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Padres to honor second 2014 Hispanic Heritage Comunidad Award Winner tonight


SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Padres tonight will honor the recipient of the second Hispanic Heritage Comunidad Award for 2014. La Maestra Health Clinic and Foundation has been selected by the Padres' Hispanic Community Advisory Council (HCAC) to receive the award for the organization's dedication to improving the lives of families and youth, specifically in the area of children's education (LEARN).

La Maestra Health Clinic and Foundation began as an amnesty education center in 1986, expanded to health services in 1990, and now offers several innovative education programs to convert at-risk students into college-bound, community service-minded leaders. La Maestra Health Clinic serves more than 70,000 patients each year at four locations: City Heights, El Cajon, National City and Lemon Grove. Ninety five percent of the organization's patients fall below the poverty line.

In November 2013, The La Maestra Foundation launched a new system targeting at-risk, low income, youth in City Heights. The program makes an impact through a three-pronged approach - an after school program, a skateboard program, and a partnership with Arroyo Paseo Charter High School and the National Council of La Raza (NCLR). Currently, the Foundation is working with the entire junior class at Arroyo Paseo Charter High School, in a program that follows the students for 15 months, through graduation and into college. The students are taught career and job skills, aided with college applications, tutored, and assisted in securing internship hours.

The Padres' Hispanic Heritage Comunidad Award series was established in 2012 to recognize and pay tribute to individuals or organizations whose work makes a positive impact on those who live and work in San Diego's Hispanic community. In support of the Padres Foundation's community vision, four awards will be given throughout the year, one each in the areas of children's health (LIVE), children's education (LEARN), youth baseball/ softball or youth fitness (PLAY) and supporting our law enforcement and military communities (SERVE). To submit a nomination, visit www.padres.com/community or www.padresbeisbol.com/comunidad.

Last month, 13-year-old Jose Montaño became the first recipient to be honored posthumously, in the area of children's health (LIVE). Despite having had brain surgery, 30 cycles of radiation and 27 chemotherapy cycles over the course of three years, Montaño created the Jose Montaño Foundation to put smiles on the faces of young cancer patients.

All Hispanic Heritage Comunidad Award winners will be honored together on the field before the Padres game on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, as part of a Hispanic Heritage Month celebration.

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