scholarship recipients

2017 MBLP Queen
Lisette Santiago

Lissette Santiago was born and raised here in Buffalo, NY. She represented Moca, Puerto Rico. Lissette attends Daemen College where she studies psychology. Despite having Lisette at age 15, Lisette's mother, MaryAnn Torres, went on to earn 2 degrees in psychology and nursing. This inspired Lisette and motivates her to do the best she can to achieve success. She hopes that one day she will have the opportunity to volunteer for crisis services. Lissette aspires to be a clinical psychologist for adolescents. She feels that her age group is very misunderstood. Lissette joined the Miss Borinquen of WNY Latina Leadership Development Program to meet more people in the Latino community, and because she finally feels comfortable with who she is as a person. Being a participant in the leadership program was something out of her comfort zone. Lissette stuck with the program because she was amazed to see how quickly a sisterhood had formed with the other participants. Lissette feels that it was great to just be a part of something that taught them the importance of loving each other and being comfortable within.  During her year of reign Lissette hopes to accomplish more mental health awareness; to show our young Latinas that they are worth something. She hopes to be an example to the future generation of Latinas to show that they are capable of anything they put their minds to.

2017 MBLP Princess
Willenecxa Escalera

Willenecxa Escalera was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and was raised in Loiza. She moved to Buffalo when she was 5 years old. Willenecxa attends Hutchinson Central Technical High School. She aspires to be an anesthesiologist because she has always loved to help people. She feels that it is very important for people to help and care for others. Willenecxa also aspires to be a role model for all young Latina girls, in order to show them that Latinas are strong, empowered, smart women that deserve all the good things in the world.