First-generation college graduate and architectural designer named Rising Star by NHLI
A Hispanic nonprofit organization has honored a first-generation college student for her efforts in encouraging Hispanic youth to pursue college degrees.
Laura Quintero, a Dallas designer and 2012 University of Texas at Arlington School of Architecture graduate, was named by the National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI) as one of its 2014 Rising Stars. The award is given to two Hispanic females under age 30 for their accomplishments and service as role models for other young Hispanic women.
Ms. Quintero along with co-Rising Star winner, Pamela Campos-Palma, received their awards at NHLI’s 2014 Executive Leadership Conference earlier this month in Dallas.
“I have always wanted to contribute to the community in a meaningful way, to share with other young women many of the skills that I developed during my undergraduate years at UT Arlington,” Ms. Quintero said in a statement. “This award from the NHLI challenges me to keep working in the community and serves as validation that I am headed in the right direction.”
While at UTA, Ms. Quintero was encouraged by her peers and professors to inspire other young Hispanics to obtain college degrees. Her background in art and architecture allowed Ms. Quintero to mentor younger Hispanics through the Playhouse Fun Project organization, an afterschool program where she taught art and design to elementary students at two public schools in Dallas.
Currently, Ms. Quintero mentors high school students and encourages them to pursue fields in design as well.
“Laura doesn’t even know how special she is,” said Norma Isa Figueroa, assistant professor of architecture at UT Arlington and 2014 NHLI Executive Leadership Program Fellow, in a statement. “She mentors high school students in inner-city neighborhoods, encourages education, and works to create more job opportunities for Latino students in the world of architecture and engineering, all while pursuing her own professional career goals.”
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