Seny Taveras, the Executive Director of CUNY in the Heights, received a LatinTRENDS Magazine’s Latino Trendsetter Award on February 2 during LatinTRENDS 13th annual award reception held at Symphony Space.

Taveras, who has worked as an adjunct professor at Hostos Community College, became the CUNY in the Heights executive director in 2014.
“I want to thank Juan Guillén and his colleagues for selecting me to receive this recognition. I feel honored to be among such distinguished colleagues. My parents came from the Dominican Republic in the early 60s seeking to offer my brothers and sisters a better life. Both of them left their language and culture behind and sacrificed a lot for us and they accomplished a great deal, they ensured that we got an education. Their gesture is the reason I made it my life purpose to give back. This recognition means the world to me because it means that my parent’s sacrifices were not in vein,” said Taveras at the Gala event.
A native of Washington Heights, she has dedicated nearly all of her adult life to public service. 

Most recently, she served as Chief of Staff to Councilmember Ydanis Rodríguez (district 10) in Manhattan, overseeing the office’s daily operations, budget, and legislative initiatives.  She is currently serving on the John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s Pre-Law Institute Advisory Board. The Institute helps prepare students for the LSAT and to enter Law School. She has received community service awards from various organizations, including the Office of the New York City Comptroller, the NYC Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and the Dominican Women’s Development Center.

Taveras holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in legal studies from CUNY’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a Law Degree from Hofstra University School of Law.

Juan Guillén, LatinTRENDS founder and CEO, said on the magazine’s website: “The 13th Annual Latino Trendsetter Awards is an inspirational platform that is redefining what it means to be a star. A star is usually associated with being a celebrity. We believe a star is a man or woman that works hard and intelligently on what they do and love. They are risk-takers, big-dreamers, doers and go-getters; they have vision and integrity. They are visible members of the community and are reachable, not out of touch. The Latino Trendsetter Awards Recipients are the true stars of the community. They inspire a new generation.”

Other 2015 Latino Trendsetter Award recipients included: Lorraine Cortés-Vásquez, EVP Multicultural Director for Multicultural Markets & Engagement AARP; Frank Galarza, professional boxer and youth activist; Hector D. Ruiz, Regional Sales Manager US Latin America, Delta; Lynda Baquero, consumer reporter for Better Get Baquero NBC4; Vanessa González-Plumhoff, Director of Latino Leadership and Engagement Planned Parenthood Federation of America; Daisy Auger-Domínguez, Vice President, Talent Acquisition and Organization & Workforce Diversity Disney ABC Television Group; Eric García, Radio Revenue Chief Spanish Broadcasting System, La Mega & Amor; Tony Jiménez, President & CEO MICROTECH; María Amor, Vice President Havas FORMULATIN; Anthony Lolli, Founder & CEO Rapid Realty NYC; and a special Live it Award was presented to Nemesio Ortiz, Vice President of Medicare Sales Healthfirst, for his engagement and contributions to the community.

About Hostos Community College
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College is an educational agent for change that has been transforming and improving the quality of life in the South Bronx and neighboring communities since 1968. It serves as a gateway to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility, as well as a point of departure for lifelong learning, success in professional careers, and transfer to advanced higher education programs. The College’s unique "Student Success Coaching Unit" provides students with individualized guidance and exemplifies its emphasis on student support services.

Recently named one of the top 10 finalists for the 2015 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, Hostos offers 27 associate degree programs and two certificate programs that facilitate easy transfer to The City University of New York’s (CUNY) four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions. The College has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education & Workforce Development that offers professional development courses and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. Hostos is part of CUNY, the nation’s leading urban public university, which serves more than 480,000 students at 24 colleges.