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RCC Hispanic Heritage Awards 2020

2020 Hispanic Heritage Awards

Congratulations to our Hispanic Heritage Award Recipients!

The Rockland Community College Community is excited to celebrate your achievement.

HHA Program and Recipients

View the Hispanic Heritage Awards Program (PDF).

To view the list of recipients, download the Hispanic Heritage Awards Recipients (PDF).

Welcome to the Hispanic Heritage Awards! As the first Latina Vice President at RCC, it is a privilege to have my Division, Enrollment Management & Student Affairs, sponsor this event. We applaud each of you, and your families, and wish you much more success as you continue on your educational path.

Dr. Helen Castellanos Brewer
Vice President
Enrollment Management & Student Affairs

History of Hispanic Heritage Awards

Rockland Community College’s Annual Hispanic Heritage Awards are an opportunity to commemorate the artistic, leadership, and cultural contributions of members in the Latin community, while honoring the academic achievement and overall excellence of Rockland County students of Hispanic descent. In October 2014, Rockland Community College created a committee to build bridges to the community by creating a ceremony that acknowledges and celebrates the accomplishments of our local public school students, whose hard work and dedication resulted in an academic average of 90 or better. It is RCC’s desire to continue honoring our local public schools scholars.

Hispanic Heritage Awards Committee

  • Yaritza Santana – Chair
  • Jennifer Albin
  • Michael Albin
  • Oscar Arias
  • Greer Griffith
  • Evelina Lopez
  • Sonia Martinez
  • Daisy Mercado
  • Ian Pena
  • Inez Rivera
  • Ydania Santos

Message From the President

Rockland Community College welcomes the opportunity to honor the many talented Hispanic students from across Rockland County who have attained academic excellence and demonstrated exemplary achievements in many areas. You are a vital part of our community and represent our future. It is my fervent hope that you will continue striving, learning and growing throughout your lifetime. I am confident you will attain many important educational and personal milestones and continue to set a positive example for your peers. It is our privilege, our honor and our responsibility to recognize your achievement today.

Dr. Michael A. Baston

Dr. Michael Baston

Guest Speaker:
Hernan Caceres

Hernan Caceres Mr. Hernan Caceres’s mission is to fight for justice, protect the vulnerable and give voice to the silenced. Like many Immigrants today, Hernan arrived in the United States from El Salvador, Central America at age eleven, with his mother, fleeing civil unrest in the late 1970’s. From a young age, his family instilled in him core family values and a strong work ethic. He is grateful to teachers, mentors and inspirational figures who helped him as he grew, with his education, and ultimately, his career. He is passionate about his volunteer work as a Youth Group coordinator for his local parish. Hernan is a graduate of Albany Law School. He opened his own law office in Queens County in 2004, and then moved his practice to New City, NY in 2012.

Student Speaker:
Emanuel Bastos

Emanuel Bastos is a student in Rockland Community College’s Sam Draper Honors Program, working on a dual major. As an international student from Brazil, he has always dreamed big and challenged himself to achieve. Although a language barrier was a potential obstacle, Emanuel never gave up. He pushed himself to not only learn the English language, but to work hard and make the necessary connections to successfully complete his degrees. The Honors Program has been instrumental in Emanuel’s personal development. It has challenged him and given him the support he needs to be successful; getting him closer to his dreams. Emanuel currently serves as the student representative to the Rockland Community College Board of Trustees.

Academic Programs at RCC


Take charge of your tomorrow by becoming part of the Rockland Community College community! Students choose RCC for its affordable tuition, flexible class schedules and easy transfer to 4 year colleges.

English Skills Academy

The English Skills Academy at Rockland Community College is an intensive college preparatory program for English language learners at various levels.

Degree Programs

RCC offers 50 flexible degree and certificate programs in a range of the humanities, social sciences, arts, technology, business, health professions, mathematics and science.

High School Program

Earn college credits while you are in High School. The High School Program (HSP) is open to high school juniors and seniors who wish to register part time (fewer than 12 credits per semester) and take classes either in your high school or at RCC.

Early Admit Program

Take college-level courses and earn college credits while still in high school. At RCC we offer an Early Admit Program (EAP) to high school seniors who wish to complete their senior year of high school by registering as full-time students at RCC and taking credit courses on campus.

Honors Program

Our nationally recognized Sam Draper Honors Program offers students the challenges and rewards of deeper discourse and a personalized mentoring relationship with your professors. Students who complete the Honors Program with an academic average of 3.5 or higher have a very high rate of transferring with full junior standing to virtually any four-year college or university they choose.

Career Skills Academy

The Career Skills Academy was created to provide work ready programs for students of any age to get the necessary skills for a new job, or to enhance an existing career. Career Skills Academy offers programs where students can gain workforce certifications in less than a year.

TRiO Scholars

TRIO Student Support Services Scholar’s Program is a federally funded program offered at RCC targeted to serve and assist first-generation college students, low-income individuals (Pell Eligible), and individuals with disabilities, to progress through the post-secondary experience and transfer to four-year programs.