NEW CITY – County Executive Ed Day marked Hispanic Heritage Month by honoring four local Latino leaders who have made outstanding contributions to Rockland.
Hispanic Heritage Month is observed nationally from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. According to the 2020 Census, Hispanic-Americans make up 19.6% of the population of Rockland County (66,451 out of 338,329).
“Rockland is extremely diverse but would not be nearly as successful without the people honored this month,” concluded County Executive Day.
Those honored this year are Elizabeth Rubio, Julia Urena, Jelien Ramos, & Kenia Serrano.
Elizabeth Rubio is a dedicated Marine Corps veteran serving as a Veteran Service Officer at the Rockland County Veterans Service Agency since March 2022. Within her first year of service, the Veterans Service Agency witnessed an impressive 200% increase in the number of claims submitted and over the past 18 months, Elizabeth has personally assisted more than 500 veterans and their families in navigating the complex process of submitting disability compensation and pension benefit claims. Her expertise and compassionate approach have resulted in over $1.2 million in veterans’ benefits being successfully delivered to those in need.
Julia Urena is lifelong activist who founded the Casa de la Cultura, a free after-school dance program for children. She’s made numerous donations to local families including arranging trips, parties, and special events for low-income families. She is currently serving as Vice President of the United Latin Festival of Haverstraw.
Jelien Ramos is a 7-year-old cancer survivor who is raising awareness about childhood cancer, the leading cause of death by disease for children in America. Jelien actively fundraises for childhood cancer charities and research.
Kenia Serrano has been volunteering and involved in the community for over 2 decades.
Some of that involvement includes being a member of the Haverstraw Puerto Rican Parade, United Latin Parade, Festival Committee of Haverstraw, Town of Haverstraw Youth Board, Haverstraw Police Athletic League. She has organized backpack drives for the North Rockland community and delivered meals every Thanksgiving morning to families.
“The efforts of these individuals and organizations are truly incredible,” said County Executive Day. “Here in Rockland, this month is particularly worthy of recognition thanks to outstanding contributions from the Hispanic community, especially those commemorated by my administration.”