The New Orleans Saints recognized Carolina Hernandez on Sunday, Sept. 21 at the Saints' home opener against the Minnesota Vikings as the recipient of the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award presented by Verizon.
Hernandez, a New Orleans native, earned her bacelor's degree in architecture from the University of Louisiana in Lafayette. Since moving back to New Orleans in 2001, she has accomplished such feats as founding NOESiS Design Associates, LLC and becoming an active board member of Puentes New Orleans, among others.
Each award recipient with select an organization of their choice that serves the local Hispanic community to receive a $2,000 donation.
Hernandez opted to have the donation made to Puentes itself. "Puentes is a non-profit, community development organization for the Latino community in New Orleans," Hernandez said. "It's the first of its kind. We are the only official affiliate of the National Council of La Rassa, which is the largest civil rights organization for Latinos in the United States. We work on various issues that affect our community, and it's all about empowering Latinos so that they can flourish in the United States, and more importantly, here in the New Orleans area."
When asked how this experience would benefit her organization of choice, Hernandez said, "It gives the organization some recognition beyond what we already do, and there are so many opportunities where our organization can partner up with different groups, including Verizon and the folks of the Saints organization. It's endless opportunities."
"It's overwhelmingly, fantastically humbling and exciting all at the same time."