REDMOND, Wash., July 2, 2001 — Microsoft recently hosted the regional winners of the 2001 Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards in Science and Technology on their trip to Seattle. 12 students from across the country joined a line of accomplished young people to be recognized by the Hispanic Heritage Award Foundation, the nation’s most prestigious organization promoting Hispanic excellence. While in the Seattle area, the students lunched with Orlando Ayala, Microsoft group vice president of the Worldwide Sales, Marketing and Services Group; attended a Seattle Mariners baseball game; toured the Microsoft Museum; and participated in an Xbox demo.
“The U.S. Census has shown increasing numbers of Hispanics participating in every facet of the American experience,” said Raul R. Tapia, chairman of the Hispanic Heritage Awards Foundation. “Our Youth Awards celebrate the great contributions Latino youth are making in every community. We’re proud to honor and support these Latino students who are poised to make a significant impact on our nation’s future.”
Over the last three years, Microsoft has committed more than $7 million in cash and software to community organizations, educational institutions and human service agencies serving the Hispanic community. To enable excellent technology infrastructure, teacher preparedness, staff training and computer access for primarily Latino students, Microsoft has supported — through the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) and other organizations — 20 traditionally Hispanic colleges and universities with $4 million in software (retail value) and $623,000 in cash grants.
The 2001 Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards national winners were selected from among 84 regional winners in 12 U.S. cities. Each regional winner received a $2,000 educational grant and a state-of-the-art laptop computer. The Hispanic Heritage Awards Foundation also made a $1,000 contribution on behalf of each regional winner to the community service organization of his or her choice. The seven national winners will each receive an additional $5,000 educational grant. In late August, the national winners will travel to Washington, D.C., where they will be honored by national leaders and other celebrities at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The awards presentation will air on NBC Saturday, Sept. 22. (7 p.m. ET/PT).
This year’s national winners are: Nilda Feliciano of Lane Technical High School, Chicago, Ill., for Literature/Journalism; Usbaldo Fraire, Robert E. Lee High School, San Antonio, Texas, for Leadership/Community Service; Elisa Tatiana Ju
rez, Coral Reef Senior High School, Miami, Fla., for Science and Technology; Edward Leyba, Mesa High School, Phoenix, Ariz., for Academic Excellence; Emanuel Pleitez, Woodrow Wilson High School, Los Angeles, Calif., for Sports; Gloria Romero, Polytechnic High School, Ft. Worth, Texas, for Mathematics; and Rodolfo Valadez, Thomas Jefferson High School, Los Angeles, Calif., for Arts.