21st Annual HACE Awards

Students Achieving Excellence One Step at a Time

Omaha, Neb., April 7, 2019 — 391 Omaha Public Schools (OPS) seniors were honored at the 21st Annual Hispanic Academic Challengers of Excellence (HACE) Awards on Sunday, April 7 at Bryan High School.

Recipients of the HACE Awards are chosen by the Community Academic Achievement Awards Committee based on their status as a Hispanic American high school senior and their ability to obtain and maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher. Students in attendance include those participating in the Latino Center of the Midlands’ Pathways to Success program and seniors from Benson, Bryan, Burke, Omaha Central, Omaha North, Omaha Northwest, and Omaha South.

Lively music from Mariachi Rey Azteca welcomed students and their families as they filled the seats of Bryan High’s auditorium. Javier Rodriguez-Torres, the Master of Ceremonies, and Robert Aranda, Principal at Bryan, started the program by thanking parents, families, and friends for the support that they have given their students. Before receiving their award, Charles Wakefield, Chief Human Resource Officer at OPS, shared pieces of advice, praise, and encouragement for the seniors as they head towards graduation and choose their own paths in life.

Students in attendance walked across the stage and received a sash and certificate from a representative at their high school. Families cheered and clapped as their student crossed the stage to be recognized. Along with the individual awards, the HACE committee presented the Thomas L. Harvey Academic Excellence Award to the high school that holds the highest number of students with a 4.0 GPA or higher. This year’s recipient of the award was Omaha North High School.

The number of students receiving the HACE Award has increased in the past few years, which prompted a change in venue from the Teacher’s Administration (TAC) building to Bryan High for this year’s ceremony to accommodate the large numbers.

About Latino Center of the Midlands:

Located in the heart of South Omaha, the Latino Center of the Midlands (LCM) is one of the oldest and most respected Latino-serving, community-based organizations in Nebraska.  In 2015, the LCM celebrated its 45th anniversary.  Initially called the Chicano Awareness Center, the vision of the Latino Center of the Midlands is to empower youth and families through education and awareness to build a stronger and more engaged community. Program areas include Adult Basic Education, Family & Community Well-Being, and Pathways to Success. The Latino Center of the Midlands relies on the generosity of individual donors, corporate sponsors, private foundations and government grants to provide these programs and services in the community.  To learn more, visit them online at www.latinocenter.org and follow them on social media via FacebookInstagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.