...a leadership development and scholarship program of the
Puerto Rican and Hispanic Day Parade of WNY
    At the outset, allow me to extend to all of you best wishes for this New Year, 2014. Three years ago, I was given the privilege of chairing the Miss Borinquen of WNY. In taking on that role, I committed to developing a curriculum that addressed the needs of our young Latina ladies in a culturally sensitive manner and increasing the breadth and depth of the overall program. As I embarked on this journey, I asked a number of professional women I deeply respect to join me. I am so grateful that they so enthusiastically did. Our collective effort resulted in growth of the Miss Borinquen of WNY into a dynamic, well-recognized, respected, and now, even award-winning Latina
leadership development program. Most importantly, we quadrupled the scholarship monies and prizes awarded to the winners.

    Indeed we have had many successes, evidenced by the fact that over the course of the last year we have released over $7,000.00 in scholarships to seven young ladies crowned Queen, Princess or Runner-Up that are currently in college. This number does not take into account the young ladies that we were able to convince to not get pregnant, stay in school and go on to college.

    Sadly, we are all aware of the magnitude and complexity of the financial, emotional, and academic challenges that our Hispanic young women face. As such, the great work of the Miss Borinquen of WNY Latina Leadership Program is needed now more than ever.

    As I draw the curtain on my term as Chair, it is now my pleasure to present to the new chair of the
Miss Borinquen of WNY who was recently appointed by the President of our parent organization [The Puerto Rican and Hispanic Parade of WNY Association of WNY [herein after PRHDP]] , Crystal J. Rodriguez. In appointing Crystal as the new 2014 Chair, the PRHDP President, Charles F. Torres, ensures that the Miss Borinquen will remain steadfast in “Empowering Young Latinas to Reach for the Stars.”

    In conclusion, let me express my deep appreciation and gratitude to each of you that has supported me during my term as Chair of the Miss Borinquen. Most importantly, thank you for supporting the development and growth of every young lady that has gone through our program. However, big or small your contribution/participation may have been, you should now that you have made a difference in the lives of young women during the pivotal point in their development.

    The time has come to handover the Chairmanship of the Miss Borinquen of WNY to Crystal J. Rodriguez. I have every confidence that under Crystal’s leadership the Miss Borinquen of WNY Latina Leadership Development Program will reach new levels. We move into 2014 assured that the many challenges we face in empowering our young women will be overcome through the firm commitment of the Miss Boriquen of WNY committee.

I thank you!

Most sincerely,

Hon. Betty Calvo-Torres