Ernest Robles’ dedication to his country through service and education became evident in his formative years. As a 19-year-old U.S. Marine Corps rifleman in Korea, Ernest distinguished himself in battle, won a medal for bravery and garnered a Purple Heart. As an educator, he served as teacher, principal, and district administrator. During the turbulent 1960s, he delivered desegregation court orders in the South. He later became an Assistant Regional Administrator for Equal Educational Opportunities with the U.S. Department of Education.
In 1975, with a team of community visionaries, Ernest founded the National Hispanic Scholarship Fund. In its first year, the Fund raised and distributed $30,000 in scholarships. During Ernest’s 20-year leadership tenure, he encouraged investments by corporations, foundations, nonprofits and individuals, which enabled the Fund to support Hispanics’ higher education at substantial levels. In 1987, the Fund was named the Nation’s Best Run Charity by Worth magazine. Now called the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, the organization has distributed almost $360 million during its 37-year history. Ernest’s legacy lives on in the Fund’s scholars, who have a remarkable 97% graduation rate.
Ernest Robles, was also the 1987 Hispanic Heritage Awards Honoree for Education, is a war hero, educator, and nonprofit founder. With his professional and community contributions, he has significantly shaped Hispanics’ futures and progress.
In 2001, the UCLA Alumni Association presented Ernest with the Community Service Award for his incredible contribution to the Hispanic community and the general community of California. Ernest’s other honors include Hispanic Magazine’s Achievement Award for Education, the National Hispanic Corporate Council’s Hispanic Higher Education Award, and the College Board’s Education Leadership Award.
Chief Education Consultant
Raul Magdaleno, is the Chief Education Consultant for The Magdaleno Group, providing innovative education strategies to corporations, non-profit, government agencies, universities and school districts who are committed to reducing the drop out rate and increase college enrollment among Latino students. Magdaleno is also the Founder and Chairman of The Magdaleno Leadership Institute, a non-profit organization devoted to building servant leaders and become the next ‘Navy Seals’ of community empowerment. Most recently, Magdaleno was appointed by the U.S. Senate Majority Leader and confirmed by Congress, to serve a four-year term on the U.S. Congressional National Board of Directors, Congress’s highest award for youth.
Prior to becoming a CEC, Magdaleno served as Special Assistant to the Dean and oversaw the department of Diversity and Community Engagement for Southern Methodist University (SMU) Meadows School of the Arts. As Director he developed the University’s first diversity and community service office and founded Texas’ first Hispanic Youth Institute at SMU.
In addition to Magdaleno professional career, he has dedicated his life to public service, which began at age thirteen, where he served in various leadership capacities at Reconciliation Outreach (RO) accumulating over 30,000 hours of community service. As a result of his tireless dedication and commitment to his community, he earned the U.S. Congressional Award Gold Medal, the highest civilian award given by the United States Congress. In 2001 he helped found “The Refuge,” a shelter for battered women and children, through RO. Since its inception RO has raised over $5.8 million in assets, making it one of the largest privately funded non-profits in the Greater Dallas area with its creation of a low-income housing, elementary school, community soup kitchen, a single woman and men homeless shelter, a Children’s and Youth Recreation Center, and a multi-story non-profit leasing center.
As a result of Magdaleno’s exemplary community urban development initiatives and inspirational story he will be inducted into the Hispanic Scholarship Fund Alumni Hall of Fame on October 16,2013 in New York City. In 2010 he was voted the National Latino Leader of the Year , in the same year Dallas voted and named him the 2010 One Man Dallas. To date Raul has spoken to millions of people across the country as a champion for higher education and has been featured as a special guest on CNN, Univision Don Francisco Presenta Show and NBC among many other broadcasts and print publications.
Magdaleno professional leadership affiliations include: National Speaker for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute; Board of Directors for Educate Dallas; Chairman of the Dallas Red Light Enforcement Commission; Former Texas Chairman of the Hispanic Youth Institute; Former Chairman of the Greater Dallas Hispanic, Asian, Black and LGBT Chamber of Commerce Annual Project; Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Advisory Board and Board Vice-President for Reconciliation Academy.
Raul earned a bachelor's degree in corporate communication and public affairs from Southern Methodist University in 2006 and is currently working on academic research in hopes to be a viable candidate for the Doctorate of Education Leadership Ed.,L.D.) at Harvard Graduate School of Education. In addition, he is the proud caregiver of his elderly mother, Maria Zermeño and in the process of adopting his older sister, Sylvia Magdaleno, who is gifted with down syndrome.
Raul is currently working on creating a homeless shelter for college students in the country.
Christian Arbelaez, MD, MPH
Attending Physician, Department of Emergency Medicine
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Christian Arbelaez is currently the Assistant Residency Director of the Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency Program and the Associate Director of the Office for Multicultural Careers at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
Dr. Arbelaez has led the design and implementation of several clinical and educational innovative programs at the BWH. These include the implementation of a large scale NIH funded clinical trial evaluating rapid HIV testing in the ED, hospital-wide development guidelines for the care of the critically-ill mechanically vented patient, and a comprehensive core competency assessment program for the Emergency Medicine residency program.
He is recognized as a leader nationally and internationally and has been an invited speaker for his work on clinical and educational innovation in the areas of Emergency Medicine, Public Health, and Workforce Diversity. Dr. Arbelaez has participated in several domestic and international volunteer relief efforts including Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief with the American Red Cross, Gallup Indian Medical Center in the Navajo Nation with the Indian Health Service, and most recently in St. Marc’s, Haiti with the organization Partners in Health. As the ACEP Ambassador for Colombia, he is currently involved in the development of Emergency Medicine as a specialty in his native country.
He has been awarded the Dennis Thomson Leadership Award, the James Adams Leadership Award, and the Best Teacher Award in Emergency Medicine at the BWH. Recently he was honored with the Young Mentor Award at Harvard Medical School and the YMCA Achiever Award. He was named a Fullbright Specialist and a National Hispanic Medical Association Leadership Fellow.
Before coming to the BWH, he earned his medical degree from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. He completed his Emergency Medicine residency at Brown in Rhode Island Hospital and was selected as a chief resident. He earned his Master of Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health as part of the Commonwealth Fund Minority Health Policy Fellowship.
Lisa Aponte-Soto, Ph.D., M.H.A.
Dr. Lisa Aponte-Soto is a researcher and evaluator in the areas of education, cultural competency, health promotion, and professional development. For more than 15 years, Lisa has worked in academia and social services providing service to diverse, underrepresented and underserved populations through research, evaluation, policy development, advocacy, and education. She has experience in program administration and development as well as marketing, strategic planning, and talent recruitment.
As part of her commitment to service, Lisa fosters community linkages for the advancement of “minority” leadership through education and career coaching. She is equally passionate about improving the healthcare status of underserved populations; and, has served as a "community health expert" on Latino health and cultural competence for academic institutions and medical centers. She is the past president and founding member of the Chicago Chapter of the National Forum for Latino Healthcare Executives. She currently serves on Advisory Committee to the Community-based Participatory Research Training project.
Lisa earned her PhD in Behavioral Science and Health Promotion in the Community Health Sciences Division of the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She holds a certificate in culturally responsive research and evaluation practices from the American Evaluation Association Graduate Education Diversity Internship Program. She is also former doctoral fellow of the Diversifying Faculty in Higher Education Program for the State of Illinois and the Abraham Lincoln Fellowship. She holds an MHA degree from Governors State University where interned as a health disparities Research Assistant and was promoted to a policy development Research Associate for the Certificate of Need program. She also earned a BA (Spanish) and BS (Biology and Psychology) from Loyola University Chicago.
Lisa’s research interests include health inequities, cultural competence, and workforce diversity. She has nearly 20 publications and presentations addressing topics that span across racial disparities, career advancement, nursing retention, health policy, and equitable access to care.
Ambassador Raul Yzaguirre
Raul Yzaguirre began his civil rights career when he organized the American G.I. Forum Juniors and in 1964 founded the National Organization for Mexican American Services (NOMAS). A funding proposal he helped craft for NOMAS led to the first comprehensive studies of the Mexican American community and their unique social, economic, and cultural issues. That same proposal served as the conceptual framework for what would become the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), which began as a regional support organization to help strengthen local Mexican American worker and welfare organizations. From 1974 to 2004, he served as President and CEO of NCLR as it grew into the largest national constituency-based Latino organization in the U.S. and the leading Latino think tank in Washington, D.C. He went on to serve as Presidential Professor of Practice and Executive Director of the Center for Community Development and Civil Rights at Arizona State University in Phoenix. In 2010, he was confirmed by the Senate as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States to the Dominican Republic.
Ambassador Yzaguirre earned a B.S. from George Washington University, was a Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and studied at La Universidad de Las Americas in Puebla, Mexico. He was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas.
The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola, the world's most valuable brand, the Company's portfolio features 16 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, they are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy their beverages at a rate of 1.8 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities,The Coca-Cola Company is focused on initiatives that reduce the environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for their associates, and enhance 700,000 system associates.