Campeón de la Comunidad Award | HoustonTexans.com

Campeon de La Comunidad presented by Miller Lite

The Houston Texans Campeón de la Comunidad Award presented by Miller Lite honors an outstanding leader in the Latino community who is making a positive impact on the city of Houston through service and dedication to a local nonprofit. The winner will receive a $20,000 grant in their honor to the nonprofit of their choice. Two runners up will each receive donations in their name of $2,500 each.

2021 Campeón de la Comunidad Award

The Texans and Miller Lite were proud to name, Jessica Cordero, a longtime NASA employee and dedicated volunteer at Kids' Meals, the 2021 winner of the Campeón de la Comunidad Award. In honor of the award, Miller Lite and the Houston Texans will be making a $20,000 donation to Kids' Meals Houston, a nonprofit dedicated to ending childhood hunger by delivering free healthy meals to preschool-aged children. Miller Lite and the Texans recognized Jessica and the two finalists, David Guerrero, a local chef and supporter of 86 Cancer, and Yuliana Gonzalez, a mom and founder of Autismo Houston. Each finalist will receive a $2,500 donation to their nonprofit.

Jessica was recognized in a ceremony on the field during the Texans home game on September 23 with Texans President Greg Grissom and Mike Lowe General Manager at MillerCoors. The Houston Texans and Miller Lite will support her selected nonprofit, Kids' Meals, with the $20,000 grant and a community effort with Kids Meals on October 12.

2021 Winner

Jessica Cordero

Jessica Cordero

Manager, Texas High School Aerospace Scholars, Office Of Stem Engagement, Nasa/Johnson Space Center | Volunteer, Kids' Meals Houston

After Jessica was introduced to Kids' Meals by her daughter in 2018, she never looked back. She started serving as a volunteer driver, delivering meals to hungry children, and became a regular in the organization. She then started to leverage her role on the Missions Coordinators Team at Hope City to get even more involved in the fight against childhood hunger in Houston. She began to plan monthly volunteer events for Hope City groups. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many churches stepped back and stopped their group volunteer efforts. Jessica knew that these children were relying on Kids' Meals to eat, and this was true now more than ever. The needs at Kids' Meals went up 138% as schools shut down, leading to all children in the home needing meals, and unemployment soared. During the pandemic, food insecurity rose 30% in the United States. Jessica and her team masked up and got to work. For almost one year, Jessica showed up every Saturday with 75-100 volunteers as Kids' Meals fed more children than during any other time in their 15-year history. Cynthia Stielow, Chief Development Director at Kids' Meals Inc., stated "as the number of children we were feeding skyrocketed due to the pandemic, volunteer numbers were decreasing. Businesses were no longer sending volunteer teams as they switched to working from home, and many individuals were choosing to stay home as well. Without the effort led by Jessica, we literally could not have produced the number of meals required each week to feed this many kids." Jessica has been at NASA for 30 years, and in her role seeks out students in underserved communities for free NASA STEM programs. As the Hispanic Employee Resources Group Community Outreach Co-Chair, she speaks about NASA to elementary students as often as she can to show they can benefit from NASA STEM resources. Jessica not only gives back to Houston but makes an impact around the world building water wells. Jessica is truly a Campeona de la Comunidad.

2021 Finalists

David Guerrer

David Guerrer

Chef, Supporter of 86 Cancer

Like so many chefs, the industry has shown Chef David his fair share of success and failure. He opened Andes Cafe in East Downtown in 2013 and became a renowned chef for his unique South American cuisine. Battling a brain tumor in his 20's and at the peak of his career, he persevered. Five years later, the tumor re-appeared. He wants no pity, instead he insists that his story serve as an inspiration to those who face adversity. He supports 86 Cancer, a nonprofit dedicated to assisting those in the service industry affected by cancer, and first responders, cooking and donating food during Hurricane Harvey to 9,000 people at the George R. Brown. His motto, "Never give up." You can find him currently at MYKUNA Latin Asian Cuisine and a revival of Andes Café on the East End is next on the horizon.

Yuliana Gonzalez

Yuliana Gonzalez

Mom, Founder of Autismo Houston

Yuliana, mother to Penelope and Luis, was inspired by her son Luis, a child with profound, non-verbal Autism and multiple disabilities, to start a Spanish-language family support group for parents with children on the Autism spectrum. "I thought if I could change the life of a disoriented parent like me, my mission was accomplished." Not only was her mission accomplished but Autismo Houston grew fast, quickly becoming the largest Spanish-language autism family resource and support group in Texas. Now, Yuliana helps raise awareness and money to fund programs for Autism Houston families.

2020 Winner

Maria Aguirre

Maria Aguirre

Director of Community Initiatives, Avenue

Maria is motivated by a deep desire to serve others and help build a more equitable world. She has moved countries 15 times and has humanitarian experience in Mexico, Colombia, and Kenya. She has worked in oil and gas where she was taught project management and the great differences between the private and non-profit worlds. Her current work at Avenue is centered around teaching "poder" meaning "power" but also "the power to" in communities that have often felt powerless. She graduated from Baylor University second in her Major: International Relations, and was recognized for her dedicated community work in the Waco area. From her nomination, "When people in the community have a need, they reach out to Maria for help. They call her for help with rent resources, food, quinceañeras, house repairs, medical bills, and everything in between. People in the Greater Northside know that Maria will work tirelessly on and off the clock to help them with their needs. And when she isn't helping families with their pressing problems, she is working diligently to make the community safer, more beautiful, and more welcoming for everyone who lives there."

2020 Finalists

Mia Garcia

Mia Garcia

Texas Veterans Network Director, Combined Arms

Mia Garcia's service to our country and our community started 20 years ago when she raised her right hand to serve in the Marine Corps. Mia is a native Houstonian and proudly represented our great city as a highly decorated Marine Sergeant. After completing 10 years of service in the Marine Corps, Mia continued her service back home in Houston where she developed innovative military career transition programs to engage Houston-based employers seeking to recruit veterans and match them with those veterans seeking gainful employment. In her career with NextOp and Combined Arms, Mia has directly contributed to placing over 3,000 veterans into high-paying industry careers.

Joe Gonzales

Joe Gonzales

Founding Board member and Past Vice President, Zoey's Angels

Joe is a native Houstonian who retired from an oil and gas career after 32 years of service. Over his career, Joe's volunteer activities included Houston Hispanic Forum, his church, helping repair the homes of inner city, low-income senior citizens, serving on boards and committees and many years mentoring middle- and high-school students in Houston ISD. Joe has always believed to whom much is given much is required and that was reflected in not only his life of community service but in how he raised his children. Joe and his wife Raquel have 6 children (4 by birth, 2 by marriage) and 8 surviving grandchildren. While still participating in varied volunteer activity, Joe's greater focus is serving on the Board of Directors of Zoey's Angels, a non-profit founded by his family in 2012 in memory of his granddaughter who earned her angel wings after a valiant battle with liver cancer. Zoey's Angels serves families who suffer the tragic loss of their infant child to disease or illness. Joe is the primary contact for Spanish-speaking families receiving Zoey's Angels' support. To date, Zoey's Angels has provided $285,000 to families. We are grateful for Joe's contributions to so many families.

2020 Nominees

Congratulations to the amazing leaders who were nominated in 2020. Thank you for all you've done to make Houston a better place!

2020 Nominees: Marie Arcos, Andrea Caracostis, Edward Carrizales, Rosendo Castillo, Carlos De Aldecoa, France Castañeda Dyess, Alex Garcia, Ilsa Garcia, Laurie Garcia, Roy Garcia, Phyllis Laurenzo-Mandola, Lexie Lumiere, Rosalinda Martinez, Ivette Mayo, Daisy Mendoza, Alexander Obregon, Claudia Ortega-Hogue, Mesias Pedroza, Jose Rivera, Carlos Rodriguez, Consuelo Rodriguez, Margaret Rodriguez, Shirley Ronquillo, Jacob Salas, Angelita Sampaio, Joellen Snow and Daniel Villanueva.

2019 Winner

Sonia Corrales

Sonia Corrales

Chief Program Officer, Houston Area Women's Center
Sonia Corrales has dedicated her life to anti-violence work. As a leading expert in our community, she has received numerous awards and honors. Sonia possesses a never-give-up attitude, standing up and being a strong voice for survivors during her 27-year career at HAWC. She is a wife and a mother of two daughters. A beloved leader, she mentors countless staff, particularly Hispanic women, and shows that accomplishing professional aspirations are possible. Sonia started her professional journey in the trenches as an advocate, so her awareness and compassion are inspiring.

2019 Finalists

Andy Canales

Andy Canales

Executive Director, Latinos for Education
Andy Canales is the Greater Houston Executive Director at Latinos for Education, an education non-profit organization focused on developing and placing Latino talent in the education sector. In this role, Andy works with a wide range of nonprofits to increase Latino leadership in their organizations. In just one year, Andy worked with a number of community leaders and nonprofit organizations to launch two Latino leadership programs focused on training Latino leaders to serve on education nonprofit boards and advance into senior education roles.

Claudia Aguirre

Claudia Aguirre

President & CEO, BakerRipley
As President and CEO of BakerRipley, Claudia Aguirre leads an internationally renowned community development organization that has transformed neighborhoods for 112 years. As one of the largest nonprofits in the country, BakerRipley serves 600,000 people specializing in immigration, education, workforce development, community engagement, and health and wellness programs. Claudia leads a team of 1,600 staff at 67 locations across the Houston region. Her experience of immigrating from Mexico at the age of eight helped her to pursue her dreams and ignited a passion to help others pursue theirs.

PAST LEADERSHIP AWARD WINNERS

Sonia Corrales
Chief Program Officer, Houston Area Women's Center

Carlos Valdez, Jr
CEO Las Palapas Hausman and YMCA of Greater Houston Board Chair & Volunteer

Tony Canales
President & GM, NBCUniversal/Telemundo, Houston Independent School District Volunteer

Armando Perez
Senior Vice President of H-E-B, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston Volunteer

Michael Cordua
Founder, Cordua Restaurants, Casa de Esperanza Board Member and Volunteer

Alex Lopez Negrete
President & CEO, Lopez Negrete Communications, Baker-Ripley Charter School

Rick Noriega
Former President & CEO, AVANCE, Inc.

Dr. Laura Murillo
President & CEO, Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Advertising