LINCOLN – The 10th Annual Hispanic Heritage Month State Commemoration will take place on Friday, October 7, 2016, at the Capitol Building in Lincoln, Neb.
The Commemoration, hosted by the Nebraska Latino – American Commission (NLAC), is sponsored by McDonald’s, Southeast Community College, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo. The event, free and open to the public, observes Hispanic Heritage Month by honoring and recognizing Hispanic Nebraskans for their service to the community and the state. The Commemoration will begin with a ceremony in the Capitol Building on the second floor Rotunda from 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. Six Nebraska students, one non-profit and four community leaders will be honored at this year’s Commemoration.
The Keynote Speaker this year is Griselda Aldrete, President and CEO of Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee. An alumni of the University of Nebraska-Omaha, Aldrete is a former investigative reporter and former criminal justice instructor at Bryant and Stratton College and Concordia University. She is a current proponent of Latinos in corporate business, and serves on many boards promoting Latinos in Milwaukee. She was recently selected as a U.S. Delegate for the British American Project and named one of Wisconsin’s top 48 most powerful Latinos.
This year the four Hispanic Heritage Month Award recipients are:
Humanitarian Award: Lisa Guill, Multicultural Marketing Coordinator, Union Bank & Trust, for her commitment, leadership and volunteer work for the Latino and immigrant communities of Lincoln;
Inspiration Award: Brenda Romero, Ph.D., Director-Spanish and Interpreting Program at the College of St. Mary in Omaha, for helping Latina/o students succeed and be proud of their cultural identity;
Organization Award: Latino Employee Network of Union Pacific for helping the Latino community and students of Omaha; and
Event Award: The Dia de los Muertos Celebration by Jose and Linda Garcia of Omaha, for educating the public about Dia de los Muertos with workshops, classes, exhibits and presentations for many years.
The ceremony will also award the winners of the 2016 Hispanic Heritage Month Essay Contest. Out of 149 entries from across the state, there were six winners in places first through third. The essays were judged by a diverse jury of 25 teachers, civil rights activists, and community leaders from across the state.
The three winners in the high school division are, from first to third place: Martin Ruiz of Lexington High School, Iliana Avalos of North Platte High School and Liz Lauby of Lexington High School.
In the middle school division, from first to third place, the winners are: Aaron Kutty of Omaha’s Brownell-Talbot Middle School, Jimena Juarez of Lincoln’s Mickle Middle School and Anirudh Mazumdar of Lincoln’s Lux Middle School.
Each essay winner will be publicly recognized at the State Commemoration before receiving a medal, a certificate, a scholarship from Wells Fargo, a gift card and a Kindle courtesy of McDonald’s. The first place winners will read their essays to the audience at the Commemoration, and the essays will be printed on tray liners in McDonald’s restaurants across the state.