NSBA’s National Hispanic Council (NHC) presented this year’s Octaviano “Tony” Gonzales Abrazo Award to United States Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI) President Dr. Juan Andrade, Jr., and U.S. Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García during the 2020 CUBE Annual Virtual Conference. The award recognizes Dr. Andrade and Congressman García for their commitment to improving educational opportunities for Latinx students.

As president and co-founder of USHLI, Dr. Andrade has led the organization in its mission of fulfilling the promises and principles of democracy by promoting education, research, and leadership development, and empowering Latinos by maximizing their civic awareness, engagement, and participation. Since 1983, USHLI has registered 2.3 million voters, published 425 studies on Latino demographics, trained more than one million leaders, and awarded more than $1.3 million in scholarships and internships. Dr. Andrade also serves as a board member of the Hispanic Association for Corporate Responsibility and the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda.

Congressman García serves as the U.S. Representative for Illinois’ 4th district, where he builds upon his life’s work of improving conditions for those in his community. Committed to expanding access to quality education, affordable housing, and economic opportunity, he serves as a member of the influential Financial Services Committee, Natural Resources Committee, and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Congressman García is also a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and New Americans Caucus, having immigrated to America as a child.

First presented in 1998, the Abrazo Award honors individuals who have committed their time, energy and resources to improving educational opportunities for Latinx children. The term “abrazo” translates to “hug” or “embrace.” The name was suggested by former NHC President Octaviano “Tony” Gonzales, who is now included in the award’s name to honor the contributions he made in paving the way for Latinx school board members.

“Both Dr. Andrade and Congressman García have dedicated their lives to securing the rights and dignity of Latinx students and serve as exemplars to others,” says NHC Chair Armando Rodriguez, who serves on the board of Texas’ Canutillo Independent School District. “In acknowledging these two leaders and their many contributions to expanding educational opportunities, NHC celebrates the different avenues that exist for lifting up the Latinx community.”

The Abrazo Awards are sponsored by McGraw-Hill Education, a learning science company that delivers personalized learning experiences that help students, parents, educators, and professionals improve results.

The Abrazo Award is one of several NSBA-sponsored awards that recognize schools that have prioritized educational equity. Learn about this year’s Luminous Eagle Award and RISE Award

Learn more about the NHC.

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