The Orgullo Hispano, or Hispanic Pride, Award recognizes Unsung Heroes in our community: Latinx adults or young people who have been persistently working to better their immediate community—neighborhood, school, work place, nonprofit or civic organization.

Each year we also recognize an Amigx We Love—a non-Latinx individual whose work, efforts, or voice have promoted, in meaningful ways, the vision of a welcoming Nashville and Tennessee where Latinxs, and all immigrants, are embraced as integral members of our communities.

Araceli Crescencio

Channel 5 News

Conexión Américas first met her when she participated in and won the Young Latinx Authors Essay Contest in 2015, today she is a reporter from the News Channel 5 Network. As a first-generation Latina, she brings great coverage and awareness to the Latino community and their experiences. She also speaks to young Latinx students and gives back to our community in various ways, such as being a part of Latino Achievers, a program that inspires and empowers Latinx students to discover their strengths, shape their futures and transform the world.

Damaris Villalva

Conexión Américas & TIRRC

Damaris has been continuously involved with the Hispanic community and has volunteered with Conexión Américas’ Negocio Próspero and Adult Education programs, as well as with the Tennessee Immigrant Refugee Rights Coalition. She continues to fight to defend DACA and assist first-generation DACA recipients and DREAMers to guide them as they are starting a business, applying for college, and navigating their way through many federal requirements, such as filing their taxes.

Celia Aguilar

Cosecha & Whitsett Elementary

Celia is a Whitsitt Elementary School parent, known as the silent heartbeat of the school’s garden. Celia continuously volunteers to keep the school’s garden beds beautiful and thriving. In addition to her diligent work at Whitsett Elementary, she has built connections with Cosecha, a grassroots nonprofit organization with a mission to gather neighbors together to foster community along Nolensville Pike and in South Nashville. Celia also coordinates volunteers and families to learn about sustainable gardening and healthy eating at Whitsitt Elementary School. She works continuously to make sure families have access to fresh verduras and that students learn the growth cycle firsthand.

Lauren Rogal–Amiga We Love

Vanderbilt University

Lauren has served as a pro-bono lawyer for many years assisting Latino entrepreneurs to better understand the legal aspect of their businesses. She has also served one-on-one in cases where business contracts need to be reviewed, ensuring that all clauses are fair and in the best interest of the Latino entrepreneur.