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Fairfax student wins National Hispanic Heritage award


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  • Craig Pletenik/Phoenix Union High School District

Genesis Miranda-Soto

Betty Fairfax High School senior Genesis Miranda-Soto will be honored as one of six National Hispanic Heritage Youth Award winners for her leadership in the classroom and community.  She will be honored at the Hispanic Heritage Foundation Youth Awards event, January 30, in Miami. 

Over 10,000 high school students apply for the Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards from 10 markets.  Those are narrowed to hundreds of regional winners.  The Phoenix winners were recognized by local businesses, education and community leaders in November.   Miranda-Soto earned her award in the Business and Entrepreneurship category.

Fairfax student wins National Hispanic Heritage award Genesis-Miranda-SotoHeadshot

Betty Fairfax High School senior Genesis Miranda-Soto will be honored as one of six National Hispanic Heritage Youth Award winners for her leadership in the classroom and community. Photo courtesy Phoenix Union High School District

Miranda-Soto was named the City of Phoenix Young Woman of the Year last spring.  She has a 3.98 grade point average in the International Baccalaureate program and was the school’s first junior elected as student body president last year.  Her other extracurricular activities include National Honor Society, Friends of Rachel club, IMPACT Now, Be A Leader and YHAP (You Have a Purpose), a club she founded.  Miranda-Soto, who is fluent in Spanish and French, is a graduate of Valley Teen Leadership and also is a youth leader at her church.  She plans to attend the University of Pennsylvania or ASU.  Her future plans include earning a Master’s degree in International Studies.

Youth awardees receive roundtrip accommodations to Miami, an educational grant, a laptop computer, and are entered into the LOFT (Latinos On Fast Track) Institute which prepares, connects, and places young leaders as they transition from high school to college, and graduate school, and well into their careers. Through LOFT, students and young professionals participate in LOFT events including leadership trainings, field-tailored symposia and workshops including STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), finance, entrepreneurship, public policy, education, entertainment, media and social innovation among other priority fields.

We are thrilled to honor yet another class of outstanding young Latino leaders, like Genesis, who will certainly make an impact on our communities and workforce as they move forward in their careers,” said Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO of HHF.  “We truly believe they are leaders of today, not tomorrow. Frankly, we can’t afford to wait.”

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation is a nonprofit organization which inspires, identifies, prepares and positions Latino leaders for classroom, community and workforce.

The awards ceremony will take place at Emilio and Gloria Estefan’s Bongos Cuban Café in Miami.