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Miguel Olmo

Windham High School
Manchester Community College

A graduate of Windham High School in Willimantic, CT, is a student at Manchester Community College (MCC). Mr. Olmo is majoring in the Drug and Alcohol Program at MCC. He plans to become a certified counselor. His immediate plans include getting a Bachelor's degree in Social Work and eventually earn a Master's degree in the same field. Mr. Olmo is on the Board of Directors for Community Prevention and Addiction Services. He has been on the Deans and President's list at Manchester Community College. Extracurricular activities include Baseball, Basketball and participation in the DARC Club at Manchester Community College.

Hugo Lara

East Haven
Middlebury College

A graduate of East Haven High School will be attending Middlebury College in Vermont. In his junior year, Hugo founded a club called "Students Taking Action Though Expressive Art" (STATE). Through an internship with Senator Anistokovich, Hugo was able to secure a space in the downtown area. Under his leadership the club produced an art show, Emotions Open Windows, which included paintings, drawings and sculptures. According to Caroline Harrington, a Courier staff writer, "Hugo has been artistically inclined since he was a young boy living in Peru. Now, he strives to bring all art forms into his community and use art to form a world consciousness". Hugo's goal is to head a film production company and to contribute to the world through the arts. He believes that artists can reach and captivate a larger audience using art more than any other medium. The arts, according to Hugo, inspire, motivate, and uplift the human spirit in ways that violence and protest can not. His extracurricular activities include class president, honor society,founder and president of STATE, and the Principal's council.

Steven Ortiz

A Dean's List student with a GPA of 3.6 at Western Connecticut State University, has been selected as one of the CALAHE Scholarship recipients. A native of Costa Rica, Steven lives in Danbury with his parents. As an undergraduate music major at Western Connecticut State University, Steven works in the community in Danbury teaching music to the children in his neighborhood. He taugh t himself to play the piano. Not only does he teach the children to read music, but also teaches them play "hip-hop" tunes on the piano. Additionally, Steven is a member of the Music Educator National Conference Chapter at the university. This group provides music lessons to the children in the community. His goal is to become a music teacher in the Danbury public school system where he hopes to become a role model for Latino children.

Dylia Hernandez

A native of Caguas, Puerto Rico and a mother of an eleven-year daughter and a four-year-old son, is pursing an Associate degree at Manchester Community College. Dylia is a strong advocate for higher education. She is a mentor at the Vernon Regional Adult Education-College Transition Class. As a mentor, she helps by recruiting new students to the program, helps with student registration, and advises students regarding transition to college. As a school bus driver in a community with a large and growing Latino population, she also serves as role model for all the students she transports. She encourages her students to reach for the stars and achieve their goals. After graduating with a GED, Dylia enrolled at Manchester Community College where she is majoring in Accounting and Business Administration.

David Roman Jr.

A graduate of John F. Kennedy High School in Waterbury, is the recipient of the John Soto Scholarship. David will attend Western Connecticut State University majoring in elementary education. He is a strong supporter of public schools because he is a product of the system and feels very proud of the education he has received. He wants to provide students in the public schools system the best possible education comparable to what it is offered at private institutions. David aspires one day to become a school administrator or perhaps a superintendent of schools. His club and leadership positions include: Junior and Senior Class president, Vice President of the Future Business Leaders of America, reporter for the Eagle Flyer, the school newspaper, and co-business manager for the yearbook staff. In addition, he has been very active in his community. His community involvement includes Toys for Tots Drive; religious education; food drives; March of Dimes; and the Red Cross.

Liliana Zea

A graduate of Bulkeley High School in Hartford, is the recipient of the Thomas M. Blake Scholarship. Liliana is a third semester student at Manchester Community College (MCC) where she is majoring in General Studies. After earning her degree at MCC, she hopes to transfer to a four-year college to pursue a degree in Nursing. Her extracurricular activities include Aspira of Connecticut, Career Beginnings and the Hispanic Culture Club at MCC. She also tutors children at Fox Middle School and Burns School. Liliana feels "that having a good education will permit her to help others with their educational development".

Jessica M. Cohen

Is a senior at Central Connecticut State University where she is majoring in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. Jessica has been active in her community as a high school and college student. She volunteered her time as a high school student to provide preventive measures for Latino youth in the greater Hartford area. She has also worked as a youth facilitator with the City of Hartford's Department of Human Services. She has volunteered her time to advise and provide guidance to the Aspira Club members in New Britain. Jessica is a member of the Congress of Latin American Students (CLAS) where she helped organize a statewide Latino Student Conference for high school and college students. For the past two years, this conference has attracted over 500 middle and high school students. She is currently the Secretary of the Latin American Student Organization at Central. Career goals include obtaining a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.

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