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February 27, 2008 > Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards

Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards

Submitted By Jaime Rossi

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) announced the launch of the 11th annual Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards on Thursday, Feb. 14. Applications are now available online at This year, HHF will offer educational grants totaling nearly half of a million dollars in 12 regions throughout the country. Applications must be submitted electronically by midnight PST on Friday, March 14. Application package must be postmarked by Friday, March 14.

"Hispanic high school seniors all over the country should apply for the Youth Awards because they have a chance to receive thousands of dollars in educational grants, a laptop computer and even a trip to Washington, DC for the Hispanic Heritage Awards," said 2008 Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards Spokesperson, Inspira Award Recipient and Actor Wilmer Valderrama. "These awards recognize bright young future leaders who excel in the classroom, on the playing field, or in the community."

The Award categories are:

Business - for students who have achieved success in the business community; sponsored by the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA).

Education - for students with a demonstrated desire to be among the next generation of teachers; sponsored by Southwest Airlines.

Engineering & Mathematics - for students with a strong interest in the fields of mathematics, engineering, or technology; sponsored by ExxonMobil.

Journalism - for students involved in print, broadcast or online journalism; sponsored by NBC Universal and Telemundo.

Leadership - for students who have shown excellent leadership skills in the
classroom and community; sponsored by Sallie Mae.

Sports - for students who excel in athletics; sponsored by SUBWAY(r) restaurants.

Graduating high school seniors of Hispanic descent are chosen by regional selection committees based on their academic achievement, community service, category focus, and short written statements. Three awards for students are presented in each category at 12 regional events. A Teacher Award, through a partnership between HHF and the Staples Foundation for Learning, will be presented to a teacher who has made a significant impact on the students' lives. The teacher will receive recognition at the Awards ceremony and be considered for National recognition at the National Youth Award Ceremony in July. Each gold medallion recipient will receive a $3,000 educational grant; silver medallion recipients will receive a $2,000 educational grant; and bronze medallion recipients will receive a $1,000 educational grant.

"Thanks to the generosity of our dedicated sponsors, we are helping more young people achieve their goals through higher education," said Josˇ Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation. The success of the Youth Awards program is predicated by the support of thousands of high schools, community organizations, and business partners. In addition to the category sponsors listed above, the Inspira Award is presented by Hershey's. Official Sponsors of the Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards include Allianz Life, Sallie Mae, Southwest Airlines and Target. Youth Award Partners include the Hispanic College Fund, VMe, and Voto Latino. Hispanic Heritage Foundation Partners include Ernst & Young, Google, Home Builders Institute, Lowes, the National Research Center for College and University Admissions (NRCCUA), and Pulte Homes.

The 12 regional Youth Awards ceremonies are coordinated primarily at colleges and universities across the country, including Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Chicago, Rice University, University of San Diego among others. Approximately 200-250 guests gather in each region for moving ceremonies that celebrate the achievements of the Youth Awardees. After the local ceremonies, the Regional Youth Awards recipients are narrowed down to one national Youth Award recipient for each category. Those individuals will be honored at the National Youth Awards presentation where each student receives an additional $5,000 educational grant and a laptop computer. The National Youth Awardees will then be presented with their award onstage during the 22nd Annual Hispanic Heritage Awards in Washington, DC on Oct. 9.

For more information about the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, please visit

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