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Diamante Awards celebrates Latino communities


The Diamante Awards celebrated its 20th year of supporting the Toledo-area Latino scholarship and the Latino communities. This year’s ceremony was hosted at the Franciscan Theatre & Conference Center of Lourdes College on Sept. 11, 2009, featuring Latino cuisine, a silent auction, and live entertainment by Tony Rios and his Latino dance troupe, Baila Rico Dancers.


Since its inception in 1990, hundreds of individuals and organizations have received scholarships and awards for their respective achievements and contributions.

Carlos Ruiz

The 2009 Scholarship Recipients that were recognized were: 

Bowling Green State University:
Marisa Aguilera-Wells
Michelle Bologna
José Durán


Lourdes College:
Chrysler Corp Fund: Margaret García
Chrysler Corp Fund: Kristen Ikes
Chrysler Corp Fund: Joanne Reinhart
Chrysler Corp Fund: Nicole Reyes-Whitt

Lourdes General Diamante Scholarship:
Amalia Ayers (Bellevue)
Angela M. Bauman (Bowling Green)
Larisa Buchanan (Toledo)
Alicia D. Castillo (Toledo)
Savannah Frelin (Toledo)
Evie R. Gray (Swanton)
Maribel C. Martínez (Toledo)
Deonne S. Zientek (Holland)
Diamante Endowed Scholarship Fund:
Kasandre Soleau 

National City Bank Fund: Karen P. Molla

Owens Corning Foundation: Oriana Orozco


Owens Community College:
Chrysler Corp Fund: Trevor Barrientos
Chrysler Corp Fund: SantaMonika García
Chrysler Corp Fund:
Ana Alicia Muñoz
Chrysler Corp Fund: Taylor Rhoades
National City Bank Fund: Tabitha Mixon
Owens Community College Foundation: Alfred DeLaCruz
Owens Community College Foundation: SantaMonika García
Owens Community College Foundation: Tabitha Mixon
Owens Community College Foundation: Ana Alicia Muñoz
Owens Community College Foundation: SantaMonika García
Owens Corning: SantaMonika García
Spanish American Organization: Ana Alicia Muñoz


University of Toledo
Diamante Image Latino: 
Antonio Aguilar
Manuel Mendizabal
Christina Rodríguez
Delfina Zapata
National City Diamante:
Natalie Guzmán
Owens Corning Diamante:
Ilario Estrada


The Diamante Awards is hosted by Bowling Green State University, Lourdes College, Owens Community College, and The University of Toledo, which alternate annual venues. 


The 20th annual Diamante Awards Committee—comprised of Margarita De León, Sonia Troche, and one representative from BGSU (Connie Weaver), UT (Cecilia Rivera), Lourdes College (Kelly Dilworth), and Owens Community College (Alexis DeAnda)—announced the 2009 recipients in the categories of Corporate Community Agency, Friend of the Latino Community, Latino/Latina Adult Leadership and Latino/Latina Youth Leadership:


Corporation/Community Agency – AMISTAD
From 1987 until 2008, AMISTAD has been providing scholarship assistance to Northwest Ohio Latino students who are pursuing their education. Amelia and Robert Valle (Gibsonburg), Carol and Ramiro Martínez (Fostoria), Dora and Clyde López (Oregon, Ohio and Texas), Anita and Ramiro Almagüer (Fremont), Mary and Fernando Costilla (Fremont), and Gloria and Al VenCoppenalle (Toledo), have dedicated countless hours to advancing the Latino community throughout the region.


Fernando Costilla accepted the award for the group. Throughout the years, Amistad has contributed more than $15,000 for scholarships for Latino students enrolled at Terra. Visit: https://laprensatoledo.com/


Ramona Trujillo accepts from Alexis DeAnda

Latino/Latina Youth Leadership – Carlos Ruiz

Carlos, born in Nicaragua, is currently a Business and Finance student at the University of Toledo where he is a member of the Sigma Lambda Beta fraternity. As a member of Sigma Lambda Beta, Carlos volunteered for Adelante Inc.’s fundraiser Quinceañera Fashion and Talent Show and additionally served as a youth specialist with the organization. Carlos also participated in the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference at Ohio Northern University, UT’s Latino Youth Summit, and the Overnight Experience for children of migrant workers at the University of Toledo.


Latino/Latina Adult Leadership – Ramona Trujillo

A University of Toledo alumna Ramona Trujillo spent time as a member of the Peace Corps and has taught Spanish at Central Catholic High School, Clay, DeVilbiss, St. Thomas, Scott and Woodward high schools. Throughout her life, Ramona has maintained a strong connection to the local Latino community. She has taught English and drivers education to Latino residents, helped prepare individuals for U.S. Citizenship exams and translated manuals from English to Spanish. Additionally, she has volunteered with Adelante, Inc., FLOC, the International Institute, and the former Guadalupe Center.


Friend of the Latino Community – Human Relations Commission, Bowling Green
The Human Relations Commission (HRC) was established to promote and enhance positive feelings and interactions among people of different nationalities throughout the city of Bowling Green. In 1993, the HRC began the city’s annual Cinco de Mayo celebration, bringing Latino culture to the area. Leo Ameida and Barbara Keller accepted the award on behalf of the HR Commission.


The HRC’s ongoing sponsorship and support of the Cinco de Mayo event has helped raise thousands of dollars in funding for student scholarships at Bowling Green State University. Visit: http://www.bgsu.edu/organizations/hrc/


According to the Diamante Awards Committee, winners in the four categories, above, were chosen based on “recognition of exemplary leadership and achievements within the Latino community or community at large, demonstrated excellence in their fields, dedication and commitment in an ethical and inclusive fashion and modeling qualities and behaviors of a mentor for youth and the community.”



Mary Jane Flores and Connie Eason

Carla Soto and Rico

Fernando Costilla and Alexis DeAnda

Marcy Kaptur and Teresa Morris Ramos

Gary Johnson and Anita Lopez

Robert Torres and Alberto Flores





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