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THE PHILANTHROPIST: Many of us dream of being able to give back to the schools and neighborhoods where we grew up.  Lola Salazar is doing it. Through the Salazar Family Foundation, she and her husband are using their success to create opportunities for a new generation. “When I go to the schools and I see the kids, I actually see myself in a lot of their faces,” says Salazar. “I would have loved to have known at that time there were people out there who cared — about us wanting to fulfill our dreams." Oct. 5

latest posts from Latino 20

Desireé Hernández

THE CRUSADER: Desireé Hernández is not afraid to take on the U.S. government when she believes a child has the legal right to remain in this country. As Director of Legal Services for the Safe Passage Project, Hernández manages a team providing free legal representation to over 650 immigrant children facing deportation.  “There are tears and terrible stories — but there is a chance for them to have a better life." Sept. 18 

Gloria Calderon-Kellett

THE HOLLYWOOD HOTSHOT: Fans fondly remember the iconic 70s sitcom "One Day at a Time." Now, thanks to Gloria Calderón Kellett, a new generation is enjoying an updated bicultural reboot of the show on Netflix. The executive producer and co-creator mined her own Cuban American heritage to give the hit show its distinctive Latino flavor. Oct. 12

Reyna Montoya

THE ARTIST ACTIVIST: Art has the power to heal — and empower. Reyna Montoya has created a space that uses art to help young people and families cope with the impact of immigration policy, including family separation and detention.  “We tell them this is your story," says the Arizona activist. "You have the power to use it however you want."  Oct. 10

Lourdes Lopez

BALLERINA IN CHARGE:  You might say Lourdes Lopez has gone from prima ballerina to boss lady. As artistic director of the Miami City Ballet, she's one of the few women to hold the top position in a national ballet company, known not only for its excellence but its diversity. Born in Cuba, Lopez trained with the legendary George Balanchine. These days, her goal is to make the ballet arts exciting and accessible. Oct. 6 

Cesar Francia

EXPORTER OF EQUALITY: While working as an aide to Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Cesar Francia was encouraged to go to law school by the "Wise Latina" herself. “That changed my life — she is such an inspiration." Today, this corporate litigator volunteers tirelessly in the legal fight for marriage equality across Latin America. Oct. 11

Carlos Mark Vera

THE EQUALIZER: Carlos Mark Vera is pushing to get young interns in Washington D.C paid for their work through his bipartisan campaign, "Pay Our Interns."  Too often, he believes, working class youth are shut out of positions and access because they can't afford to work for free. "Your socioeconomic status shouldn't keep you from civil service," says Vera. "That's anti-American." Oct. 9

Lola Salazar

THE PHILANTHROPIST: Many of us dream of being able to give back to the schools and neighborhoods where we grew up.  Lola Salazar is doing it. Through the Salazar Family Foundation, she and her husband are using their success to create opportunities for a new generation. “When I go to the schools and I see the kids, I actually see myself in a lot of their faces,” says Salazar. “I would have loved to have known at that time there were people out there who cared — about us wanting to fulfill our dreams." Oct. 5

Mauricio Rodriguez-Lanetty

SAVING OUR OCEAN LIFE: Although coral reefs are beautiful, they do much more — they feed and shelter one quarter of our marine life. But we're losing them due to changing climate patterns. Marine scientist Mauricio Rodriguez-Lanetty has created, off the coast of Florida, the world’s deepest coral nursery. His team is studying ways to grow coral, in order to replace the precious reefs in our shallow waters. Oct. 4

Luis von Ahn

TECHIE FOR GLOBAL GOOD: Through his amazing innovations, "Duolingo" founder Luis von Ahn has made our daily lives safer and smarter, from preventing identity theft to promoting free language learning. Voted one of the 50 "best brains in science," this globally known Latino has never forgotten his roots. "Guatemala, von Ahn said, “defined me." Oct. 3

 

Frank Rubio

THE ASTRONAUT: Being a West Point graduate, a combat veteran and a flight surgeon was not enough for Frank Rubio, who was chosen as one of 12 astronaut candidates from NASA’s largest pool of applicants in history. “I think the opportunities are limitless for us just like they are for anybody else,” says this Renaissance man of Salvadoran descent.  Sept. 29