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Join us: 19th Annual Youth Awards in Phoenix

Hispanic Heritage Foundation


Students Receive Grants for Education or Community Project – Arizona University to Host Ceremony 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) announced the recipients of the Phoenix Regional Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards (see names below). Local high school seniors will be honored for their leadership in the classroom and community during a ceremony at Arizona University, College of Medicine – Phoenix Campus, Virginia G. Piper Auditorium | 600 E. Van Buren Street, Phoenix 85004 on November 30, 2017 from 6pm to 8pm. In commemoration of the 19th 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 #YouthAwards17.

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 10 regions across the country with prestigious Hispanic Heritage 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 Phoenix 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 19 years of Youth Awards, there is no shortage of top, young, Latino talent.”

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) will also recognize a parent with the Hispanic Heritage Pearson Parent Award, sponsored by Pearson in honor of the pivotal role parents play in the educational success of Latino youth. Parents are nominated by more than 200 recipients of the prestigious Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards, parent award winners will be announced at the regional ceremonies.

After the regional ceremonies, the 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 Nascar, IndieDesk, Macy’s, Crowell & Morning, UPS, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, Inc, and Es Tiempo. HHF also partners with thousands of high schools, colleges, community organizations, media outlets and business partners on the program.

2017 Phoenix Regional Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards Recipients: 

Business & Entrepreneurship, sponsored by BBVA Compass:

Gold: Guillermo Joel Santos

Silver: Estephanie Marie Torres

Bronze: Valeria Valdes Cosilion


Community Service, sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive:

Gold: Beatriz Morales Perez

Silver: Jennifer Martinez Sanchez

Bronze: Sergio Gonzalez Porras


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

Gold: Francisca Gurrola

Silver: Citlali Fernandez Romero

Bronze: Anakaren Mendoza


Engineering & Mathematics, sponsored by the Hispanic Heritage Foundation:

Gold: Katie Alondra

Silver: Lucas Alejandro Tapia

Bronze: Andres Pulido


Healthcare & Science, sponsored by CVS Health:

Gold: Waris Margarite Anderson

Silver: Gisselle Beltran

Bronze: Sophia Regine Lewandrowski


Technology, sponsored by Google:

Gold: Catalina Rafaela Sanchez-Maes

Silver: Cecy Abigail Mendoza

Bronze: Christian Daniel Gonzalez




About Hispanic Heritage Foundation

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation – a nonprofit established by the White House in 1987 – inspires, prepares, and connects minority leaders in the classroom, community, and workforce to meet America’s priorities.  HHF also promotes cultural pride, accomplishment, and the great promise of the community through public awareness campaigns seen by millions.  HHF is headquartered in Washington, DC, and Los Angeles with satellite workspaces in New York, Silicon Valley, San Antonio, and Miami (Visit Follow HHF on Facebook and Twitter.

 Contact: Isla Martinez,


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