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Friday, December 03, 2010

Bienvenidos Member Earns Governor's Hispanic Heritage Award

SALISBURY, MD---Leila Borrero Krouse, a member of Salisbury University’s Bienvenidos a Delmarva network, was recently honored with a Governor’s Hispanic Heritage Award for being a Faith-Based Champion.

Krouse (left) with Bellevance“Leila is a beacon of hope amidst the daunting obstacles many Hispanic community members face,” said nominator Stephanie Moore, an SU adjunct history professor who coordinates Bienvenidos.  “[She works] to ensure that our Hispanic community members are educated on their rights and responsibilities, and receive the services to which all members of our communities are entitled.”

Given annually by the Governor’s Commission for Hispanic Affairs, the award recognizes Maryland citizens for significant contributions to the welfare and progress of the community.  Krouse is currently an immigration specialist at Catholic Charities in Salisbury, instrumental in reuniting hundreds of Hispanic families and assisting with citizenship efforts. 

A resident of Salisbury, Krouse emigrated to the U.S. from Puerto Rico 25 years ago and has since dedicated herself to the Hispanic community.  She started as an outreach worker and interpreter for Delmarva Rural Ministries, and worked with the Dorchester County Social Services Program for Migrant Workers. She also was a coordinator for Legal Aid’s Migrant Program.

In recent years, she assisted former Congressman Wayne Gilchrest’s office in helping area Central Americans secure temporary protected status.  She’s been a volunteer interpreter for Spanish-speakers at mortgage assistance workshops and H1N1 vaccine clinics. At the state level, she served on the Governor’s Commission for nearly a decade during the 1990s. 

Krouse accepted her award at a Bethesda ceremony and was accompanied by Elizabeth Bellavance, who currently serves on the Governor's Commission from Wicomico County. 

Bienvenidos a Delmarva is an initiative of SU’s Business Economic and Community Outreach Network (BEACON).  The network of more than 70 service-providing organizations meets monthly to exchange information, discuss issues and develop solutions to better serve immigrants in the region.  Its five priority areas are:  language, education, health, transportation and legal aid.

SU President Janet Dudley-Eshbach, who is a Latin American scholar, has supported Bienvenidos and has implemented initiatives to welcome students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds to campus.  Personally, she recently established a scholarship to support SU students studying in Latin America.  The University also has a new interdisciplinary minor in Latin American Studies, a semester-long study abroad program in Ecuador, and a major and minor in Spanish language.

For more information, call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.



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