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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Awards Ceremony Concludes Hispanic Heritage Month

    The closing ceremony for Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated annually at Stony Brook University (SBU), was held in the SAC auditorium on Wednesday, Oct. 31. The ceremony was not only a wrap up of the events held throughout the month, but also an award ceremony honoring the various achievements of those within the Hispanic community.

    The event began with a warm welcome from Dr. Jane Delgado, who was listed as one of the 100 most influential Latinos throughout the U.S. and Latin America by the Spanish version of People magazine. Dr. Delgado first spoke about how far the term “culture” has traveled since she was at SBU. “It was very difficult [being a minority] and Stony Brook was not a friendly place,” she said. She wants the young, Hispanic generation today to have “strong values and a moral compass” to help them through the various phases of life.

    Delgado, also CEO and President of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, one of the nation’s largest healthcare providers for Hispanics, then introduced Paolo Rosario, a junior at Stony Brook, and also President of the Latin American Student Organization (LASO).

    “We are the leaders of tomorrow,” said Rosario, also a regular on the Dean’s list. “[We] should be grateful for the opportunity to give back to the community?the U.S. is our backyard to grow and make fruitful harvest for a better future,” she continued.

    She then went on to talk about the Haitian Kids Organization that raises funds for the more than 300,000 kids in Haiti currently suffering from slavery and prostitution. “We will continue building because it is our duty as the first, second and third generation of Latinos in America to pave way for others,” she said.

    Rosario also shared her thought about minorities in America and, specifically, Stony Brook. “It is an unfortunate idea that the American dream cannot be shared by all, especially the American minorities,” said Rosario, a Health Science major aspiring to become a Physician Assistant.

    The award ceremony began shortly after Rosario finished her speech.

    Many awards and scholarships were given to staff, faculty and students of Stony Brook who worked hard towards upbringing, encouraging and acknowledging the Hispanic community.

    A few of the awards handed out at the ceremony were the A.Sanchez Construction Corporation Scholarship for Academic Achievement, Hispanic Month Community Service Award, Hispanic Heritage Month Academic Achievement Award, Leadership Award, The Anna Maria Torres Leadership Scholarship, the Las Madrinas and the Las Padrinas Awards, as well as the Hispanic Heritage month faculty and Staff Awards.

    Wanda Vega, the recipient of the Las Madrinas Award and a faculty member here at Stony Brook, said that she was totally surprised when she received the award. “The fact that we are being acknowledged is really important,” she said.

    Anthony Nunez, the winner for the Hispanic Heritage Month Leadership Award said that we should promote Hispanics, work ethics and a better future. “As Hispanics, we have a stigma to overcome,” he said.

    After the award celebration, all guests and attendees present at the ceremony enjoyed a traditional and diverse Latin dinner.

    “The Latin American community is really important and really under represented,” said Jessica Marmol, an attendee at the closing event and member of the LASO. “Organizations like LASO help us represent ourselves and get ourselves known.”

    The event ended with raffle drawing and closing remarks. “Each human being is precious and Hispanic Heritage Month is a way to celebrate all that is special,” said Dr. Delgado, “I only wish that more non-Hispanics were also part of the celebration.”

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