Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sargent Shriver Youth Warriors Against Poverty

Marguerite Casey Foundation Announces Miriam Aguayo and Karina Mendieta 
as 2013 Sargent Shriver Youth Warriors Against Poverty Award Winners

SEATTLE – Marguerite Casey Foundation is pleased to announce Miriam Aguayo and  Karina Mendietta, both 22 years of age, from Brownsville, Texas, as two of 14 young persons to receive the second annual Sargent Shriver Youth Warriors Against Poverty Leadership Award. The two women will receive $5,000 in recognition of their vision, passion and dedication to improving the lives of families in her community.

Both were nominated for the Foundation’s Youth Warrior Against Poverty Award by the Rio Grande Valley Equal Voice Network. Ms. Aguayo's  work has included tutoring and mentoring Army veterans and the children of migrant workers, organizing young people in support of a national park near Brownsville, and advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C. for the rights of LGBT immigrant families. Because of her experience interning at the U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas and her experience working with immigrant families, Ms. Aguayo aspires to earn a law degree, with the goal of helping immigrant families and communities. Ms. Medieta  has worked with a team of youth leaders to host a Stop the Cycle of Obesity seminar for young people and their mothers to help them understand what obesity is, how it affects people, and what to do to prevent obesity. Karina also participated in a successful campaign to ban smoking in public places in Brownsville, the first policy of its kind in the region.

Whether fighting for immigrant rights, speaking out about youth homelessness, helping young people gain access to good jobs, or organizing youth in their communities, each of the 14 Sargent Shriver Youth Warriors Against Poverty Award winners has a unique and inspiring story that Marguerite Casey Foundation hopes to share with other youth and communities. Each is a local hero whose work is a powerful example of Sargent Shriver’s call to “serve, serve, serve!”

Of the Award winners, CEO and president of Marguerite Casey Foundation Luz Vega-Marquis said, “Their activism, born out of necessity and rooted in personal experience, is fueled by their belief in a better tomorrow for themselves, their families and future generations. These young people are passionate and courageous and poised to take the reigns as a new generation of leaders.”

Marguerite Casey Foundation is a national, independent grantmaking foundation dedicated to helping low-income families strengthen their voice and mobilize their communities.