On April 3rd I was honored by the Henry Street Settlement during its annual gala recognizing people that have contributed to the wellbeing of their community. It was a humbling experience to have been honored by an institution that has done so much for the Hispanic community in New York City.
As I mentioned in my acceptance speech, I feel that this is only the beginning of a long path towards giving back to the community that has given so much to me. For this reason I dedicated the award to my parents, Patty and Gustavo Cisneros, whose path it is that I have chosen to follow and who are my guiding light. They are the ones who have spearheaded the effort to improve the quality of education in Latin America for over 40 years. And it is their work that I have continued to develop.
For those of you that are unfamiliar with Henry Street, it is an incredible organization founded in 1893 based on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The Settlement offers an array of social and arts programs that benefit not only the residents of the immediate community, but more than 50,000 people throughout New York each year.
As many of you know, my family has worked tirelessly for decades to improve the reach of the arts and education in Latin America and the entire world. Henry Street has promoted arts and education locally for over a century, working with people of all ages and backgrounds.
The Lower East Side of Manhattan is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the city. It is a melting pot of people, cultures, languages and dreams. Despite having disparate backgrounds, residents have one goal in common: the embodiment of the American dream. Unfortunately, twenty five percent of all households in this community live below the poverty level. Henry Street helps the residents of this and surrounding neighborhoods through its tireless work in the Visual and Performing Arts, Youth Services, Transitional & Supportive Housing, Job Training & Placement, Primary & Behavioral Health, Senior Services and Home Care/Housekeeping divisions.
The Executive Director, David Garza, along with his entire team, is a shining example of what can be achieved with respect, determination and a lot of passion. I feel unbelievably honored having been nominated by the Henry Street committee. The entire group worked tirelessly to produce an enchanting evening. Congratulations!
I would like to share with you more about Henry Street Settlement and its impact: