Dfw Immigrant Leaders Honored At The 2017 Immigrant Journey Awards
Outstanding immigrants receive awards for their significant achievements and contributions in business, profession, community service, and politics.
With numerous award nomination submissions for 2017, presenting sponsor and Dallas law firm Scheef & Stone was pleased at the turnout and proud of those who made it as finalists and winners.
"We couldn't have been happier with the group of individuals who congregated at this year's awards," said Ann Badmus, immigration partner and IJA Chair. "Immigrants have come so far, and yet, they are still underestimated and undervalued. This ceremony is our duty, our effort to change that, to put the spotlight on those who have struggled, fought, and made it in this country. Let it be known that immigrants make a difference."
Honored to be a part of the awards, keynote speaker Beatrix Manetta, founder of Argent Associates, spoke of her personal immigrant journey, as she emigrated from Argentina to New Jersey when she was just a young girl. Manetta highlighted common obstacles, struggles and thrills of accomplishment that all immigrants share throughout the emigration journey.
"All immigrant journeys begin with the dream of a better life. Each of us came to America, leaving what we knew, for what we hoped," Manetta said. "We traveled great distances, both physically and emotionally, to the Land of Opportunity, which we now call 'Home.' We brought our knowledge, talent, skills, and passions to make a better life for ourselves, our families, and our communities."
This year's Immigrant Entrepreneur Award winners include Giuseppe Piccinini, Shanthi Rajaram, and Sudhir Pai. This category is granted to individuals who have built highly successful North Texas businesses, and who have set a great example for other motivated entrepreneurs around the state and nation. Gabriela Smith and Juan Williams were honored for the Immigrant Professional Excellence Award, which highlights immigrants who have made remarkable strides in a professional field.
The Immigrant Advocate Award, which goes to an individual, organization, business or government entity that has made a powerful and positive impact on the welfare of immigrants via public advocacy went to Etalemahu Taddesse Fikre and Gauthami Vemula. Lastly, the two Immigrant Spirit Award winners, Plano Council member Angela Miner and Madan Goyal, were recognized for contributing substantially to the well-being of the entire community through their influential platforms.
Three exceptional high school seniors, Adewale Adewuyi of Plano East High School, Aimee Shimwa of Conrad High School, and Devany Morales of Hillcrest High School, also received American Dream Scholarships to attend the college of their choice.
"All of us carry the hopes and dreams of our ancestors. We carry the history of our people, their wisdom and their teachings to make this nation a better place, because diversity promotes curiosity," said Vemula. "And it's that diversity that's passed down from one generation to another that makes the United States so amazing. If we stop looking at what divides us, we'll beautifully see what unites us. With that said, I encourage each and every of you to continue breaking borders and building new bonds."
About the Immigrant Journey Awards
Presented by North Texas law firm, Scheef & Stone, LLP, the Immigrant Journey Awards, celebrate outstanding immigrants and their advocates in the U.S. For more information and tickets, visit http://www.immigrantjourney.org.
Ann Massey Badmus