The mission of 100 Hispanic Women, Westchester Chapter is to lead Latinas towards excellence in leadership.

Latina Leadership Forum
& Scholarship Luncheon:
“Dare to Dream”
2019 Scholarship Award Winners

Melanie Collana
I am very grateful to be receiving the 100 Hispanic Women Scholarship. This scholarship will help my family and I pay for the very high cost of a college education. My parents came to this country for a better future for their children. Both my mother and father work very hard and long hours to provide for my brother and I.

My parents inspire me to work harder and achieve my goals. I gained the skill of determination through them and I have worked towards reaching my goals and I feel proud. I am even more proud to be a Hispanic woman pursuing a career in science. Growing up, I did not see many Hispanic women in STEM fields and as a young Hispanic girl it was demotivating. I aspire to be better and work hard to be a successful Hispanic woman that young girls can look up to and help them know that they too can be successful.

Nayeli Sarmiento Bermeo
I’m 17 years old. I am currently a senior high school student at White Plains High School. I am from Ecuador, and moved to the United States four years ago.

Undoubtedly, learning English was one of the biggest barriers I faced in this country. But with time I have managed to learn English and I am still learning. I’ve been recognized as the Student of the Quarter for exceeding the expectations of my English language ability. In addition, I was recognized in the Underclassman Awards in my AP Spanish and Language class, AP Spanish and Literature class, and Spanish Language Arts 3. Currently, I’m part of the National Honors Society of my school. Finally, my goal is to receive a college education. I would like to become a nurse to provide services to my Hispanic community and people in general.

Caroline Aguilar Ciriaco
I was born in New York, however, when I was two years old, my mother was deported. Sadly, we had to move back to Mexico where I was raised and lived there for almost 15 years. While in Mexico, I learned to love my Mexican heritage through my family.

Since I was a child, I loved the arts. My family did not have the money to provide me private art classes, however, I learned to draw by myself by watching videos and practicing every day. I have also felt the need to learn new things, and I believe that through determination one can have the capacity to learn whatever you want.

Thanks to the hard work of my parents, I moved back to New York 2 years ago. They have provided everything I need, and I could not be more grateful. I give more than the 100%, because I know I need to always do better. My parents taught me that kindness is important and I always try to give my best to everyone. I consider myself a kind and friendly person. I think it’s important to express myself as much as I can. I want my voice to be heard with the voice of my family, and the voice of my country. As a proud Hispanic, I want to give back to the Latino community. I know I can make a difference, even if it’s just a little bit.

Amanda Cuevas
I am an 18-year-old International Baccalaureate Diploma candidate who dreams of majoring in Computer Science and East Asian Studies and eventually becoming a software engineer. Having spent Pre-K at the American School in the Dominican Republic, Amanda grew up in a bilingual household where Spanglish is the norm. Her father’s passion for engineering and her brother’s love for video games gave her more interactions with technology, eventually inspiring her epiphany to follow up with it as a career. Amanda’s lifelong dream has always been to use technology creatively to act as a supplement to the human spirit, rather than to enable it to falter.

She came across her passion for East Asian Studies after becoming friends with people from the region at the Columbia University Summer Program she attended during the summer of 9th grade, where she learned both a college-semester’s worth of the programming language C. After this encounter, her motto became, “People change people,” because of the grand ripple effect she realized society had on itself.

Her experiences the following summers of high school at Girls Who Code and the Manhattan College Ace Engineering Summer Program cemented her love for computer science and encouraged her to create a programming club at her school, where she taught fellow school robotics team members how to program.

Currently, she spends her days mixing up her speech with all the languages she’s learning (both the spoken and computer ones), attending her extracurriculars followed up by plenty of homework, and geekily explaining her favorite computer science concepts to her friends while they do their skincare routines together. In the future, she hopes she can majorly impact people by sharing her passions with the great, diverse world that’s in her reach.