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Hispanic Recognition Program 2011: Awarded student biographies introduced by the masters of ceremonies Rosa Rivera & José Echeverri

CATEGORY: ACADEMICS

Rosa Rivera: We will begin with the category of Academics. The Academics Award is sponsored by Wilmington trust and is bestowed upon a student who has demonstrated the highest level of academic performance, based on their GPA, academic honors and awards, advanced placement classes, and SAT scores.

This year’s recipient of the Honorable Mention in Academics for Kent County is a senior at Dover High School. Originally of Puerto Rican descent, she is described as a mature and self-directed student who has overcome the challenge of achieving academic excellence despite her busy schedule. Her many accomplishments include becoming a National Hispanic Recognition Program scholar, being inducted into the National Honor Society, earning a cumulative GPA of 3.98, ranking 19 in a class of 311 students, and achieving an SAT score of 2120. She is currently shouldering a rigorous course load which includes two Advanced Placement classes and a college level course at Delaware State University, while finding time to participate in debate groups and volunteer as a peer leader for younger and special needs children. She serves on the Kent County Youth Philanthropy Board, was elected Secretary of Education at Girl’s State, and was named Outstanding Delegate at the Penn Model Congress. Additionally, as President of the Tri-M Music Honor Society and chorus student director, this student was also selected to attend the Delaware Governor’s School for Excellence. As a member of the All-State Chorus for the past four years, she has found a true passion for the arts and has future aspirations of becoming a music teacher. The recipient of the Honorable Mention in Academics for Kent County is ELIZABETH RIVERA

José Echeverri: This year’s recipient of the Honorable Mention in Academics for New Castle County is a senior at the Charter School of Wilmington. Originally from Peru, she is described as a creative, solution oriented, efficient young lady who succeeds in everything she puts her mind to. This bright student ranks in the top 15% of her class, has earned a cumulative GPA of 3.9, and scored a 2150 on her SATs, all while tackling a very challenging course load consisting of nine Advanced Placement and four college level courses. In addition to earning a perfect score on the Delaware State Testing Program, she is a National Merit Semifinalist, National Hispanic Merit Finalist, an AP Scholar with Honors and the recipient of the Michael C. Ferguson Achievement Award. As a member of both the National Honor Society and the National Spanish Honor Society, this student received 1st place on the National Spanish Exam and 3rd place in the WorldQuest Team Competition. Moreover, this young lady serves as President of the Literary Magazine and Art Club, and is a member of both the Spanish and Book clubs. Clearly talented in the arts, she won the Silver Key award for her art portfolio and placed 2nd in the DuPont MLK Essay Contest. By competing with her 2nd place winning team at the TEAMS Engineering Competition, she demonstrates a passion for the sciences, and aspires to become a successful engineer in the future. The Honorable Mention recipient for Academics in New Castle County is ALICIA CARRION.

Rosa Rivera: The Honorable Mention in Academics for Sussex County is a senior at Sussex Central High School. Of Guatemalan descent, she is described as a conscientious and diligent worker with a cheerful disposition. She is ranked 13th in her class of 287 students, while taking four Advanced Placement courses in her senior year. She is exceptionally talented in mathematics, excelling in her AP Calculus class - which her own teacher admits is the most challenging course offered at the school. Her teachers consider her a positive role model for younger students in the school. In her free time, she also shows her commitment to a clean community by involving herself in recycling initiatives at her school. She plans to attend college and one day become a leader in her community. This year’s Honorable Mention in Academics for Sussex County is ANADILIA PEREZ-VELASQUEZ

José Echeverri: This year’s winner of the Academics award for Kent County is a senior at Dover High School. Proud of her Venezuelan heritage, this young woman has consistently maintained a 4.0 GPA and is currently taking 3 AP courses, while maintaining High Honor Roll status in each marking period. She ranks 14th out of 328 students and is the President of the Executive Student Council. Her many accomplishments include receiving the President’s Award in Academic Excellence and being inducted into the National Honor Society. This year’s recipient works hard to maintain her grades while staying involved in dance, music, sports, community service and animal rescue. She is captain of the school’s dance team and Pom squad, choreographs dances for both teams, and plays varsity soccer, for which she has won several awards. Next year, she will pursue her passion for animals by enrolling in the Pre-Veterinary Medicine and Animal Bioscience program at the University of Delaware. This year’s winner in the category of Academics for Kent County is REBECCA PYNE.

Rosa Rivera: This year’s recipient of the Academics award for New Castle County is a senior at Cab Calloway School of the Arts. Of Puerto Rican descent, he is described by his teachers as an exemplary individual, and by his guidance counselor as one of the most exceptional students he’s had the pleasure to work with. He is ranked first in his class with an un-weighted GPA of 4.0. This outstanding young man is an AP Scholar with Distinction, President of the National Honor Society, and member of the Speech and Debate team, Amnesty International, Science Olympiad, and Math League. Additionally, he is a Presidential Scholar and one of only two students in Delaware selected as a delegate to the 49th annual United States Senate Youth Program. As the top student at his school, Google awarded him a laptop computer. Even with all of the time he spends on academics, he still manages to volunteer with the literacy program Success Won’t Wait, the Salvation Army, and the Tri-State Bird Rescue. He is also extremely active in his church, and is a talented, award-winning writer and poet. He enjoys philosophy and poetry, and has a passion for knowledge that fuels his interest in studying U.S.-Russian relations. The award recipient for Academics in New Castle County is JACOB SACKETT-SANDERS

José Echeverri: This year’s recipient of the Academics award for Sussex County is a senior at Sussex Central High School. Of Mexican heritage, she is described by her Advanced Placement Calculus teacher as a student with strong mathematical abilities as well as an overall excellence in academics. She took four advanced placement courses in her junior year and is currently taking five. She ranks 6th in a class of 287 students, has a GPA of 4.0., and scored an 1810 on her SATs. As a brilliant young lady, she appreciates the experiences she has had in Upward Bound, the support she has received from her teachers and her family, and the friendships she has forged wherever she goes. She will be the first in her family to attend college, and recalls deciding in the third grade never to let anyone discourage her from achieving her goals. She plans to become a nurse, a calling inspired by her desire to ease the suffering of loved ones suffering from illness. The award recipient for Academics in Sussex County is JESSICA PORTILLO.

José Echeverri: Congratulations to all of this year’s Academics award winners!

CATEGORY: ART
José Echeverri: Our next awards category is the Arts. The Arts award is sponsored by Comcast and is bestowed upon a student who has distinguished himself or herself in the visual arts, music, dance, and/or theater. Winners are selected based on their honors and awards, creativity and talent.

José Echeverri: This year’s recipient of the Honorable Mention in Arts for Kent County is a senior at Dover High School, where she maintains a GPA of 4.0. Her passion for the arts was born at an early age, having started ballet at 4 and later enrolling in tap dance and jazz classes at the Dance Conservatory. She is also involved at her church, the school’s choir, cheerleading, dance team and band. This past year, she served as the captain of her high school’s dance team and as captain and choreographer of the Pom Squad. In addition to her love of dance, she has been playing the flute since fifth grade and currently plays in her high school’s wind ensemble and the Senator’s Band. This student implements her artistic abilities by volunteering to teach dance classes on the weekends to younger students, in addition to mentoring and volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. She loves to play soccer and is certified by the State of Delaware to referee local soccer matches. She serves as President of Dover High School’s Executive Student Council, and has participated in the Miss Hispanic Delaware Pageant. The Honorable Mention in Academics for Kent County is REBECCA PYNE.

Rosa Rivera: This year’s recipient of the Honorable Mention in the Arts for New Castle County is a senior at Cab Calloway School of the Arts. Of Mexican descent, she is described as having a sincere passion for the arts and academics, and is the recipient of the National Language Arts and All-American Scholar Awards. As a gifted vocalist, actress and dancer, this student has participated in the International Thespian Society and has performed in many plays for her school, including “Footloose” and “Showstoppers”. This young lady gained recognition as a finalist in the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts Young Arts Week, where she was ranked in the top 25 out of 4000 students. She is a four-year member of her school’s elite vocal ensemble, the JazzChords of Calloway. She also excels academically, maintaining a 3.63 GPA, all while volunteering with the Best Buddies club and holding down a part time job. The recipient of the Honorable Mention in the Arts for New Castle County is NATASHA MICHAELS.

José Echeverri: This year’s recipient of the Arts award for Kent County is a sophomore at Milford High School. Of Mexican descent, her teacher says that through her kindness, willingness to help others, and love of art, she has blossomed into an excellent young woman and a fine artist. She has a cumulative GPA of 3.66 and ranks 63 in a class of 316. One of her greatest honors was receiving the Grand Prize in the DART First State 2010 Transit Theme Poster Contest, and her work adorns the interior of DART First State buses. She is currently working with advanced art students to design and create a memorial mural within the school courtyard. In the future she would like to work at Disney World as a Graphic Designer. This year’s award winner recipient for the Arts in Kent County is EVELYN ORTA-PEREZ.

Rosa Rivera: This year’s recipient of the Arts Award for New Castle County is a senior at Cab Calloway School of Arts. Of Puerto Rican heritage, she is described by her teachers as “an excellent role model,” and an “ethical, kind-hearted, positive and highly motivated young woman”. This young lady’s special talents include acting, writing poetry, composing short stories, singing, playing piano, and learning foreign languages. She has appeared in the film “She’s Worth Waiting For”, has participated in Showstoppers for five years, and has played various roles in both school and community theater, including: “Tsunami,” “Just So,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Sleeping Beauty,” and “Hansel & Gretel.” She won first place at the Border’s Poetry Slam Thursday Night Events, and competed in California at a national reading slam poetry contest. She has also recited original poetry at the Dupont Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration as well as the Spoken Word poetry recitation for Delaware Teen Idol, where she placed second. In addition, this year’s winner also volunteers with Make a Joyful Noise Performing Company in various retirement communities. She even manages to balance her passion for the arts with academics, achieving excellent grades, while working two jobs during the school year and three during the summer. It is my pleasure to present the Art Award for New Castle County to JASMINE LOPEZ.

Rosa Rivera: A round of applause for this year’s winners in the Arts!

CATEGORY: ATHLETICS
Rosa Rivera: Our next category is Athletics. The Athletics award is sponsored by The Rodel Foundation of Delaware and is bestowed upon a high school athlete whose achievements on and off the field exemplify the best qualities of sportsmanship. Rating is based on academic achievement, talent, leadership, passion, and accolades.

This year’s recipient of the Honorable Mention in Athletics for New Castle County is a junior at Glasgow High School. She is a premier example of a determined and hard-working high school athlete. This young woman serves as captain of the Women’s Varsity Basketball team, is a member of the Varsity Soccer and Softball teams, and was named Athlete of the Year. She was also awarded the prestigious Boys and Girls Club ‘Youth of the Year’ award in 2011, and has done it all while maintaining a 3.75 GPA and taking 5 honors classes. Despite the tragedy this student has faced - including the loss of both her mother and sister within five days of each other - her teachers describe her as always positive and resilient. This year’s honorable mention for Athletics for New Castle County is DAISY FUENTES.

José Echeverri: This year’s recipient of the Honorable Mention in Athletics for Sussex County is a junior at Cape Henlopen High School. He recently came from Puerto Rico and, despite the barriers that he has encountered in Delaware, has lost no time in achieving excellence in both academic and athletic endeavors in his new environment. If anything, the barriers he has faced makes him that much more determined to succeed and prove his character. His teachers and classmates recognize him as a high achiever, and his fellow sportsmen value him as an excellent player and teammate. In sports, he was awarded the coveted Golden Glove award for Baseball. At Cape Henlopen, he is considered one of the school’s top soccer players. This awardee speaks of the importance of team-work and friendship, and of how the team should support the continued improvement of all the players. He has great leadership qualities, and is expected to be a strong community leader and positive role model for young Hispanics. This winner has set high goals for himself, which include becoming a plastic surgeon. This year’s honorable mention for Athletics for Sussex County is CHRISTOPHER RIVERA PINTADO.

Rosa Rivera: This year’s recipient of the Student Athlete award for New Castle County is a senior at Thomas McKean High School who has demonstrated tremendous discipline and leadership. Originally from Mexico, he has emerged as a role model for his peers. As a Student Leader at McKean, he has developed and refined the leadership skills that have earned him respect among his fellow student athletes. As captain and Most Valuable Player of his high school’s wrestling team, a member of both the soccer and lacrosse teams, and recipient of the Academic All Conference award, this “triple threat” student athlete uses his passion to motivate. Aiming to graduate high school in only three years, he continues to find time for athletics while tackling a rigorous course load and holding down a part-time job. This student has demonstrated an admirable sense of commitment to sports and physical fitness, and it is this same commitment that will, no doubt, continue to bring him success in his future studies at Delaware Tech. The recipient of the 2011 Student Athlete Award for New Castle County is RUBEN GARCIA.

José Echeverri: This year’s recipient of the Student Athlete award for Sussex County is a junior at Seaford Senior High School who has demonstrated outstanding athleticism through his involvement in numerous sports. Of Mexican descent, this student athlete’s excellent time management skills have allowed him to participate in several extracurricular activities, all while tackling a challenging course load of primarily honors and AP classes. He is a member of the Gentleman’s Club at Seaford High School and also participates in the Upward Bound Math and Science enrichment program at Delaware Tech. He has donated many hours of volunteer time with various organizations, such as the Bible Study for Special People, James Farm, and Abbott’s Mill Nature Center, and has also participated in Coast Day and the Diabetes Walk for the American Diabetes Association. Despite a very busy schedule, he manages to hold down a part-time job while participating in varsity soccer, swimming, wrestling, and track and field. He also competed on the third place regional 3 on 3 team and was a qualifier in the 3 on 3 Soccer Championship. Called “an amazing young man who pushes himself to succeed,” this student plans to attend college and become a chemical engineer. The recipient of the Student Athlete of the Year Award for Sussex County is OSBALDO ALCANTARA.

Rosa Rivera: Let’s congratulate this year’s Athletics winners! (Applause)

CATEGORY: LIVE UNITED
José Echeverri: At this time, we will honor the winners in our next awards category: the Live United Community Service Award. This award for school and community service is sponsored by United Way of Delaware and bestowed upon a student who has demonstrated consistent and ongoing involvement in community service. The rating is based on the type of community service, meaning of community service, length of commitment, and service awards received.

This year’s recipient of the Honorable Mention in Community Service for Kent County is a sophomore at Caesar Rodney High School. Of Mexican descent, he is well known for his leadership abilities and countless hours of volunteer service. After an 8 year involvement with the Boy Scouts, and through proven leadership ability, a high degree of skill, and dedication to community service he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout - the highest honor possible. He has also participated in a variety of projects for organizations such as the Kent County SPCA, Dover High School Athletics Department, the Cerebral Palsy Association of Delaware, and Odd Fellows Cemetery in Camden, DE. In addition to his community service, he is a member of the school’s Lacrosse Team and balances academics and other interests such as guitar playing and science exploration. The Honorable Mention in Community Service for Kent County is MARCOS LUIS GARDUÑO.
Rosa Rivera: This year’s recipient of the Live United Community Service Award for Kent County is a senior at Polytech High School and has been described by his teachers as enthusiastic, responsible and diligent. A soft-spoken and caring individual, he has been involved in missionary work for the Marianthan Christian Church for the past two years in Haiti, Costa Rica, and Ecuador. The missions provided food, medical assistance, and other necessities to approximately 1,000 people in Haiti alone. He believes the reward for service is in helping others. This selflessness stems from the team work he has learned as a member of the varsity lacrosse and football teams. This award recipient has had to overcome a few barriers to get where he is today, having arrived to the United States from Panama and entering Kindergarten immediately, without speaking a word of English. By first grade he was in danger of being held back, but he persevered. Today he plans to enroll in the Civil Engineering program at the University of Delaware, with the goal of helping to improve other communities in various countries. This year’s winner of the Live United Community Service award for Kent County is ANEL MOJICA.

José Echeverri: This year’s recipient of the Live United Community Service Award for New Castle County is a freshman at the Charter School of Wilmington. Known for her strong work ethic and sense of community, her dedication to helping others can be seen in her extensive involvement outside of school. This student of Puerto Rican decent has volunteered her time to the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Delaware, the Delaware Art Museum, as well as to the Yearbook, Volunteer, Environmental, and Library Clubs. A true humanitarian, she worked with the Hug Club to raise funds and awareness for the invisible children of Uganda. She assisted in collecting donations for Pens for Peace, which benefits children in war-torn countries whose education has been interrupted by armed conflict. She also advocated for the environment by circulating a petition that convinced several schools in her district to switch from Styrofoam lunch trays to earth-friendly, bio-degradable cardboard trays. One of this young lady’s most admirable qualities is her demonstration of civic responsibility. She hopes to become a doctor and work with low-income individuals who cannot afford healthcare. This year’s winner currently works as a Chemistry teacher’s assistant, is a second honors student, and has a GPA of 3.4. With such outstanding accomplishments, it is clear that this young lady can accomplish anything she sets her mind to. This year’s award winner for the Live United Community Service award for New Castle County is CELINE ROBINSON.

Rosa Rivera: This year’s recipient of the Live United Community Service Award for Sussex County is a senior at Sussex Technical High School who is profoundly committed to community service. Of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent, she has volunteered more than 350 hours at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in the OB/GYN unit. She received a Presidential Student Service Award from President Obama and an elective credit from the Delaware Department of Volunteerism. She stays involved at her church, serving as Secretary of the Sunday School Committee and leader of the youth group chorus, while also helping at health fairs and bicycle safety campaigns. She was the Platoon Leader in JROTC in 10th and 11th grade and joined the ASPIRA Club during her senior year. For her senior project, she coordinated and implemented a series of four health workshops offered to the Hispanic community in Sussex County on topics such as HIV, breast feeding, diabetes, and breast cancer. She accomplishes all this while maintaining her status as an Honor Roll student. Her future plans are to study pre-med or biology and minor in nursing, with aspirations to one day become an Obstetrician. One of her teachers stated “It is extraordinary to envision her… helping other women bring life into this world. Those new lives will be met with a fantastic example of humanity, motivation, and passion.” This year’s winner of the Live United Community Service award for Sussex County is CHARINEL MATOS.

José Echeverri: A round of applause for our Live United Community Service Award Winners!

CATEGORY: SCIENCE, MATH & TECHNOLOGY
Rosa Rivera: At this time, we will recognize our science, math, and technology award winners. This award is sponsored by Noramco and is bestowed upon a high school student who has distinguished themselves in the field of science (biology, chemistry mathematics and physics) and/or technology (computer science, audiovisual and information systems). Rating is based on honors and awards, and accomplishments.

This year’s recipient of the Science, Math, and Technology Award for Kent County is a senior at Polytech High School who is described as “enthusiastic, responsible, and diligent”. Of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent, he has demonstrated an impressive level of maturity, evident in his academic performance, and has maintained honor roll status throughout his high school career. This student is not only enrolled in several Computer Engineering and technology courses, but is also taking Pre-Calculus and Calculus concurrently. Having already received numerous academic honors and awards, including a National Merit Scholarship, this year’s winner is still deciding where he would like to attend college. With several technological certifications under his belt, and hands on experience writing a tech manual for businesses, this student is well on his way to pursuing a career in the field of Computer Technology. This year’s winner of the Science, Math, and Technology Award for Kent County is JUSTIN THEN.
Jose Echeverri: This year’s recipient of the Science, Math, and Technology Award for New Castle County is a senior at Hodgson Vo-tech who demonstrates a passion for advancement in technology. She is currently ranked eighth in her class of 235 with a 3.8 GPA, all while playing sports and taking time to give back to her community. This talented student of Colombian heritage has won several awards for her drafting skills and has undertaken projects such as constructing classroom dividers, designing and constructing a lifeguard stand. She is currently working with a local railroad company to design and construct a mechanized railroad stake puller, which will be patented and sold throughout the railroad industry. Her talents have earned her several awards in the field, such as 2nd place finishes in both the Delaware Technical Community College CAD Drafting competition and the State Mechanical Drafting for Skills USA contest. She is a member of the Olympiad team and vice president of the Associate Builders and Contractors Student Chapter. She hopes to continue her aspirations by studying industrial design and changing the world with her creations. This year’s winner of the Science, Math, and Technology Award for New Castle County is TATIANA GALINDO.
Rosa Rivera: This year’s recipient of the Science, Math and Technology Award for Sussex County is a junior at Seaford Senior High School. His academic successes include maintaining honor roll status throughout his high school career, despite undertaking a rigorous course load consisting of several AP and honors classes. He currently spends several Saturdays a month and six weeks in the summer attending school as part of the Math and Science Upward Bound Program through Delaware Tech. A multi-talented young man of Guatemalan descent, this student keeps himself busy by participating in a wide array of activities. In addition to demonstrating academic excellence as a member of the National Honor Society, this student also finds time to play on his schools’ soccer and tennis teams and captain the varsity wrestling squad. He also participates in the Key Club, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Students Against Destructive Decisions. This year’s winner aims to be the first in his family to attend college, and plans to pursue a career in mechanical engineering. This year’s winner of the Science, Math, and Technology Award for Sussex County is JULIO RAMIREZ.
Rosa Rivera: Congratulations to all of our winners in the category of Science, Math & Technology.

CATEGORY: STUDENT OF THE YEAR
Jose Echeverri: We have now come to that time in our program where we recognize the Outstanding Hispanic Students of the year in Middle and High School. This award is sponsored by AstraZeneca and the Manuelita Olson Scholarship Fund, and is presented to a male and a female middle school and high school student who is well-rounded and has high academic performance, leadership qualities, pride in heritage, initiative, creativity, talent, and substantial overall achievement in all five categories. We will begin with the middle school winners and finish with the high school winners.

At this time, to help us present the Outstanding Student of the Year Awards, I would like to invite to the stage from AstraZeneca, Mr. Tyrone Jones, and from the Manuelita Olson Scholarship Fund, Mr. Marc Olson. Now we will hear a few words from our main event sponsor, AstraZeneca.

ASTRAZENECA REPRESENTATIVE (Tyrone Jones)

José Echeverri: This year’s recipient of the Honorable Mention for Middle School Female Student of the Year award is a 6th grader at Mariner Middle School in Milton. She is described as an outstanding and creative person, student, and friend. Academically, she maintains a 3.7 GPA and reads at a 12th grade level. As a very active member of the Girl Scouts, she helped plan and participated in a trail day presentation at the Breakwater Trail where she was in charge of trail clean up and recycling. Of Mexican origin, she believes firmly in advocating for the Hispanic community, and was part of a group of women who walked for the “Dream Act” as the “Dream Team” for Delaware. She also stays very involved in athletics, playing soccer and participating in horseback riding (which she has done since the age of 6). Her love of horses brings out her artistic side as well; she has been drawing and sculpting them since she was 5 years old. In soccer, she plays at a local soccer club and participates in interscholastic squads. She also loves to sing, participates in the choir, and just recently began writing her own songs. Since the fourth grade, she has tutored younger students who are struggling in school. This year’s recipient of the Honorable Mention for Middle School Female Student of the Year award is MICAELA REYES.

Rosa Rivera: This year’s recipient of the Honorable Mention for Middle School Male Student of the Year award is an eighth grader at Saint Paul’s School who is described by his Minister as a “well rounded, mature, fun-loving, passionate, gentle and highly intelligent young man”. This student organized the Christmas Show at Saint Paul’s, designed the costumes, choreographed the 8th grade dance, and served as the emcee. He is a straight “A” student and manages to give back to his community as well. Originally from Mexico, he understands the need for compassion and justice as our country debates how to reform the broken immigration system. He has become actively involved in advocating for the Dream Act by organizing public parades, demonstrations and prayer services. This young man has mobilized Delawareans to participate in phone calls, e-mails and letters to congressmen and the President in support of the Dream Act. He has also become involved in catholic churches encouraging the audience to understand Catholic Social Teaching. Baseball is his sport of choice and he enjoyed playing on the Saint Paul’s team. The Honorable Mention for Middle School Male Student of the Year is MIGUEL TAPIA.

José Echeverri: This year’s recipient of the Outstanding Middle School Female Student of the Year is in 8th grade at Gauger –Cobb Middle School and has been described as a “wonderfully positive and compassionate person” and an “absolute pleasure to be around”. Originally from Peru, this incredible student’s academic performance places her in the top five percent at her school. Since the 7th grade, she has taken advanced math classes at the high school level while making distinguished honor roll and maintaining a 4.0 GPA. This year’s winner is a member of the National Junior Honor Society and has participated in the Math League, Science Olympiad, and Business Professionals of America Program. She previously won 1st place in the Egg Drop competition at her school, was chosen as one of the students to compete in the “Math Counts” competition, and has been competing in the Math 24 Tournament for the last three years. Additionally, this student finds time for community service activities through the ROTC and other venues. Last year, she helped package Thanksgiving baskets for needy families in her community, and she currently volunteers to help students at her school by tutoring during ESL classes, working as a classroom aide, collecting homework on a daily basis for the Homework Hotline, and by helping her peers resolve disputes as a member of the Peer Mediation Program. This student has overcome a language barrier to compete in two writing contests. As a writer of poetry and member of the soccer team, she clearly demonstrates what it means to be well-rounded, and has been said to do it all with a “constant smile on her face.” This year’s recipient of the Award for Outstanding Middle School Female Student of the Year is KATHERINE SALHUANA.

Although unable to attend today’s ceremony, Katherine’s family will be receiving the award on her behalf.

Rosa Rivera: This year’s recipient of the Outstanding Hispanic Middle School Male Student of the Year award is currently in 8th grade at Fifer Middle School in Camden. Of Mexican origin, he is described as a very active, eager and curious young man. Academically, he is a member of the National Junior Honor Society, maintaining a 4.0 cumulative GPA. While maintaining academic excellence, he is highly involved in the community through his participation in the Boy Scouts, where he has reached the rank of Life Scout. This young man has been selected by his peers to serve in various leadership positions including Librarian, Chaplain’s Aide, Patrol Leader and Assistant Patrol Leader. He remains very involved in his community, helping to build pet feeders at the local American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, adding safety barriers to the bleachers of Dover High School’s sports fields, volunteering at the Strawberry, Peach and Fall festivals, plotting graves at the Whatcoat UMC Cemetery in Camden and painting curbside addresses for an Emergency Services Standardization Project. In 2010, he also became a member of the Order of the Arrow. He is a talented athlete and represents his school on the football team, plays in the Soccer league, and has earned a black belt in Tang Soo Do. This young man was selected as the Delaware state-wide winner for Tar Wars, a tobacco free education program sponsored by the American Academy of Family Physicians. This year’s Outstanding Hispanic Middle School Male Student of the Year is AARON LEE GARDUÑO.

José Echeverri: A round of applause for all of our Middle School Student of the Year winners.

Now, for our high school winners….

This year’s winner of the Outstanding Hispanic High School Female Student of the Year award is currently a senior at Appoquinimink High School. One of her instructors describes her as a student of impeccable character who carries herself with confidence, intelligence and passion. Of Puerto Rican descent, this young lady is currently ranked in the top 10% of her class, having earned a cumulative GPA of 3.9, taken three Advanced Placement courses and 8 Honors courses. She serves as secretary of the National Honor Society, and is a recipient of the Delaware Girl’s State and the All American Scholar Awards. Not only does she excel academically, but Also in community service, where her efforts include volunteering in various roles in her church and participation in Relay for Life, Pennies for Patients, Stay and Play, and work at a local senior center. Her accomplishments in community service have been recognized in Who’s Who in Leadership and Service 2010 – 2011. This year’s winner is also a key member and soloist singer in her church’s choir and earned 2nd place in a statewide singing competition. Athletically, she is member and former captain of the varsity cheerleading team. A recipient of the Scholar-Athlete Award, she was chosen to represent her school at the prestigious DFRC Blue-Gold All Star Football Game. In addition, she is the recipient of the National Science Award from the United States Achievement Academy. Her future plans are to attend Villanova University, where she has been awarded the San Martin de Porres Grant - a full tuition scholarship. The Outstanding Hispanic High School Female Student of the Year is DENISE FELICIANO.

Rosa Rivera: This year’s winner of the Outstanding Hispanic High School Male Student of the Year award is currently a junior at Christiana High School. Of Mexican and Cuban heritage, he has been described by his teachers as “an impressive student, gifted athlete, talented musician and charismatic young man”. This description couldn’t be more accurate. He has consistently stood out among his peers as a hardworking student. Currently ranked number 2 in his class of 258 students, he has earned a cumulative GPA of 4.0 and is currently taking three Advanced Placement courses. He excels in and out of the classroom, where he serves as captain of the wrestling and cross country teams. On the wrestling mat, he has won countless awards, even though it is only his second year competing. His passion for the sport is evident, as he was quoted as saying, “I wanted to win badly. Everyone told me I couldn’t do it so I had to prove them wrong.” In addition to sports, this year’s winner plays the trumpet for his school’s marching band and orchestra and has a long list of extracurricular accomplishments, including Blue Gold, National Honor Society, Link Crew and the Basket Brigade. He is a valuable member of his school community and has volunteered many hours to install new computers and serve as an instructional aide in AP Calculus. The Outstanding Hispanic High School Male Student of the Year is REINALDO CHRIS REINA.

José Echeverri: A round of applause for all of our Outstanding Hispanic Student of the Year for High School winners.
LACC

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