New York State Youth Leadership Council

NYSYLC Leadership Awards Program

The New York State Youth Leadership Council Awards Program was founded since 2007 by undocumented youth who understand first hand the challenges and struggles youth face when trying to continue with their post-secondary education. The NYSYLC Awards Program aims to support immigrant youth, regardless of their immigration status, advance themselves and their communities, pursue their higher education dreams and continue to contribute to our society in the manner of their choosing. The NYSYLC Awards is largely funded by youth-led grassroots fundraising efforts, as well as, generous donations and support from individuals and organizations. The NYSYLC would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the people and organizations that supported our work throughout the years.


  • Be a graduating high school senior, youth with High School diploma or GED diploma residing in the NY state area planning to attend college in the fall of 2013; OR a youth currently in college (priority given to undergraduate students)
  • Is actively engaged or wishes to become engaged with the immigrant rights movement in their community, school or campus.
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher (on a scale of 4.0) upon application. If GPA lower than 2.5 applicant needs to submit one additional letter of recommendation.
  • Must be enrolled or plans to be enrolled in college for the Fall 2013 Semester.
  • If awarded, must attend a mandatory two-day leadership training developed by the NYSYLC (date and time to be announced) AND/OR volunteer at least 10 hours with the NYSYLC.
  • If awarded, must attend the awards ceremony, held in the NYC area (place TBC)




NYSYLC Awards Program 2012

It takes community to build a leader The 2012 NYSYLC Leadership Awards were dedicated to all the undocumented youth who with their brave actions have not only liberated themselves from fear but have also empowered many others to do the same. By sharing their stories in public, with legislators, friends, and by taking part of our actions have given many other undocumented youth facing the same challenges and struggles the strength and courage to come out of the shadows and to empower themselves to make a change and to stand up for their communities. We also dedicate this ceremony to every undocumented person affected by deportations and the broken immigration system.

2012 Fellowship and Scholarship Recipients
Yatziri pursuing double major in Childhood Education and Political Science at CCNY. Read her entry.
Maria, pursuing a double major in Mathematics and Business Management at Manhattanville College. Read her entry.
Marlen, pursuing a double major in Anthropology and Latin American Studies at Lehman College. Read her entry.
Juana, pursuing a major in Education at BMCC. Read her entry.
Angel, pursuing a degree in Genocide Studies at Hunter College. Read her entry.
Lacey, intended major in Human Services and Social Work at BMCC. Read her entry.
Isabel, pursuing a major in Political Science at CCNY. Read her entry.
Estrella, pursuing major in Science at the New Community College
Xiu, pursuing major in Finance at Baruch College

On the above picture awardees and recognized leaders

NYSYLC Awards Program 2011

In 2011 we worried and feared that we wouldn’t be able to offer scholarships to deserving youth despite all their hard work and resilience. Thanks to every single person who donated and the endless fundraisers we were able to offer 9 scholarships and we hope that these students will be able to continue their education.

2011 Scholarship Recipients
Janeth O. 2011 Scholarship Submission
Yessica M. 2011 Scholarship Submission
Rawn H. 2011 Scholarship Submission
Poem 2011 Scholarship Submission
Andrea Pina
Camile Cole
Jose D Perez
Justin Seck
Nadia Ozuna

Inspirational Leadership Awards
Janet Perez
Lehman Dream Team

Courageous Advocacy Award
Jose Luis

Summer Fellow Certificate of Appreciation
Antonio Bravo
Pornpat Pootinath
Felipe Baeza
Yatziri Tovar

Certificate of Appreciation
Albor Ruiz, journalist
Aygul Bagautdinova, Education NO Deportation Attornety
Angelique Imani Rodriguez, Dreaming In Ink facilitator
Tania Mattos, NYSYLC Advocacy Team Coordinator

On the above picture awardees and recognized leaders

NYSYLC Awards Program 2010

The 2010’s NYSYLC Leadership Awards was dedicated to Tam Tran and Cinthya Feliz. Both Tam and Cinthya were leaders for undocumented students and the DREAM Act. While students at UCLA, Tam and Cinthya led the student organization IDEAS and inspired many undocumented youth to go to college through their own success stories and the impact they made on the community. Both Tam and Cinthya participated in the Trail of Dreams New York, raising funds and inspiring others to support the march for the DREAM Act. Tam and Cinthya were tragically killed in an car accident on May 15, 2010. They will be greatly missed, but we will continue the fight for the DREAM Act in their honor.

Scholarship Awardees:
Hyo J. Seo
Leina Luzuriaga
Angy Rivera
Maria Dcruze
Brian Shaw
Marcela Erazo
Alan Rosales
Brenda Cortez
Nunny Samantha Reyes
Blanca Cervanter-Ramirez

Fellowship Awardees:
Wendolyne Sabrozo
Christopher Chavez

Courageous Advocacy Award
Sonia Guinansaca

On the above picture awardees and recognized leaders

NYSYLC Awards Program 2009

2009’s Awards Program celebrated 14 young people throughout New York and New Jersey who have demonstrated leadership in the immigrant rights movement and excelled academically.

Scholarship Recipients:
Rachele Maurice
Guadalupe Benitez
Aicha Diarrassouba
Marie Ann Peguero
Ruth Valeria Marca
Gladys Juca
Sonia Luna
Suary Marte
Aissatou Kaba
Mayra Chavez

Fellowship Receipients:
Piash Ahamed
Columba Marin
Angy Rivera
Lesbia Sierra

Inspirational Leadership Awards:
Professional Staff Congress of CUNY- Kate
David Gonzalez, journalist
Any Shapiro, teacher at Bronx International HS
Joel Kuskai, professor and education advocate at Queensborough Community College

Courageous Advocacy Award
Jennifer Cariño, co-founder of NYSYLC

On the above picture awardees and recognized leaders

NYSYLC Awards Program 2008

The 2008 scholarship awards program celebrated 20 young people throughout New York and New Jersey who have demonstrated leadership in the immigrant rights movement and excelled academically.

Scholarship Recipients:
Gabriela Alarcon
Gina Apestegui
Starlyn Baez
Ruth Marie Charles
Noory Croos
Dianca Fernandez
Erika Flores
Sonia Guinansaca
Oscar Guzman
Raul Juarez
Ryan Khan
Edgar Lazaro
Darnyng Montas
Victor Pasaran
Hansika Perera
Sasha-Gay Porter
Yefrey Rodriguez
Ndeye Wore Seck
Veronica Trelles
Brenda Valladares

Inspirational Leadership Awards
For their outstanding leadership and contributions to the immigrant community
Christina Chen
Joseph Taranto

Minerva Moya Courageous Advocacy Award
Jaqueline Cinto

On the above picture awardees and recognized leaders