The 26th Annual Centro Hispano Celebration, Our Community Matters this past weekend, was a wonderful event with hundreds of people gathered to honor the organization and individual honorees.
Karen Coller Menendez has been an incredible leader and Centro, she, and her staff have made a huge difference in the lives of children and families here. We are very lucky to have her in our community!
There were two outstanding community leaders honored at the event. Grisel Tapia Claudio, the winner of the Ilda Conteris Thomas award is the Latino Family resource center Program Coordinator at the Vera Court Neighborhood Center. And Michael Hernandez, the winner of the Roberto G. Sanchez Award is the Principal at Madison East High School.
There were also a number of students honored and scholarships awarded. Ceidy Irias and Daniela Rosas Mora are both UW Madison students who received scholarships. There were also three high school students awarded scholarships. Guadalupe Montes Tecalero is currently a student at Memorial High School. Lizbeth Orozco and Jennifer Ortiz are students at West High School. I was fortunate enough to have Jennifer intern in my office this past summer.
From empowering youth with the Schools of Hope Project or the New Routes for Adolescents program to Strengthening Families with immigration services and an employment program, Centro is there to help. Community classes, a Wellness Initiative, and collaborating with other agencies like Head Start, the Latino Chamber of Commerce, and Joining Forces for Families are all ways the organization engages the community. Centro has also developed special programming for nursing assistant training. To date 70 students have graduated from the program and 80% of them are employed. Centro Hispano has other initiatives I have not mentioned, but all reasons to celebrate. I am really happy that I was able to be part of it!