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National essay contest launches at the NCLR Annual Conference Líderes Summit

Los Angeles, CA--(HISPANIC PR WIRE)--July 18, 2005--Today at the 2005 NCLR Annual Conference Líderes Summit in Philadelphia, Allstate and the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) officially launched the Líderes de Hoy national essay contest, an essay contest recognizing Hispanic youth making a difference in their community. Gioia Gionnotti-Frye, Marketing Manager for Allstate and Andrea Bazan-Manson, NCLR Board Secretary also announced Esai Morales as the official spokesperson for the Líderes de Hoy national essay contest.

‘NYPD Blue’ Star Esai Morales Joins Allstate and the National Council of La Raza to Recognize Hispanic Youth Making a Difference in their Community. “Growing up as a Hispanic youth, I learned at an early age that only though personal responsibility could I overcome my greatest challenges,” said Morales. “I am proud to be a part of the Líderes de Hoy national essay contest, which recognizes Hispanic youth committed to personal and academic achievement. With our support, we are helping to cultivate the next generation of Hispanic leaders.”

The Líderes de Hoy essay contest is an Allstate and National Council of La Raza (NCLR) initiative to recognize and celebrate the work of Hispanic youth leaders making a difference in the Latino community. Ten Hispanic leaders will be awarded with a $5,000 academic scholarship and will be invited to participate in the Líderes de Hoy awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. in commemoration of Hispanic Heritage Month in September.

“With nearly half of all Latinos in the United States under the age of 25, young Hispanics are a primary source of new leaders,” said Janet Murguia, NCLR President and CEO. “With the launch of Líderes de Hoy, we are helping to increase the number, capacity, and influence of young Hispanic leaders in the United States.”

Líderes de Hoy officials also announced the panel of judges for the contest, which is comprised of several high-profile leaders in the Hispanic community, including Gioia Gionnotti-Frye; Janet Murguia, NCLR President and CEO; Congresswoman Grace Napolitano, Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus; Maria Matos, Executive Director of the Latin American Community Center; Dr. Herminio Martinez, Executive Director of the Bronx Institute at Lehman College; and Hon. Ruben Hinojosa, U.S. Representative of Texas and the Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Education Task Force.

“Allstate and NCLR have been working together to build a stronger Hispanic community in the United States since 1989,” said Peter Debreceny, Allstate’s vice president of Corporate Relations and a member of NCLR’s Corporate Board of Advisors. “Through our partnership with NCLR, we are providing Hispanic youth with access to the resources and training needed to be successful leaders in the Hispanic community.”

To participate in the essay contest students can visit http://lideres.nclr.org, download contest materials and follow all contest rules and guidelines. Applicants must be legal residents of the United States, full-time high school students or recent high school graduates of Hispanic descent, between the ages of 14 and 18, and have a minimum GPA of 2.0.

For additional information on the Líderes de Hoy essay contest or for contest rules and guidelines, visit http://lideres.nclr.org. For more information on the 2005 NCLR Annual Conference Líderes Summit, visit http://lideres.nclr.org/events/lideres_summit/

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