies conclude, one national recipient per category will be recognized and celebrated at the National Youth Awards ceremony. To follow the Youth Awards virtual ceremonies online, use the hashtag #YA24. Please visit to register.

“We are thrilled to honor yet another outstanding class of Youth Awardees who will carry on the tradition of leadership, academic excellence and social impact of past recipients,” said Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO of HHF. “There is no shortage of Latino talent across the United States and we are grateful to our dedicated sponsors who understand the importance of investing in the youngest and most dynamic segment of our population. We’re in good hands as a community and as a country with these outstanding young leaders going forward.”

Thousands of high school students, from all 50 states plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, apply annually  to the Youth Awards, which is the main feeder to LOFT (Latinos On Fast Track) Leadership Institute (LLI), an active institution focused on leadership, workforce, community, culture, and social justice led in partnership by the Hispanic Heritage Foundation and Trinity University. 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

HHF’s mission focuses on education, workforce, social impact, and identity and culture through the lens of leadership. Through HHF’s 24-year-old Youth Awards program, tens of thousands of high-achieving Latinx high school students have been recognized and received more than five million dollars to support their education, ideas or projects.  Once they are vetted through the Youth Awards, alumni are connected to a larger network providing mentors, programs, and career path opportunities through the award-winning LOFT (Latinos On Fast Track) program throughout college, grad school and into their careers. Visit Follow HHF on Facebook , InstagramTwitterand TikTok



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