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Si TV Salutes Influential Latino Leaders

Sí TV is launching “Take the Lead,” a multiplatform initiative to celebrate the achievements of prominent Latinos in the fields of entertainment, politics, business and community action and mentor the next generation of Latino leaders, officials said Thursday.

Sí TV will kick off “Take the Lead” with a series of interstitials highlighting today’s Latino leaders as positive role models to younger generations. Among the celebrities profiled are Rosario Dawson and journalist Rick Sanchez, along with political leaders such as New Jersey U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Denver Mayor and former Secretary of Energy and Transportation Federico Peña. 

Profiles of the “Leaders of Today” will also be available on the “Take the Lead” section of the Sí TV Web site, which will be a resource for links to career advice, internship opportunities and jobs for Latino youths.

In addition, a handful of the brightest young Latino “Leaders of Tomorrow” will be selected to receive mentoring in their chosen field from the “Leaders of Today.” The “Leaders of Tomorrow” will receive valuable professional advice and guidance from their mentors and experience first hand what it takes to be successful in their profession.

Applicants to the program for the “Leaders of Tomorrow” will come through Sí TV’s partner community organizations. The initiative will highlight mentors from different regions of the country who will work closely with young mentees from their respective communities.

“Take the Lead” will start off in California. The first set of mentors will include California State Assembly member Joe Coto, California State Sen. Alex Padilla, California Sen. Denise Moreno Ducheny, California Sen. Dean Florez, Wells Fargo senior vice president of global remittance services Daniel Ayala, California State Sen. Gil Cedillo and San Francisco CBS news anchor Joe Vasquez.

“Sí TV is committed to cultivating the success of young Latinos and empowering them to reach their full potential,” Sí TV CEO Michael Schwimmer said in a prepared statement. “’Take the Lead’ lets Latino youths see positive role models who are at the forefront of a variety of fields.”

Latinos are becoming an increasingly powerful political force, as witnessed by the recent Presidential election. A study by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund showed that as many as 11 million Latinos cast their vote in the 2008 election, the most in history. They formed a key voting block in battleground states such as Colorado, New Mexico and Florida and helped propel President-elect Barack Obama to his historic victory.