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Nat’l Youth Awards Miami to Broadcast on VME TV

Hispanic Heritage Foundation

 For Immediate Release: Contact: Cynthia Pleitez: 909-730-2077

January 26, 2017


Program to be Broadcast as Special on Vme TV and Includes Special Performances by Latino Artists

MIAMI, FL – The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF), sponsors, community and business leaders, and celebrities will honor eight high school seniors from across the United States at the 18th Annual National Youth Awards on Thursday, January 26th at the New World Center, 500 17th St, Miami Beach, FL (reception 6-7, ceremony 7-8 p.m.).  The National Youth Awards will also be broadcasted by Vme TV as a special and feature a performance by Grammy and Latin Grammy-nominated band Locos por Juana. Latin Grammy-nominated DJ Mr. Pauer will perform during the event’s reception. HHF will promote the young role models and parent through a national multi-media campaign (visit and #NationalYA on HHF’s social media platforms).

The eight winning students were selected from hundreds of regional recipients and 20,000 applicants.  Students were chosen for their leadership in the classroom and community in “priority” categories (see below for categories) and boast nearly a 4.0 GPA with countless hours of community service.  In addition to receiving grants for their education or a project or idea, the awardees are being flown in to Miami for the ceremony along with a parent and receive personalized styling from Macy’s.

“We are proud to honor yet another class of outstanding young Latino leaders who are already making an  impact on our classrooms, communities and soon workforce,” said Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO of HHF.  “We are grateful to our sponsors for their shared vision and support as we focus in what we consider priority fields for America. We truly believe our Youth Awardees are leaders of today, not tomorrow. Frankly, we can’t afford to wait.” 

The National Youth Awardees and Parent Award include (see for full bios of students):

  • Business & Entrepreneurship, presented by BBVA CompassAnthony Amato, Glenmont, NY
  • Community Service, presented by Colgate-Palmolive Company: Henry Rosas, Phoenix, AZ
  • Education, presented by Southwest Airlines: Maria Salmeron Melendez, Washington, DC
  • Engineering, presented by ExxonMobil: Adheli Gonzalez, Chicago, IL
  • Healthcare & Science, presented by CVS Health: Debora Gonzalez, Miami, FL
  • Innovation & Technology, presented by Entertainment Software Association Foundation: Julianna Rodriguez, Los Angeles, CA
  • Accounting & Math, presented by Pricewaterhouse Cooper, Clarissa Castillo, Houston, TX
  • Media & Entertainment, presented by NBC Universal Telemundo, Jonathan Salama, Pelham, NY
  • Parent Award, presented by Learning Heroes, Suyapa Melendez, Washington, DC

Additional partners of the Youth Awards include: Google, AT&T, Direct Auto Insurance, Herbalife, Marines, UPS, Havas FORMULATIN, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), and NASCAR.

The Youth Awards program is the main pipeline to HHF’s “eco-system” of talent that tracks, prepares and positions vetted Latino youth through the award-winning Latinos On Fast Track (LOFT) program as they transition from high school, to college and graduate school, and into their careers. Join and follow LOFT on Facebook and Twitter.

About the 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


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