De Colores Inc is an all-volunteer organization that celebrates Latino culture, achievements and leadership each year during National Hispanic Heritage Month. During this 17th annual festival a special partnership was created with the Albuquerque Public Schools, which for the first time celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month district wide.
Student Leadership Awards were presented to three college and one high school student:
Damien Flores: College Leadership Award - Mr. Flores is a UNM senior, majoring in English. Among his recognitions include: the 2008 Lena Todd Award for creative non-fiction from the UNM English Department; “Poet of the Year” in 2007 & 2008 by the NM Hispano Entertainer’s Association; the 2008 & 2009 ABQ-Slams City Champion. He was a member of four ABQ Poetry Slam Teams as well as the ‘06 & ‘08 National Champion UNM Slam Teams. He has written two books, “A Novena of Mud” and “El Cuento de Juana Henrieta.” His work has been anthologized in numerous national publications and is currently Poet-in-Residence at Albuquerque High School.
Andrea Robles: College Leadership Award - Ms Robles, a junior at the University of New Mexico is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. An Albuquerque High School graduate, Andrea has returned to her school as an ENLACE Mentor to inspire and assist students in realizing their potential for higher education. As a first generation college student, she has made the Dean’s List at UNM and has served as a cheer coach for girls age six and under. Andrea is not only a mentor to students but a genuine role model for many around her.
Jessica Martinez: College Leadership Award - Ms. Martinez is a sophomore at the UNM double majoring in Political Science and Spanish with an emphasis in International Relations. Jessica has been the National Youth President of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) for three years. She is the youngest member on: LULAC’s National Board. She is a member and past council president of LULAC Youth Council 53 and has also previously held the position of New Mexico LULAC Youth State Director. She has been a statewide, local and national youth leader. Recently, Jessica was ranked number 10 on the list of Top Latinos Under the Age of 25.
Valeria Garcia: High School Leadership Award - Ms. Garcia, a senior at Valley High School, carries a 4.2 grade point average. She is actively involved with National Honor Society, Valley Academy, Mock Trial, chorus and the Model United Nations. She has lettered for National Honors Society, Chorus, NM All State Music Festival and received honorable mention attorney for the NM Mock Trial Regionals. She participates in ENLACE and volunteers at EXPLORA museum; at Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church; the Balloon Fiesta; and the Mexican Independence Day Festival.
2009 major sponsors included APS, UNM, Intel, Youth Development, Inc, and the Atrisco Heritage Foundation.