Student Samantha M. Rodriguez was awarded the Aspiring Youth Award at the Idaho Hispanic Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon held Feb. 16 at the Hispanic Cultural Center of Idaho in Nampa. This honor is given to Latino college students who have been involved in community work and are dedicated to making a difference in people’s lives. Rodriguez is majoring in Spanish with minors in political science and Latin American/Latino studies. She currently is the president of OELA (Organización de Estudiantes Latinoamericanos) and MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan).
At the same event, María Mabbutt, an instructor with the College Assistance Migrant Program, was awarded the Community Pillar Award. Mabutt was honored at the luncheon because of her dedication to advocating for Latino youth and education.
Alicia Garza, an associate professor of Spanish in the Department of World Languages and director of Casita Nepantla, was one of three keynote speakers who spoke about the state of the Hispanic Community in Idaho. Her remarks focused on the political climate in Latino communities in Idaho.