The Florida Hispanic American Chamber of Commerce, on October 17, 2022, held the 2022 Hispanic Heritage Awards Celebration. As part of the celebration, held at the Hilton Airport in West Palm Beach, four high school students were awarded scholarships. At the same time, two teachers were recognized for their contributions, achievements, and educational leadership examples within the Hispanic community and in the School District of Palm Beach County.
According to Juan Pagan, the President of the Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, it is a pleasure and honor for the Chamber to be part of an event that has led to the growth of the Hispanic population in Palm Beach County and the School District. The Hispanic heritage awards were given to the following students and teachers for their outstanding performances.
Manuela Berrio Cabeza – Olympic Heights Community High School
Manuela Berrio Cabeza is an honor roll student with a GPA of 4.3. She has enrolled in Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) courses. Her academic performance has also been excellent in many Advanced Placement courses in which she has enrolled. So it isn’t a surprise that she is one of the students singled out by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for a scholarship.
Brianna Castro – Park Vista Community High School
Another outstanding student honored with a scholarship by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Florida is Brianna Castro, a bright and highly motivated student. Brianna ranked first in her class of 765 students. Her positive personal traits and tireless pursuit of knowledge, creativity, and learning have made her lifestyle worth emulating and celebrating; hence she received recognition.
Hailey Acosta – Royal Palm Beach Community High School
Another brilliant student recognized by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is Hailey Acosta. Hailey achieved a feat many people only dream of when she was accepted into the International Baccalaureate (IB) in her first year of high school.
She recently earned her AICE diploma and has maintained a 3.98 unweighted GPA and a 5.19 weighted GPA. Hailey will graduate with two of the highest-level diplomas available to high school students and the standard high school diploma.
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David Onofre – John I. Leonard High School
Out of 753 senior students, David Onofre is ranked fourth. He is at the top of his graduating class and has earned a 3.86 grade point average and a 5.14 honors point average. David has received numerous certifications for his exceptional skill and zeal, including HTML/CSS, Windows, Adobe Photoshop, and Python. He accrued college credits through his involvement in Palm Beach State College’s Dual Enrollment program.
The Teachers Honored
At the event, the two teachers honored by the Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce were:
Susana Diaz Hernandez – Greenacres Elementary School
Since joining Greenacres Elementary, Diaz Hernandez has worked with one goal: creating an environment where students can embrace the Spanish language, engage in Spanish literacy, and honor Hispanic cultures. She has contributed to supplying and sponsoring English and Spanish books in the vending machines for students. Additionally, Diaz Hernandez has been instrumental in honoring Hispanic cultures by organizing a Hispanic Cultural Exhibition.
Frank Torres – Spanish River Community High School Social Science Teacher
Due to his intense passion and enthusiasm for education, Frank Torres, upon earning his bachelor’s degree in education from Florida Atlantic University, joined Spanish River High School. He was named teacher of the quarter twice. Torres sponsored “Latinos in Action,” an after-school club where he empowered students’ positivity and encouraged the celebration of Latino culture. His dedication is exceptional, so understandably, Frank Torres is honored by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Florida.
This epic award celebration, created by the Florida Hispanic American Chamber of Commerce in 2014 to recognize Hispanic honorees in business and education, has grown to be much more. These awards are made possible through the contributions of several corporations and organizations.