Ten outstanding Latinas, from around the country, are to be honored on Monday, November 12th at the first-ever Next Generation Latina Awards.
The awards will be presented by Latina Magazine, in partnership with The National Council of La Raza and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, at a private breakfast at the Affinia Manhattan Hotel in New York City and will feature a keynote address by playwright and Tony Award nominee, Quiara Hudes, (“In the Heights”).
The 10 recipients are: Texas State Representative, Mary Gonzalez (El Paso, Texas); Southern California Advocacy Coordinator and Latino Outreach Specialist at NRDC, Linda Escalante (Los Angeles, CA); founder of StudentMentor.org, Stephanie Bravo (San Jose, CA); founder and owner of the Art of Stepping, Jessica Saul (New York, NY); founder of non-profit CHICA, Nurys Camargo (Boston, MA); therapist and leader of Voz y Corazon Latina Teen Suicide Prevention Program, Esmeralda Santillano (Aurora, CO); blogger of Viva Fashion, Carmen Ordonez (Miami, FL); founder of DREAMS IN HEELS PR, Olga-Maria Czarkowski (New York, NY); founder of Iowa’s Latino Heritage Festival, Christina Fernandez-Morrow (Des Moines, IA); and one of three Latina business school professors at a top 25 business school in the U.S., Angelica S. Gutierrez, Ph.D. (Los Angeles, CA).
“I am deeply humbled and honored to be selected as a Next Generation Latina because to me, the ‘Next Generation Latina’ is a woman who is driven, passionate, and committed to making a difference in her community – even when ‘making a difference’ means entering uncharted territory and facing obstacles that pioneers often encounter,” says Angelica S. Gutierrez, who is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and the National Center for Institutional Diversity.
Gutierrez, who grew up speaking only Spanish, volunteers actively for the TELACU Education Foundation, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and other organizations empowering Latino youth. She is also at the forefront of research on diversity and inclusion in universities and in the workplace.
“I love working with organizations that serve disadvantaged communities, because I believe in paying it forward, and providing others with the same motivation, support, and opportunities that I have been blessed with,” says Gutierrez. “I obtained a Ph.D. and will serve as a business school professor because I would like to ensure that Latinos will see someone like me when they enter the classroom someday as MBA students. I seek to empower and instill in them a belief that they not only belong in the business field, but also have the capacity to serve as its leaders.”
Esmeralda Santillano, a therapist and leader of Voz y Corazon Latina Teen Suicide Prevention Program in Aurora, CO, also wants to help nurture future Latina leaders and educate about the importance of mental well-being.
“I feel tremendously honored and truly blessed to be recognized as a Next Generation Latina,” says Santillano. “I believe it is important to encourage individuals to learn about symptoms of mental illness and to engage in activities that increase their mental well-being. As a bilingual and bicultural mental health professional, I feel that there is great value in acknowledging and celebrating our Latino cultural strengths and in incorporating them into treatments that focus on mental health and wellness.”