Dolores Huerta

Hispanic Heritage: Tribute to Dolores Huerta, Ellen Ochoa, Helen Hernandez

NBC4 pays tribute to three women who have made significant contributions in the Latino movement in the U.S. and continue to make a difference.

Dolores Huerta

Dolores Huerta grew up with a sense of injustice happening all around her. As a teenager she experienced discrimination in high school. She was harassed by police and witnessed brutal poverty.

In 1962, Huerta co-founded the United Farm Workers Union with Cesar Chavez. She organized the members, and through nonviolent tactics, mounted a successful boycott of California table grapes.

She also coined the popular phrase "Si se puede," or "Yes we can."

In 2012, President Barack Obama presented Huerta the Medal of Freedom. She spoke at the Democratic National Convention earlier this year.

Still active at age 86, Huerta continues to work toward her lifetime goal of empowering farm workers and women with the skills needed to help them make a better life.

In 1962, Huerta co-founded the United Farm Workers Union with Cesar Chavez. NBC4 pays tribute to her continuing efforts to champion the Hispanic community.

Ellen Ochoa

Ellen Ochoa has reached for the stars -- literally.

She's flown to space four times, logged nearly 1,000 hours in orbit and is NASA's Johnson Space Center's first Hispanic director.

Not bad for the world's first Hispanic woman to become an astronaut.

Born in Los Angeles, Ochoa says she didn't know she wanted to be an astronaut growing up. In fact, she changed her major in college five times before she got a degree in physics from San Diego State University.

Ochoa went on to Stanford University, where she earned her master's degree and doctorate. And that's when her journey toward space really launched.

Ochoa has been recognized with NASA's highest award: the Distinguished Service Medal.

To help her live on as a role model for young Latinas, she also has five schools named after her.

Ellen Ochoa has reached for the stars — literally. NBC4 pays tribute to NASA’s Johnson Space Center’s first Hispanic director.

Helen Hernandez

The Imagen Awards are one of the most prestigious award shows in the entertainment industry today, and it's all thanks to the leadership of Helen Hernandez.

For 31 years, the Imagen Foundation has encouraged the entertainment industry to portray the Latino community in a positive and accurate manner. But it hasn't been an easy journey.

When Hernandez and TV producer Norman Lear first launched the Imagen Awards, it was a struggle because in 1985 there weren't many Latinos on the small screen.

What used to be a luncheon with 75 people has grown into a black-tie gala with 600 attendees who have included Edward James Olmos, Rita Moreno and Jennifer Lopez.

Outside of the foundation, Hernandez serves on the PBS board, both nationally and locally.

This year, the Imagen Foundation is lending its voice to the presidential election and encouraging everyone to vote with its #WeCount social media campaign.

The Imagen Awards are one of the most prestigious award shows in the entertainment industry today, and it’s all thanks to the leadership of Helen Hernandez. NBC4 pays tribute to this trailblazer.
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