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Hispanic Heritage Month

Lin-Manuel Miranda

                                                                                       Lin-Manuel  Miranda

Lin–Manuel Miranda was born January 16, 1980 in New York City, New York. He is a composer, lyricist, playwright, rapper and actor famous for his roles in the Broadway musicals In the Heights and Hamilton. He also co-wrote the songs for Disney’s Moana soundtrack in 2016. Mr. Miranda has won several awards for his outstanding work included a Pulitzer Prize, three Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award, a Mac Arthur Fellowship, and three Tony Awards. His work with the musical Hamilton: An American Musical earned him the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Dram, the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album and a record setting 16 Tony award nominations. The musical won 11 out of the 16 nominations! Additionally, Mr. Miranda has been a voice for Puerto Rico. He worked with politicians in 2016 to speak out in favor of debt relief for Puerto Rico. In 2017 he worked hard to raise much needed funds for the disaster relief effort in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. His efforts assisted the Hispanic Federation with raising $22 million for rescue efforts.            

Nely Galán

                                                                                             Nely Gelan

Nely Galán was born in 1963 in Santa Clara, Cuba. She is a producer and former President of Entertainment for Telemundo. Her interest in media began at a very young age. She wrote her first article for Seventeen magazine which led to a permanent position. At the age of 22, she became the nation’s youngest station manager for WNJU TV Channel 47 in New York. This station would eventually become the popular Telemundo Network. She created and produced the Telemundo reality program La Cenicienta (Cinderella), which made history as one of Telemundo’s highest rated programs in its 50 year history. In 2012, Ms. Gálan became a member of the advisory board of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. She published the book Self Made: Becoming Empowered, Self-Reliant, and Rich in Every Way. She is a sought-after speaker on the subject of women entrepreneurs, the role of diversity in the US economy and how to become Self Made. She has spoken to diverse audiences including corporations such as Cocoa-Cola, American Express, General Electric, the US Chamber of Commerce, the Gates Foundation, the Clinton Foundation, and the United Nation. Ms. Galán is an Emeritus member of the Smithsonian Board and was featured in HBO’s The Latino List documentary and national museum show as one of the most influential voices in the Latino community.

José M. Hernández

                                                                                                      Jose Hernandez

José Hernández was born August 7, 196 in French Camp, California. He is an engineer and former NASA astronaut. Mr. Hernández was a member of  Space Shuttle crew that was assigned to mission STS-128. He also served at the Johnson Space Center as Chief of Material and Processes. His career also included his work as an equipment developer for full-field digital mammography at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. In 2011, he ended his career with NASA. Mr. Hernández was later encouraged by President Barack Obama in 2011 to run for Congress as a Democrat in California’s 10th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives. He successfully won the Democratic nomination, but lost the 2012 general election. Mr. Hernández has won several awards and honors including the following:

·       Graduate Engineering Minority Fellow (GEM) (1985)
·       Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Award (1995)
·       Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists (MAES)
·       U.S. Department of Energy “Outstanding Performance Commendation” ( 2000)
·       NASA Service Awards (2002.2003)
·       Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory “ Outstanding Engineer Award” ( 2001)
·       Upward Bound National TRIO Achiever Award (2001)
·       José Hernandez Middle School, in San Jose, California, is named after him
·       University of California, Santa Barbara 2015 Distinguished Alumnus
·       United States Hispanic Leadership Institute, 2016 National Hispanic Hero Award

Laurie Hernandez

                                                                                        Laurie Hernandez
Lauren Zoe Hernandez was born on June 9, 2000 in Old Bridge Township, New Jersey. She is one of three children born to Wanda and Anthony Hernandez. In 2016, Ms. Hernandez competed as a member of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Her team was nicknamed the “Final Five” at the Summer Olympics which were held in Rio de Janeiro. She won the gold medal in the team event and the silver medal on the balance beam. In 2016 she participated with the hit television dancing competition show, Dancing with the Stars with partner Val Chmerkovskiy. The two danced their way to the top and won the competition in front of millions of television fans. Ms. Hernandez has also shown interest in acting. In 2017 she was featured on an episode of Stuck In the Middle. Ms. Hernandez is a true star and will continue to make her mark on our world!

Canelo Álvarez

                                                                                        Canelo  lvarez

Santos Saúl Álvarez Batragán was born July 18, 1990 in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. He is a successful boxer who has achieved recognition for his outstanding athletic abilities. He has won multiple world championships in two weight classes. Mr. Álvarez has held the titles of WBA (Super), WBC (Unified), WBC and Ring light middle weight titles between 2011 and 2013. He continued to hold titles from 2016 to 2018 as the WBO light middleweight champion and the WBC, Ring and lineal middleweight titles. He is currently recognized as the world’s second best active boxer by BoxRec, and third by the Ring and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He is known as an excellent counterpuncher and a powerful body puncher. His contributions to boxing  are enjoyed by fans around the world.

Ellen Ochoa

                                                                                             Ellen Ochoa

Dr. Ellen Ochoa was born May 10, 1958 in Los Angeles, California but was raised in La Mesa, California. She is an engineer, former astronaut, and Director of the prestigious Johnson Space Center. Dr. Ochoa made history in 1993 when she became the first Hispanic  woman in the world to go to space, serving nine days aboard the spaceship Discovery. She  graduated Phi Beta Kappa from San Diego State University and later received a master of science degree and a doctorate in electrical engineering from Stanford University. Dr. Ochoa logged nearly 1,000 hours in space during her career as an astronaut, and made history for the second time on January 1, 2013 when she became the first Hispanic and the second female director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Her work has been recognized through many honors and awards including schools named in her honor. In 2017 she was inducted into the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame.

Dr. Franklin Ramón Chang Díaz

                                                                                                    Dr. Franklin

Dr. Franklin Ramón Chang Díaz was born on April 5, 1950 in San José, Costa Rica and is a Costa Rican-Chinese American mechanical engineer, physicist and former NASA astronaut. Dr. Díaz has successfully completed seven Space Shuttle missions distinguishing him with the record of the most spaceflights. Although he was the third Latin American to go into space, he has the distinction of being the first Latin American immigrant NASA Astronaut to take the journey. Dr. Díaz was inducted into the NASA Astronaut Hall of Fame on May 5, 2012. He has been recognized by Costa Rica and named Honor Citizen by the national legislature. The Costa Rican National High Technology Center was named in his honor and in 2014, Dr. Díaz was awarded the “Buzz Aldrin Quadrennial Space Award” by the Explorers Club for the VASIMR (Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplsma Rocket). Dr. Díaz currently serves as an Adjunct Professor in Physics and Astronomy at Rice University. He is also an activist who works hard to promote environmental protections and raise awareness about global warming. He was featured in a film named “Odyessy 2050," which focused on educating and encouraging young people to take an active role in environmental issues.

Mirabal Sisters


The Mirabel Sisters: Patria (b. February 27, 1924), Minerva ( b. March 12, 1926), Maria Teresa (b. October 15, 1935), and Dedé  (b. March 1, 1925)  were four sisters and activists from the Dominican Republic. On November 25, 1960 three of the four sisters lost their lives because they spoke up against the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. The courage of the sisters has led to their designation as “symbols of both popular and feminist resistance.” In 1999, the sisters were honored by the United Nations General Assembly with the designation of November 25th as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. In 2007, Salcedo Province was renamed Hermanas Mirabel Province. The sisters are also featured on the 200 Dominican pesos bill as well as a postage stamp. The bravery of the Mirabel Sisters continues to positively affect our global community.

Máxima Acuña


Máxima Acuña was born in 1970 in northern Peru where she learned from her family how to utilize the natural landscape around them. Ms. Acuña and her family were master weavers and would gather various plant species in order to dye fabric. In 2010, Ms. Acuña bought land and built a home in Tragadero Grande in the district of Sorochu, which is an isolated town in the mountains of Peru in South America. The following year, a huge mining company pressured her and her family to leave the land. Ms. Acuña fought for her family to retain their home and keep the natural habitat surrounding them free from corporate miners who were in search of copper and gold. Large mining corporations would destroy the natural resources found on the land and contribute to the pollution and destruction of water sources in the region. Her struggle was not easy and exposed her and her family members to potential harm. In an attempt to remove the Acuña family from their land, one corporation filed a lawsuit claiming that Máxima and her family were not legitimate land owners and were squatting in territory that was not theirs. Ms. Acuña fought for the civil rights of indigenous people and did not allow fear to prevent her from taking a stand. In 2016, Ms. Acuña was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize. Her peaceful protest and recognition helped apply pressure to the Peruvian Supreme Court to protect her and other residents from the aggressive actions of large mining companies. Her courage and leadership highlight the importance of using your voice to make a positive impact in this world.

Dr. David Hayes-Bautista

                                                                                            Dr. Hayes-Bautista
Dr. David Hayes-Bautista was born in 1946 and is an award-winning researcher focused on Latino healthcare. His over 41 years of expertise has contributed to his position as the leading voice in the field. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley and later completed his M.A. and PH.D in Medical Sociology at the University of California Medical Center, San Francisco. In 1971, he founded la Clínica de Raza and in 1974 began working at the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1987, he became a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Hayes-Bautista established the Center for the  Study of Latino Health and Culture at the UCLA School of Medicine in 1992. Medical students, residents and practicing providers learn about how to manage the care of Latino patients through effective, efficient, and economical practices. Dr. Hayes-Bautista is also a media expert and public speaker. He is the author of various books and his publications have been featured in Family Medicine, the American Journal of Public Health, Family Practice, Medical Care, and Salu Pública de México.

Sonia Sotomayor

                                                                                                  Sonya Sotomayer

Justice Sonia Sotomayor was born June 25, 1954 in (Bronx) New York City, New York. She lost her father at the age of nine and was raised by her mother. She graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1976 and later received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1979. In 1991 President George H. W. Bush nominated her to serve as a member of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. In 1997 President Bill Clinton nominated her to serve as a member of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Justice Sotomayor has taught at the New York University School of Law and Columbia Law School. In May 2009 Justice Sotomayor was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. She is the first Justice of Hispanic descent and the first Latina in our nation’s history to serve in the prestigious role. Justice Sotomayor has received several honorary law degrees and awards including the Woodrow Wilson Award (2013) from her alma mater Princeton University. The Bronxdale Housing project where she grew up was renamed in her honor (2010) to the Sonia Sotomayor Houses. In 2013, a painting featuring her and inspirational  leaders was unveiled at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. for visitors around the world to enjoy. Justice Sotomayor continues to make history for our nation and is an example of a true leader!

Manu Ginóbili

                                                                                  Manu Ginobili

Emmanuel David Ginóbili was born on July 28, 1977 in Bahí Blanca, Argentina. He is a retired professional basketball player who successfully played for 23 seasons. Mr. Ginóbili made history when he became one of only two players to have won a EuroLeague title, an NBA championship, and an Olympic gold medal. His entire NBA career was spent as a member of the San Antonio Spurs. He along with players Tim Duncan and Tony Parker were known as the “Big Three.” He worked very hard with his teammates in order to clinch four NBA championships. Mr. Ginóbili was named an All-Star player in 2005 and 2011 along with being selected for the All-NBA Team twice. From 2007-2008 he was named the NBA Sixth man of the year. His basketball hero was Michael Jordan and he worked very hard to make a name for himself in the NBA. Mr. Ginóbili announced his retirement from the NBA on August 27, 2018.

Dolores Huerta

                                                                                Dolores Huerta

Dolores Huerta was born on April 10, 1930 in Dawson, New Mexico to immigrant parents from Mexico. Her father worked very hard as a coal miner and Ms. Huerta grew up listening to her father discuss the importance of union organizing. Her mother taught her the importance of fighting for civil rights. She watched her mother advocate for the rights of farm workers. In 1955 Ms. Huerta helped Fred Ross start the Stockton Chapter of the Community  Service Organization (CSO), which fought for economic improvements for Latinos. In 1960, she co-founded the Agricultural Workers Association and in 1962 worked with César Chávez in order to found the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee. She spoke up about the horrible conditions that farm workers endured. She shared with the world that farm workers were poorly paid, had no rights, slept on floors, used furniture that was made of wooden boxes, did not have access to clean water or bathrooms, and would work from sun up to sun down with no breaks. In 1965 she directed the UFW’s national boycott during the Delano grape strike which highlighted the struggle to the world. The boycott resulted in the state of California’s table grape industry signing a three year collective bargaining agreement with the United Farm Workers in 1970.  She coined the phrase of the movement: “Si sé puede! “ Ms. Huerta founded the Dolores Huerta Foundation in 2002 which promotes community based support and has received many honors including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012 from President Barack Obama.

J. Paul Raines

                                                                                                       Paul Raines

Julian Paul Raines was born on April 4, 1964 in Costa Rica. Mr. Raines was raised in the state of Georgia and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering. Mr. Raines joined GameStop in 2008 as Chief Operating Officer from Home Depot. Mr. Raines spent eight years at Home Depot where he served in a variety of management jobs that included Executive Vice President and President of more than 2,000 stores in the Southern division of the company. His career also included his service for four years in global sourcing for L.L. Bean and 10 years with the Kurt Salmon Associates consumer products group and board member with J.C. Penney. He became CEO of GameStop in June 2010 and unfortunately had to step down due to health reasons. Mr. Raines recently passed away due to his illness but is remembered for being a brilliant man who was caring, a true visionary, and a community leader. His legacy of excellence continues to influence the company and has contributed to its continued success.

Geisha J. Williams

                                                                                     Geisha Williams

Geisha Williams was born Geisha J. Jimemez in Cuba in 1961. Ms. Williams immigrated  to the US with her family once her father, a political prisoner, was released from prison. The family settled in Minnesota with no money and few belongings. Her father worked in factories during the day and washed dishes in restaurants at night. Her family eventually saved enough money to buy a grocery store in New Jersey and later expanded to Florida. Ms. Williams was the first person in her family to complete a college education. She graduated with an engineering degree from the University of Miami and fell in love with working in the power industry through an internship.  Ms. Williams is Chief Executive Officer and President of PG&E Corporation. She joined the company in 2007, and is responsible for providing energy to over 16 million residents in northern and central California. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of PG&E Corporation and its utility subsidiary, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Ms. Williams is a director at the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO). Ms. Williams is also a board member of the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD). Ms. Williams is a trustee of the California Academy of Sciences and the University of Miami, where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University. Ms. Williams made history by becoming the first Latina CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

Carlos Santana



Carlos Santana was born on July 20, 1947 in Autlán de Navarro, Jalisco, Mexico. He learned to play both the violin and guitar under the age of 10. After leaving Mexico, Mr. Santana moved to San Francisco, California to the historic Mission District. Mr. Santana attended and graduated from James Lick Middle School and Mission High School. He was accepted to both California State University, Northridge, and Humboldt State University but decided not to attend college. His musical style was heavily influenced by artists such as B.B. King, T-Bone Walker, Javier Batiz, and John Lee Hooker. His band Santana blended Latin-infused rock, jazz, blues, salsa, and African rhythms. Mr. Santana’s music is adored around the world and has contributed to his success with winning 10 Grammy Awards. On December 29, 2013, Mr. Santana became a prestigious Kennedy Center Honoree and continues to bring joy to all audiences who experience his music!

Rosario Dawson


Rosario Isabel Dawson was born on May 9, 1979 in New York City. At the age of 15 she was discovered on her front-porch step by photographers Larry Clark and Harmony Korine. Ms. Dawson is a phenomenal actress, producer, singer, comic book writer and political activist. Her acting career includes a brief appearance on Sesame Street and roles in a number of motion pictures including: He Got Game (1988), Josie and the Pussycats (2001), Men in Black II (2002), 25th Hour ( 2002), Rent (2005), Death Proof (2007), Seven Pounds (2008), Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightening Thief (2010), Unstoppable (2010), Top Five (2014) and voice-over work for Disney and DC. Ms. Dawson won the Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Rent and was nominated for the Critic’s Choice Award for Best Actress in a Comedy for her role in Top Five. Ms. Dawson is also a philanthropist who dedicates her time and to many community based organizations.