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Live band performs during Concilio's Annual Awards Gala event on Sept. 21. Photo: Jensen Toussaint/AL DÍA News. 
Live band performs during Concilio's Annual Awards Gala event on Sept. 21. Photo: Jensen Toussaint/AL DÍA News. 

Highlighting Latinx community leaders: 2019 Concilio Awards Gala

The annual event highlights the actions of Latino community leaders across the city, and also promotes Latino culture. 

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On Saturday, Sept. 21, Concilio hosted its Annual Awards Gala.

The event took place at Concilio's headquarters in East Hunting Park in Philadelphia.

Each year during the event, Concilio highlights the actions of active community leaders from across the city. This year, four awards were handed out:

  • The Community Service Award, which recognizes a grass-roots individual who consistently provides volunteer services to the Latino community. 
  • The Citizen of the Year Award, which recognizes a person who has provided extraordinary service to the Latino community.
  • The Latino Youth Award, which recognizes a young adult between the ages of 14 and 25 who has achieved scholastically in his or her personal life, or has demonstrated leadership through volunteer services to the community. 
  • The Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes a person over the age of 60 who has demonstrated exceptional life-long services to the Latino community.

Madeline Neris Negron, currently the program coordinator of the Latino Partnership Leadership Institute, was the recipient of the Community Service Award, for her role in providing community support through relationship building and organizing grass roots initiatives. Negron is also the founder of "Daughters of Destiny," a faith-based group of women and mothers. 

Natily Santos, the director of supplier diversity & strategic sourcing at Aramark, was the recipient of the Citizen of the Year Award, for her commitment to creating meaningful outcomes and advocating for diversity and inclusion within their workforce, workplace and marketplace. Santos is also the founder of Aramark's first Hispanic market and employee resource group.

Viviana Sanchez Gomez, currently in her senior year at Penn State majoring in corporate communications and minoring in business, was the recipient of the Latino Youth Award, for her role as one of the leaders in the Esperanza Academy Dance Ensemble, and as a member of the National Honors Society. She has also been working for Concilio for the past year as the OST high school program.

Esther G. Martinez, MD, who has been caring for children and their families since 1985, was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, for her role of helping families understand that they are special, helping each child understand their potential, and helping families and children reach success. 

The event also featured live music and dance, delicious food, a silent auction, and networking opportunities between notable Latino professionals. 

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Founded in 1962, the Council of Spanish Speaking Organizations (Concilio) is the oldest Latino organization in Philadelphia. Its mission is to cultivate the strength and resilience of children and families, improve the quality of life in the community, and maintain the community's heritage, history, and culture. 

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