NEW YORK - In recognition of individuals and organizations with an outstanding commitment to community service, Univision bestowed its annual Community Corazon Award for Organization of the Year to the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF). Additionally, Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), received the Community Corazon Award for Leadership.
The awards presented to Saenz and HSF, accepted by Frank Alvarez, president and CEO of HSF and Raul Romero, HSFÂs Chairman of the Board, will air as part of a special segment on UnivisionÂs ÂAl PuntoÂ con Jorge Ramos, Sunday, May 15.
"ÂWe are delighted to present UnivisionÂs Community Corazon Award for Organization of the Year to the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and the Leadership Award to Thomas Saenz, MALDEFÂs president and general counsel,"Â said Cesar Conde, president, Univision Networks. ÂUnivision honors HSF and Tom for their dedicated service to the Hispanic community. Through their efforts, Hispanics have been empowered with better educational opportunities and improved political and social-economic lives. Both are truly deserving of this honor.Â
As this yearÂs Organization of the Year, HSF exemplifies devotion to community service. Founded in 1975, HSF works to improve the country by promoting college education among Hispanic students. As the countryÂs largest and most respected not-for-profit education organization in the Hispanic community, HSF is able to award more college scholarships and educational support to Latino students than any other organization. HSFÂs competitive scholarships reward students that hold excellent leadership skills, personal achievements and academic success, giving students an opportunity to excel in life after high school. After graduation from college, HSF continues to support its recipients by providing career services that network students to top employers.
A distinguished leader in the Hispanic community, Saenz is nationally recognized as a civil rights attorney. He was a leader in the successful challenge to CaliforniaÂs unconstitutional Proposition 187 and has led numerous civil rights cases in the areas of immigrantsÂ rights, education, employment, and voting rights. Among many accomplishments, Saenz achieved several victories against ordinances unlawfully restricting the rights of day laborers and served as lead counsel in the 2001 challenge to CaliforniaÂs congressional redistricting. Additionally, he was part of the four-person executive team to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, providing legal and policy advice on major initiatives. During his four-year tenure with the City of Los Angeles, Saenz helped to lead the legislative effort to change the governance of Los Angeles Unified School District, the effect of which has been to take the city a step closer to securing a quality education for all students in Los Angeles.