(Los Angeles, CA, October, 16) In celebration of the 2022 Leadership Academy’s inaugural graduating class and scholarship winners, Latinos In Transit (LIT) hosted an awards reception on October 10 at the Hilton Seattle, in Seattle Wash. Sponsored by National Express, the event gathered emerging professionals and industry leaders to honor efforts driven by the mission of LIT. The reception program highlighted 28 Leadership Academy graduates and six scholarship recipients.
“The board of directors has been working towards this day for more than two years. The event highlighted the passion and dedication that LIT and our partners have towards LIT’s mission to advocate for Latinos and minorities in our industry,” said Alva Carrasco, LIT Board President.
The event kicked off its program by commemorating the 2022 Leadership Academy graduates. In its inaugural year, LIT’s Leadership Academy was launched in an effort to provide training and development opportunities to organizational members who are pursuing growth opportunities within the transit industry. Academy curriculum consisted of five intensive professional development sessions that focused on specialized and technical expertise needed to advance in the sector. As a requirement for completion of the academy, participants were required to complete a paper and project presentation as a culmination of what they learned.
The Latinos In Transit Board of Directors announce and congratulate the Leadership Academy’s Class of 2022. Graduates include: Christian Andrade - Sound Transit; Diana Gosnell - Sound Transit; Jacob Miskimens - Transit Guard; Anthony Napoles - WSP; Antonio Perez Ramirez, Jr. - AC Transit; Alexander Victoria - Transit Guard; Diego Carrillo - Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority; Robert Diaz, AC Transit; Linda Espinosa - National Express; Grace Ferguson - City of Santa Clarita,Calif.; Angel Gonzalez - IndyGo; Tamara Hunte - Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, Esteban Martinez - HNTB; Jose Peraza Odonez - Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority Reyna Padilla - Sound Transit; Grace Perez - AC Transit; Robert Reyes - AC Transit; Tania Santana - National Express; Valerie Valero - Sound Transit; Joe Aguilar - AC Transit; Carl Atencio- Rocky Mountaineer; Christina Fonseca - Sound Transit; Juan Higuera - Sound Transit; Michelle Jorgensen - National Express; Javier Perez - Sound Transit; Maria Reyes - New Flyer; Cherly Suddeth - AC Transit; and Monica Tellez-Fowler -C-TRAN.
The second part of the program honored six scholarship recipients. In 2022, LIT launched a new scholarship program to support Latinos and other minorities in their pursuit of educational advancement. The purpose of this scholarship is to create opportunities for underserved and/or underrepresented individuals pursuing degrees and/or certifications from accredited educational institutions in a public transit-related field of study. LIT was very fortunate to collaborate with Pittsburgh Regional Transit (PRT) and the North American Transit Alliance (NATA) in securing additional funds for scholarship awards.
With more than 70 applications submitted, a judging committee awarded six individuals with $2,500 scholarships each. The 2022 scholarship recipients are: LIT Scholarship- Mario Delgado - Metro Mcallen, Texas; LIT Scholarship- Jasmine Zamora - City of Oakland; LIT Scholarship- Erica Casillas - Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority; LIT/PRT Scholarship - Jonathan Bonilla - WHED Co; LIT/PRT Scholarship- Adriana Reyes - Pittsburgh Regional Transit; and LIT/NATA Scholarship - Ricardo Vega- AC Transit.
Finishing off a banner year for the organization, LIT has scaled its programs to serve minorities across the United States. In an effort to continue its mission, LIT’s strategic plan is focused on increasing accessibility to advancement and development opportunities to its members. Planning for the 2023 Leadership Academy and scholarship program is now underway, and the organization invites those in the transit industry to become a member of the organization in order to take advantage of advancement opportunities that come with being a LIT member. To learn more about becoming a member of Latinos In Transit, visit www.latinosintransit.org.