Celebrate and honor the accomplishments of the local Latino community at the 2013 Diamante Awards, hosted by Lourdes University. This year’s event will take place on Friday, September 13 in the Franciscan Center. The evening begins at 6 p.m. with grazing stations and a silent auction, followed by the presentation of scholarships and awards at 7:30 p.m.

The University of Toledo’s Latin Jazz Ensemble will entertain guests while they enjoy coffee and dessert after the formal presentation. WNWO (NBC Toledo) anchor Angi Gonzalez will serve as mistress of ceremonies.

This year, 31 students (from Bowling Green State University, Herzing University-Toledo, Lourdes University, Owens Community College, and The University of Toledo) will receive scholarships through the Diamante Awards. The following local Latino/Latina leaders and organizations will be honored during this year’s event:

ApostlesCorporation/Community Agency/Group: Queen of Apostles School
Queen of Apostles School has been a staple of excellence for many Latino families in South Toledo for over 40 years. It remains one of only two original Central Cities Ministries of Toledo (CCMT) schools providing quality education to Toledo’s inner city youth.

As evidence of their exemplary achievements, Queen of Apostle School (and its predecessors St. James School, Immaculate Darby, and S.S. Peter & Paul) has provided and continues to provide the education foundation and faith-based instruction for many of our Latino leaders. Today, many of its graduates go on to complete their high school education at exemplary programs at well-renowned Catholic high schools in the area.

NataliaLatino/Latina Youth Leadership (16-21 years of age): Natalia de Miguel Annoni
A junior at the Toledo School for the Arts, Natalia de Miguel Annoni was born in Louisiana to Argentinean immigrant parents. At the young age of nine Natalia began volunteering at Adelante, her mother’s previous place of employment as a way of connecting with other Latinos. For the past two years Natalia has also been an active volunteer at El Centro de la Mujer, a center founded by her mother Claudia, and dedicated to empowering Latino women in the area.

DuranLatino/Latina Adult Leadership: Sesario Duran
Sesario Duran spent his youth as a migrant worker, tending farmland in Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, and Oklahoma. His family went on to purchase land in Swanton and started a small-scale farm. After graduating high school, Sesario went on to serve in the United States Army, and then earned degrees from The DeVry Technical Institute in Chicago and The University of Toledo.

In the 1960s, he played a pivotal role in forming and shaping The Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC). Currently, he manages the Campaign for Migrant Worker Justice (CMWJ) Worker Center and continues to advocate for migrants and immigrants.

ArturoLatino/Latina Adult Professional: Arturo Quintero
Honored US Marine Veteran Arturo Quintero received three Purple Hearts, the Presidential Unit Citation, the Combat Action Ribbon and many assorted service ribbons for his two tours in Vietnam. He then went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies and a Juris Doctorate from The University of Toledo. Throughout his accomplished career, he has served as Managing Attorney for ABLE, Executive Director for the Toledo Family Health Center, and Associate CEO for Northwest Psychiatric Hospital. He also served as Executive Officer to the Mayor, Commissioner of Special Projects, and is currently Assistant Prosecutor for the City of Toledo.

The Sofia Quintero Arts and Cultural Center is named after Arturo’s late first wife, Sofia Alfaro Quintero. Sofia was the first and only Latina to serve as President of the board of Education for the city of Toledo. Together, with his current wife, Gail Quintero, Arturo devotes much of his free time volunteering for the Quintero Center, where he serves as president of the board.

To celebrate the profound and lasting influence that Latinos have on American history, values, and culture, the Diamante (diamond in Spanish) Awards were founded in 1989 by IMAGE of Northwest Ohio, a local Latino advocacy group. The awards recognize individuals and organizations for their outstanding achievements and service to Latinos.

In 2003, the Diamante Latino Scholars Campaign was added into the awards celebration, a one-of-a-kind student scholarship fund sponsored by Bowling Green State University, Herzing University, Lourdes University, Owens Community College, and The University of Toledo. To date, the Diamante Latino Scholars Campaign has contributed approximately $1 million to Latino student scholarships in the region.

For more information about the Diamante Awards, visit http://diamantetoledo.org.