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Channel partners with National Hispana Leadership Institute and CentroNía to host Congressional, government and national Latina leaders, for their contributions and impact throughout the country 

Washington, DC [CapitalWirePR] September 15, 2011Today, Discovery Familia, the only Spanish-language network fully dedicated to serving the needs of U.S. Hispanic moms and their preschool children, recognized important Hispanic leaders and their contributions to this nation. The “Esa Soy Yo - Soy Latina” awards ceremony took place in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill, in partnership with the National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI) and CentroNía. The audience present at the awards ceremony was comprised of Hispanic leaders from across the public and private sector.

The “Esa Soy Yo - Soy Latina” awards ceremony, hosted by Jeannette Torres-Alvarez, early childhood expert and Discovery Familia’s brand ambassador, honored five Latinas who have championed causes important to women, the Hispanic community and the country as a whole. These women personify the network’s four cornerstones of positive community leadership: Luchadora (fighter), Emprendedora (enterprising), Creativa (creative) and Soñadora (dreamer).

Distinguished Leaders Honored

Hilda L. Solis, U.S. Secretary of Labor: Solis has spent the better part of two decades championing workers' rights, and has described herself as an environmentalist, an ally of working families, and "an unabashed crusader for women's rights."  Prior to confirmation as Secretary of Labor in 2009, Secretary Solis represented the 32nd Congressional District in California, a position she held from 2001 – 2009.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, U.S. Congresswoman: Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen represents Florida’s 18th Congressional District. Of 75 women now serving in the House, 24 are Republicans. Only one of those 24 GOP women, Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, chairs a full committee. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is the first Latina in Congress, and the first Latina and woman Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.  

Linda Sánchez, U.S. Congresswoman: Recognized as a leading voice for working families, judiciary, and trade matters, Congresswoman Linda Sanchez represents California’s 39th Congressional District.  She has broken many barriers by becoming the first Latina to serve on the Judiciary Committee.  She is mom to a preschool son – Joaquin.   

Beatriz “BB” Otero, Deputy Mayor Health and Human Services: Ms. Otero is the first Latina Deputy Mayor of Health and Human Services in the District of Columbia.  Her work championing children and families has earned her accolades and recognition throughout her career.  She is the founder of CentroNía, a nationally recognized, bilingual multicultural learning center that has received numerous awards for its innovative approach to quality education.

Marisa Rivera, President MPowerment Works, former President of NHLI: Ms. Rivera has been developing and inspiring tomorrow’s Hispanic female leaders since 1999, when she was appointed President of NHLI. Now, she is at the helm of MPowerment and Works, a consulting firm designed to impact global change by empowering women across the globe. Ms. Rivera has been an ardent supporter and galvanizer for women to excel at all levels of public and elected office. 

“This awards ceremony was an important portion of a broader celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month,” says Bilai Joa Silar, Vice President and Channel Director for Discovery Familia and Discovery en Español. “It is our goal, on-air and off, to pay tribute to strong, diverse, empowered and unquestionably unique Hispanic women who inspire others to reach higher and dream bigger than ever, for their families and themselves.”

To cultivate and harness the talent and energy of the Latina woman is a feat that the National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI) has devoted itself to for over 20 years. Discovery Familia’s partnership with NHLI and CentroNía, an organization which integrates diversity and honors cultural traditions while it prepares children for their next steps in life, celebrates their joint mission to empower Hispanic women and to create a strong educational and cultural foundation for preschoolers. 

“The National Hispana Leadership Institute is pleased to partner with Discovery Familia to honor Latina leaders who have made a difference in the lives of so many people.  These women are role models that all Latinas look up to and exemplify the type of leader that NHLI trains others to be.  We are happy to be part of this event that pays tribute to our Latina leaders,” says Barbara J. DesMarteau, Acting President of the National Hispana Leadership Institute.

“At CentroNía we are proud to celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of Latinas in the U.S. and congratulate and thank the award winners for their contributions.    We are particularly proud that our founder, BB Otero, is being honored today among such an amazing group of Latina leaders. Because of her vision, CentroNía has been providing high quality, affordable child care services for Latina mothers in our community for 25 years,” says Myrna Peralta, Acting Executive Director of CentroNía.

Demonstrated Commitment to the Growth and Future of Hispanic Women

Discovery Familia is now in 3 million homes, well on its way to making its projected reach of 4 million by year’s end. The network exercises this reach and sphere of influence to make a positive difference in the Hispanic community. During Hispanic Heritage Month, the network will also air a special spot entitled "Esa Soy Yo," which was created specifically to celebrate the strength, resilience and influence of Hispanic women.

The network celebrates the Hispanic traditions and culture and initiates beneficial community projects, not only during Hispanic Heritage Month but throughout the year. Earlier this year, Discovery Familia also joined forces with The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (PCFSN) through their President’s Challenge program Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) to provide U.S. Hispanic moms with encouragement, information, tools and tips to help them and their kids lead healthier lifestyles and share quality time while being physically active. For more information on how to participate in the network’s Million PALA Challenge log on to  

Discovery Familia is also participating in “Discover Your Skills,” a multimedia public affairs campaign, created by Discovery Communications, which kicked off at the end of August. “Discover Your Skills” provides unemployed and underemployed Americans access to critical resources for obtaining marketable job skills and to raise awareness of career opportunities. As a part of this initiative, Discovery Familia is airing a series of PSAs featuring the network’s brand ambassador Jeannette Torres-Alvarez, to increase awareness among Hispanics about career opportunities in the skilled trades. She will also emphasize the importance of the training necessary for careers in manufacturing, healthcare, technology and other critical industries.

Resources for the Discovery Your Skills initiative can be accessed through

About Discovery Familia   

Part of Discovery Communications, Discovery Familia is the only Spanish language network completely dedicated to the Hispanic mom and what’s important to her: her kids, her home and her well-being.   With insightful programming targeted to children aged 2-6, the network’s daily Discovery Kids block provides a safe, entertaining and curriculum-based co-viewing experience that helps preschoolers get ready for the real world. Each night, Discovery Familia is programmed for mom, spanning relevant topics from cooking and home improvement, to parenting and relationships, to beauty and health.  With trusted content, entertaining programs and unmatched quality, Discovery Familia is a place that Hispanic moms and their children can call “home”.

About The National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI)

The National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that is dedicated to offering leadership development for Latinas across the country through week long trainings, conferences and webinars. NHLI's flagship training, the Executive Leadership Program offers 22 Latinas a compressive four week program across nine months with sessions at Harvard University and the Center for Creative Leadership. Over 500 Latinas have graduated from our award winning program. To learn more visit 

About CentroNía

CentroNía is a nationally recognized, award-winning educational organization founded 25 years ago by BB Otero that provides affordable, high quality education, professional development and family support services in a bilingual, multicultural environment to more than 1500 children and their families in DC and Maryland. For more information visit