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La Liga de Las Americas

BGSU to host Diamante Awards, Scholarships, Sept. 14


BOWLING GREEN: The 18th annual Diamante Community Awards, recognizing contributions to the Latino community in the Toledo area, will be presented Sept. 14, 2007 at Bowling Green State University in the Lenhart Grand Ballroom of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union.


In addition to the four Diamante Awards, scholarships will be presented to about 40 students from BGSU, Lourdes College, the University of Toledo, and Owens Community College—the four northwest Ohio institutions whose partnership in the awards program benefits their Latino students. The venue rotates among these 4 institutions.


Jesse Ponce will be performing at the Diamante Awards as he did in 2005

Among the BGSU four scholarship/Diamante award honorees:    


Naomi Valdez, a BGSU senior from Findlay, who will receive the Latina/Latino Youth Leadership Award. As 2006-07 president of the University’s Latino Student Union, Ms. Valdez, an international studies major, has worked with various campus departments developing methods to attract Latino students to BGSU.


Her campus involvement includes serving as student chair of the annual Latino Issues Conference and as a member of the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration steering committee and the Cinco de Mayo scholarship campaign. In December 2005, she was part of a BGSU delegation that traveled to Mobile, Ala., to offer Hurricane Katrina relief.


Valdez is also one of six BGSU students who will be presented scholarships. She will receive a $1,000 National City Bank Diamante Scholars award, while $2,000 BGSU Foundation Scholarships will go to Michelle Bologna, a sophomore from Cincinnati majoring in international studies and Spanish; Jacqueline Hernández, a junior from Wauseon majoring in early childhood education, and Nathaniel Olmeda, a junior music education major from Cleveland.


Ryan García, a BGSU senior from Willard, Ohio majoring in family and consumer sciences, will receive a $1,000 scholarship as a Chrysler Corp. Fund Diamante Scholar, and Jonathan Visalden, a junior criminal justice major from Lorain, will receive the same amount as an Owens Corning Foundation Diamante Scholar.


BGSU’s Diamante scholarships are based on grade point average and financial need, as well as dedication and commitment to the campus Latino community. “We are thrilled to able to support more students at higher levels,” said Dr. Alberto González, cochair of the event and a previous Diamante Award recipient.


Lourdes College, based in Sylvania, Ohio, will honor scholarship recipients: Lauren Guzmán (senior majoring in nursing), Aaron Hoyos (sophomore majoring in pre-art therapy), Kristi Parson (senior majoring in biology and business administration), Rachel Reyes (freshman in nursing), Trina Craft (sophomore majoring in business administration), Alexandra Moreno (junior in nursing), and Brandee Mendoza (junior majoring in accounting, finance and business administration).


Other Diamante Award recipients

The other three Diamante Awards are being presented to: Bob Salazar for Latino/Latina Adult Leadership, Tom Brogan, for Friend of the Latino Community, and Owens Corning, for Corporate/Community Agency.


Salazar has co-chaired LatinoFest and, as a member of the Spanish American Organization, co-initiated Latino Scholarship Day with the Toledo Mud Hen Day with La Prensa bilingual, weekly newspaper, making it an annual Latino scholarship fundraising event. In addition, as a former president of the SAO, he developed partnerships and agreements with area colleges and universities to provide matching dollars for Latino scholarships awarded by the organization.


Brogan has supported numerous events hosted by the Latino Networking Alliance at BGSU. For an alliance-sponsored taco dinner scholarship benefit, he rearranged a breakfast crew schedule at the Burger King restaurant he manages so the crew could cook for the dinner. He has also given his time and resources to BGSU Spirit Day and to BGSU Networking Alliance Holiday Parade efforts.


Owens Corning is being honored for its role in the Diamante Campaign, which was launched in 2003 with the goal of raising $500,000 for Latino scholarships. With the help of Dave Brown, the corporation’s president and CEO, the campaign received an initial Owens Corning pledge of $75,000. That led the way to a successful campaign, which closed last year but now generates nearly 40 scholarships annually at the four partnering institutions.

Rebecca Aguilar, a BGSU alumna and award-winning reporter at KDFW, Fox TV in Dallas-Fort Worth, will provide opening and closing comments at the public event, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. At 9 p.m., a silent auction will raise scholarship funds and feature artwork by area artists.


Tejano musician Jesse Ponce will perform during the auction. The BGSU Graduate String Quartet will also provide music during the evening, and the presidents of each of the four collaborating institutions will offer remarks.


For tickets to the Sept. 14 ceremonies, contact Roberta García at 419-372-7681 or [email protected]. Prices are $60 per person and $100 for two people in advance, or $75 and $125, respectively, at the door. For students, tickets are $25 per student with valid ID in advance, or $30 at the door.







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