Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards to honor and present 18 High School Seniors with a total of $45,000 in grants for leadership in classroom and community

Dallas, TX—The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) today announced the recipients of the Dallas Regional Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards. Eighteen local high school seniors will be honored for their leadership in the classroom and community and promoted as role models for their peers during a ceremony at the Hughes-Trigg Center on Thursday, May 18, 2006.

The 2006 Dallas Youth Award recipients each will receive educational grants in the amounts of $3,000 for the Gold Medallion Awardees and $2,000 for Silver Medallion Awardees for a total of $45,000. Across the country, 216 Youth Awardees from 12 regions will receive more than $600,000 in total grants after being selected from more than 13,000 applications. The Dallas recipients by sponsor and category are:

Arts and Culture (sponsored by Smithsonian Latino Center)

Victor Manuel Alvarez of McAllen, TX-

Arturo Aguero of Irving, TX-

Academic Excellence

(sponsored by Chase and

MasterCard International):

David Tomas Escamilla of Farmers Branch, TX-

Vanessa Nielsen of Santa Teresa, NM-

Community Service

(sponsored by Dr Pepper):

Victoria Lynn Rhodes of New Braunfels, TX-

Teresa Magaly Espino of Fort Worth, TX-

Education (sponsored by

Southwest Airlines)

Juan Carlos Guevara of Dallas, TX-

Sam Muñoz of Saginaw, TX-

Engineering and Mathematics (sponsored by ExxonMobil):

Nathaniel Hugo Mejias of Edinburg, TX-

Emily MichellePerez of Arlington, TX-

Healthcare (sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline):

Stephanie Marilyn Martinez of Irving, TX-

Yesica Loreli Rocha of McKinney, TX-

Leadership (sponsored by Kellogg Company)

Melissa Amaya of Dallas, TX-

David Alejandro Silva of Dallas, TX-

Journalism (sponsored by NBC Universal and Telemundo):

Rachel Lynn Thomas of San Jose, CA-

Christopher Daniel Montes of Carrollton, TX-

Sports (sponsored by SUBWAY® Restaurants):

Celenne Nuñez of Dallas, TX-

Christopher David Olivares of San Antonio, TX-

“The dedication demonstrated by these young people in the classroom and throughout their community are proof positive that our future is in very capable hands,” said HHF President and CEO José Antonio Tijerino. “Through our youth leadership program, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation and its sponsors are committed to redefining the image of Latinos as productive, hardworking and visionary. There is no doubt that the Dallas regional recipients will help us accomplish that goal and set a positive example for younger Latinos going forward.”

Of the 216 Regional Youth Awards recipients, one National Youth Award recipient per category will be chosen. The nine National Youth Award recipients will receive an additional $5,000 educational grant and a laptop computer. Southwest Airlines, the Official Airline Sponsor of the Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards, will fly each of the national award recipients to the National Youth Awards presentation in Miami on June 21, and to the star-studded 20th Annual Hispanic Heritage Awards ceremony in Washington, DC, on September 7 at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. At each of the 12 Regional Youth Award Ceremonies, HHF, as part of its year-long 20th Anniversary Campaign, will host a touring portrait exhibition of the nearly 100 Honorees of the prestigious Hispanic Heritage Awards as photographed by Dario Acosta, the Official Portrait Photographer of the Hispanic Heritage Awards. The exhibit, titled “Looking Back, Moving Forward,’’ pays tribute to the accomplishments of Latino leaders who have paved the way for this generation and its leaders. Images of Isabel Allende, Antonio Banderas, Celia Cruz, Astronaut Ellen Ochoa, and others will serve as the background for the new leaders being saluted with their Youth Awards that evening. Please visit www.darioacosta.com for more information on the photographer.