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Hispanic Heritage Foundation’s Youth Awards to honor high school seniors from, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia

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 Blue region, which includes Delaware, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. 30 local high school seniors will be honored for their leadership in the classroom and community during a virtual ceremony on March 10th, 2022.

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

Business & Entrepreneurship (sponsored by Wells Fargo) 

Gold – Carolina Noguera – Bethesda, MD

Silver – Daniel Runde – McLean, VA

Bronze – Carmen Regan – Chesterfield, VA

Community Service (sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive)

Gold – Isabella Landino – Farmingdale, NJ

Silver – Sofía Tejada – Fairfax, VA

Bronze – Christopher Ruiz – Morristown, NJ

Education (sponsored by Southwest Airlines)

Gold – Ever Hernández – Silver Spring, MD

Silver – Rachel Head – Chesterfield, VA

Bronze – Jadisha Proano – East Orange, NJ

Engineering (sponsored by HHF)  

Gold – Giancarlo Zambrano – Linthicum, MD

Silver – Joshua Zamora – Lorton, VA

Bronze – Melissa Gullien – Upper Marlboro, MD

Healthcare & Science (sponsored by CVS Health)

Gold – Briana Howard – Saddle River, NJ

Silver – Michelle Rodríguez Cruz – Bowie, MD

Bronze – Carla Becerra Sabrera – Arlington, VA

Media & Entertainment (sponsored by Comcast NBCUniversal/Telemundo)

Gold – Marissa Michel – Bowie, MD

Silver – Daniela Velásquez – Chery Hill, NJ

Bronze – Alexander Díaz – East Rutherford, NJ

Public Service & Social Justice (sponsored by Nike)  

Gold – Isabela Santos​ – Rockville, MD

Silver – Lauren Campano – Rockville, MD

Bronze – Katherine Gillen – Arlington, VA

Sports & Fitness (sponsored by NFL)

Gold – Gabriella Henson-Vendrell – Haymarket, VA

Silver – Aaron Williams – Williamstown, NJ

Bronze – Isabella Henson-Vendrell – Haymarket, VA

Sustainability (sponsored by Coca-Cola)

Gold – Ilyas Khan – Pittsburgh, PA

Silver – Ariana Welch – Olney, MD

Bronze – Jeremy Escobar – North Bergen, NJ

Technology (sponsored by T-Mobile)

Gold – Milena Sánchez – Bloomfield, NJ

Silver – Jared Ramírez – Burtonsville, MD

Bronze – Lucas Umberger – King George, VA

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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