NAPRHSW 2019 Gala Journal

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“Juntos Podemos” - H i s p a n i c Y o u t h C o n f e r e n c e - La Vision

Welcome to the 36 th Anniversary  Awards Gala



S onia P alacio - G rottola LCSW NAPRHSW

LEGACY AWARD G ladys S errano , LCSW CEO H ispanic C ounseling C enter

Conference to be scheduled in the Spring of 2020 Visit our website at: for updates.


A delante of S uffolk C ounty , I nc . PILAR DELGADO E xecutive D irector

Scholarship Awards Presentation

Millerlandy Acevedo Bidania Criscuolo Mayre De Peña Enmanuel García Lorena Zavala

NAPRHSW is committed to assisting dedicated college students make positive changes in their lives. Congratulations to the 2019 Scholarship Awardees!




Message from the President

Message from the Gala Chairperson

National Association of Puerto Rican Hispanic Social Workers

National Association of Puerto Rican Hispanic Social Workers

Louis Medina, MSW

Dilcia Granville, PhD., LMSW

I want to take this opportunity to welcome you to our 36th Annual Scholarship and Awards Gala. The National Association of Puerto Rican Hispanic Social Workers (NAPRHSW) was established in 1983, by a group of students and professionals working and attending Stony Brook University’s School of Social Welfare. As I reflect on the history of our association, I realize the essence of acknowledging NAPRHSW members efforts to collaborate with agencies to influence government in promoting change for the betterment of the conventional existence of our communities. We take pride to honor those who have supported NAPRHSW in these efforts. This year’s honorees and scholarship awardees will continue the “Legacy, Promise, and Leadership” that enhances the quality of life. This evening we honor and recognize, Sonia Palacio-Grottola, LCSW with the Lifetime Achievement Award, Gladys Serrano, LCSW with the Legacy Award, and Pilar Delgado, Executive Director Adelante of Suffolk County with the Agency of the Year Award. In conclusion, I would like to thank everyone who volunteered by contributing their time and efforts to the successful outcome of this event. I want to recognize our sponsors whose contributions support the very purpose of this Gala, the funds for our Scholarship Awardees. A special thank you to our planning committee, Board of Directors, Members at Large, and finally our committee chair Dr. Dilcia Granville. Without your love and support, none of this would be possible. May God continue to bless each and every one of you.

Welcome and thank you for joining us for an evening event of gratitude and celebration! Tonight, we applaud the accomplishments of our three exceptional Honorees and celebrate their Legacy, Promise and Leadership. It has been my pleasure to serve as the Gala Chairperson and to serve as the Vice President of this organization. I am humbled to volunteer for the NAPRHSW which provides much needed scholarships for Latinx students enrolled on a Master of Social Work Program. You may be aware, but the Annual Gala is the organization’s principal fundraising event of the year. Your attendance and support are greatly appreciated and help the NAPRHSW not only support the students in needs, but the Latinx community as a whole. With the shortage of Latinx social workers, the scholarship awardees are serving much needed, emerging, Latinx community. This evening we want to recognize and celebrate all of the people who make NAPRHSW special, its generous supporters, volunteers; and special recognition to her Legacy and Founding member of this organization, Sonia Palacio. I would like to thank the Gala Committee for their tireless support and commitment to this event. Their willingness and responsiveness to support the Gala is remarkable, and most appreciated. Many thanks are extended to everyone for giving of their time and energy in planning this event.

Please enjoy this wonderful evening! Thank you for being part of this 36th Annual NAPRHSW Gala!

Louis Medina, MSW President NAPRHSW

Dilcia Granville, Ph.D., LMSW Vice President NAPRHSW



The Anniversary Awards Gala Supports NAPRHSW’s Core Purpose and Primary Objectives

To organize Social Workers and other Human Service professionals to strengthen, develop and improve the resources and services that meet the needs of Puerto Rican/Hispanic families. NAPRHSW Mission

C ore P urpose

P rimary O bjectives • To advocate in the interest of Latinos at the local, state and nationwide levels in the private and public sectors. • To establish connections with other community resources that further and solidify the position of the Latino population in addressing policy issues that impact the community. • To disseminate knowledge for professional growth to its membership and increase the academic foundation for providing assistance towards that end. • To be a resource to the Latino Community for information and advocacy. • To continue efforts to recruit and encourage Social Workers and Human Service students in their professional aspirations. NAPRHSW is committed to assisting dedicated college students make positive changes in their lives by providing Scholarship Awards. Funds raised at the Gala helps support college scholarships for students seeking their Masters Degree in Social Work.





The 36th Anniversary Awards Gala

Enmanuel Garcia, BSW Fordham University, MSW Candidate International Institute for Community Wellness, Intern

Presenting the 2019 Scholarship Awardees

Enmanuel Garcia is a first-generation American and the first person in his family to have earned both a High School Diploma and a Bachelor’s degree. He is on track to becoming the first person in his family to achieve a Master’s degree. He aspires to finish his degree in social work so he may give back to his community in America, as well as his parents community in the Dominican Republic. His dreams are to provide more accessible services such as physical and mental health care in impoverished areas within the Dominican Republic. This scholarship will help convert his dreams into a realistic objective to achieve his goals. Lorena Zavala is completing her final year at Columbia University School of Social Work. She has worked in the social work field for 10 years and decided to go back to school for her MSW to hone her clinical skills and continue to service young women of color, survivors of gender violence. Another factor that drove Lorena to return to school was the lack of women of color in managerial positions within the agencies she served. This was especially challenging when seeking culturally relevant support and guidance around issues particular to the immigrant, undocumented and monolingual population she serves. Lorena decided it was time to return to school and strive to become the leader and support system she wants to see in the organizations she served. Lorena is extremely grateful for the opportunities she has received. Her father and mother have an elementary level education and immigrated to this country from Mexico seeking a better life for their children. She and her family were once recipients of the same services she now provides therefore this journey has been somewhat of a full circle for her. She is thankful to the National Association of Puerto Rican and Hispanic Social Workers for investing in her future and giving her the vote of confidence she needs to finish off her last year in graduate school strong!

Bidania Criscuolo is a second-year graduate student in the School of Social Welfare at Stony Brook University. She earned her Bachelors in Psychology at SUNY College at Old Westbury in May 2010. Bidania spent three years working with a large undocumented immigrant population within a local school district, advocating for them as well as connecting them to resources within the community. In her last internship as a School Social Worker, she worked closely with the newly registered undocumented students and their families to help them with the transition into not only a new school, but a new country. She has been a panelist in the Long Island LGBT Conference for the last two years speaking to LGBTQ middle and high school students about building families in same sex headed households. In April 2019, Bidania received a scholarship to attend the National SexEd four- day conference in Newark, NJ in which she was able to learn from leaders in the sexual health field about a range of topics. She was also chosen as a grant recipient for the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant for her second-year field placement within the Suffolk Care Collaborative working exclusively with Spanish speaking clients as a Care Coordinator. Bidania is an MSW candidate for May 2020 and hopes to pursue a career in either school Social Work or Higher Education Social Work. Bidania currently resides in Massapequa, NY with her wife and two children. Her family and friends know Millerlandy Acevedo as Milly. Millerlandy immigrated to the United States from Colombia at the age of five. Growing up in the borough of Queens and raised by a single mother Millerlandy’ s Latin roots and culture helped shape and nurture her into the woman she has become today. Millerlandy’s studies combined with her bilingualism and socio cultural background have provided her with the sensitivity necessary to relate to others on a professional level to address their needs with empathy and compassion. Millerlandy is currently a fulltime student for the MSW program at Stony Brook School of Social Welfare. She aspires to become a licensed social worker sooner than later so she may continue assisting the underserved communities to make a difference in other individuals lives continually. Mayra DePeña received her BA in Psychology from CUNY Brooklyn College. For the last twelve years, Mayra has served in the Division of Child Protection with NYC's Administration for Children's Services (ACS) as a Child Protective Specialist (CPS). The role of CPS is diverse, challenging, and forever changing - Yet, this role has also been extremely rewarding. Mayra has dedicated her career to ensuring equity and improving access to services for the children & families known to ACS. Mayra is a daughter of two immigrant parents from the Dominican Republic, who raised five children to be successful college graduates and professionals with families of their own. Mayra is also a mother of two girls, Saniah & Ava. She hopes to influence their young minds to appreciate their blessings and to share their blessings with others. Ms. DePeña recognized the need for empowerment & motivation with the families she serves. In 2017, She returned to school to study for her MSW. Mayra plans to graduate with an MSW from Stony Brook University, and to continue her drive for improved, effective policies within her agency, ACS, which will meet the needs of black and brown families in the NYC area.

We want to thank our sponsors and supporters who believe in our students in aiding NAPRHSW to achieve its goals!




“ Legacy-Promise-Leadership”

“ Legacy-Promise-Leadership”

Sonia Palacio-Grottola, LCSW

Gladys Serrano, LCSW

Treasurer NAPRHSW

CEO Hispanic Counseling Center



L ong recognized for her dynamic leadership and contributions to the Latino community, Gladys Serrano serves as CEO of the Hispanic Counseling Center Inc. (HCC), a multi-service agency that provides culturally competent, fully bilingual/bicultural treatment and prevention services for chemical dependency, mental illness, and youth and family services, located in Hempstead, Long Island, New York. Ms. Serrano led the multi-service agency through a period of growth and vitality during her 22 year tenure as Executive Director, until her retirement in 2012. In 2015, the Board of Directors recruited Gladys to return to the helm to provide the leadership to move the agency to its next stages of development. Ms. Serrano is responsible for the growth and evolution of HCC from one program and four staff in a 600 square feet rented office, to agency ownership of a 27,000 square foot modern facility comprised of two buildings, with eleven programs serving over 1500 clients a month, with 80 employees and a budget of over $6M. In 2001 Gladys spearheaded the financing, purchase, and renovation that resulted in a three floor, state of the art, multi-service facility centrally located in downtown Hempstead. Among her many notable achievements, Ms. Serrano was instrumental in securing the New York State Mental Health license for the Hispanic Counseling Center, making HCC the only Latino agency licensed to provide bilingual/bicultural mental health treatment in Nassau County. Coupled with the New York State license to provide Chemical Dependency Treatment, and multiple other ancillary services, the agency became a family resource center offering a comprehensive array of services with a single point of entry. Today, HCC retains the distinction of being the only agency in the region which is licensed by both the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services and the New York State Office of Mental Health to provide bilingual, bicultural behavioral health services. The agency is well respected in the community and throughout New York State, and continues to be a model that other agencies in Nassau and Suffolk Counties look to and emulate. Gladys Serrano is the recipient of numerous awards, including the New York State Senate Women of Distinction Award, conferred by New York State Senator Kemp Hannon and the Women of Distinction Award, presented by Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi; Hofstra For Hempstead; and the Latino Social Work Coalition in New York City. Under Ms. Serrano’s leadership, the Hispanic Counseling Center has received prestigious awards from local and state governments for its outstanding service to the community. Ms. Serrano graduated from Adelphi University School of Social Work, where she earned a Master of Social Work degree. Gladys is very proud of her family and her four children and eight grandchildren.

S onia Palacio-Grottola was born Sonia Torruella Aleman to Puerto Rican parents in Washington Heights and has lived in Commack for over 55 years. Sonia attended Suffolk Community College completed her education as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a degree from Stony Brook University School of Social Welfare. She has bestowed a Master’s in Social Work and, subsequently, a Post-Graduate Certificate from Adelphi University, which prepared her to be a social activist for the betterment of the underserved and all families. Ms. Palacio believes she was gifted with two languages and thereby utilizes this gift to help Latino immigrant families improve their quality of life. She finds it extremely rewarding to help families with limited English proficiency to navigate through the systems of health, education, and public assistance. The education and her volunteer work for the National Association of Social Workers prepared her to work on local, statewide, and national levels. She is proud of working for her professional association as a past-President of the New York State Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. At present, she is a consultant for the Suffolk County Department of Health as a social worker in their early intervention program. Her role for early intervention is to visit immigrant families with disabled children (0 to 3 population) and help them through parent training, counseling, support, and advocacy. She feels only through training and education that immigrant parents will be better able to advocate for their children. Sonia is proud to be the co-founder of the National Association of Puerto Rican Hispanic Social Workers, Inc. (NAPRHSW). The organization has flourished and has progressed into a force in the local, state, and national communities wherein their advocacy and lobbying work ultimately improves the lives of Latino families in all communities. She was past-president and continues her support in other roles. Sonia has mentored students in the Brentwood School District and continuously mentors Social Work students in the Association (NAPRHSW) with the hope that they will carry on the torch of advocacy, social justice, and social responsibility to improve the lives of Latino families. She has supported the NAPRHSW who has dedicated itself to offering workshops for students for over 17 years entitled “La Vision Youth Conference” and offering national conferences on “The Diversity and Strengths of the Latino Family.” Sonia continuously encourages all of her clients and social work students to get out the vote and work on Voter Registration drives. She has worked on many Voter Registration Drives in cooperation with many agencies. Sonia is most proud of her role in the grassroots efforts that defeated the “English Only” bill three times on Long Island and the response of the coalition that joined together to lobby against this bill. She chaired the Long Island Coalition for English Plus during these successful fights in l988, 1996 and l998. Sonia was a board member of the Suffolk Center on the Holocaust, Diversity and Human Understanding, Inc. And member of the Long Island Language Advocates Coalition. Sonia is proud to be of Puerto Rican descent and the first woman in her family to complete graduate school. This accomplishment was achieved late in life as a widow with two children. She serves as a role model for older, single mothers who may have a desire to return to school “against all the odds.” Sonia has earned many awards and citation, but she is most proud of her two children Paul and Sabrina including their accomplishments, her son-in-law, Joseph Grottola and her four grandchildren, Deanna Marie, Joseph Anthony, Cristal Marie, and Joseph James.



“ Legacy-Promise-Leadership”

“ Legacy-Promise-Leadership”

Board of Directors N ational A ssociation of P uerto R ican H ispanic S ocial W orkers

Pilar Delgado

DIRECTOR Adelante of Suffolk County


B orn in Brooklyn, New York, Pilar Delgado is a descendent of parents from the Common-wealth of Puerto Rico. She was one of six brothers and sisters; thus, sharing wasn’t an option; it was a requirement. Raised in the projects of New York City, Pilar was never mindful of their “low-income status.” As visionaries, Pilar’s parents taught their children to forge forward and persevere, to be the best one can be and most importantly, “always give back.” After her marriage, Pilar and her husband embarked in a new journey, choosing the American Dream of becoming home owners and starting a family of their own. After the both of her two sons, Pilar’s desire to preserve her family roots became a priority. As a result, thereof in 1997, Pilar became Director of La Union Hispanica. It was at that time she realized that she had found her purpose, which was to serve the Hispanic community. Unfortunately, the doors of the La Union Hispanica closed due to economic reasons, however, the perseverance instilled in Pilar as a child made her even more determined to succeed. This determination led Pilar to assuming a position as a Board member for Adelante of Suffolk County. The experience she gained during her more than fifteen years on the board demonstrated she could make a difference. Consequently, when the position of Director became available Pilar without hesitation applied for the job and earned her title as Director. As the Director of Adelante of Suffolk County, Pilar Delgado is continuously connecting with the Hispanic population helping them thrive within their communities. She states, “to put it simply; I love my job and love what I can accomplish with a simple smile on my face. I do not stand alone; my husband and family encourage me every day.” “I AM ONLY ONE, BUT STILL I AM ONE. I CANNOT DO EVERYTHING, BUT STILL I CAN DO SOMETHING; AND BECAUSE I CANNOT DO EVERYTHING, I WILL NOT REFUSE TO DO THE SOMETHING I CAN DO.” Edward Everett Hale




Vice President | Gala Chair

2nd Vice President



LOIS LOGAN, LCSW Corresponding Secretary


Assistant Treasurer








Letters from Elected Officials

Letters from Elected Officials



Letters from Elected Officials

Letters from Elected Officials



Letters from Elected Officials

Letters from Elected Officials



Letters from Elected Officials

Letters from Elected Officials



Letters from Elected Officials


Thank You!



TAC Acknowledges NAPRHSW on its 36 th Anniversary Awards Gala Congratulations to Sonia Palacio Grottola for the, “Lifetime Achievement Award” Gladys Serrano for the, “Legacy Award” Pilar Delgado for, “Agency of the Year” We would also like to commend 2019 Scholarship Awardees for their dedication.


Tel. 631•964•1400

On receiving the 2019 Legacy Award from the The National Association of Puerto Rican Hispanic Social Workers and B EST W ISHES TO ALL THE H ONOREES FOR C ONTINUED S UCCESS !

to Long Island’s Bringing Efficiencies and Reliability Energy Network & Resources



Congratulations to the Honorees of the NAPRHSWGala! Congratulations to the Honorees of the NAPRHSWGal ! gratulations to the onorees of the APR S ala!


Pilar Delgado, Assistant Vice President of Adelante Agency of the Year Pilar Delgado, Assistant Vice President of Adelante Agency of the Year Pilar Delgado, Assistant Vice President of Adelante Agency of the Year Gladys Serrano, LCSW, CEO of Hispanic Counseling Center Legacy Award Gladys Serrano, LCSW, CEO of Hispanic Counseling Center Legacy Award Gladys Serrano, LCSW, CEO of Hispanic Counseling Center Legacy Award Sonia Palacio-Grottola, LCSW of NAPRHSW Lifetime Achievement Award Sonia Palacio-Grottola, LCSW of NAPRHSW Lifetime Achievement Award Sonia Palacio-Grottola, LCSW of NAPRHSW Lifetime Achievement Award

Thank You!

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Sonia Palacio-Grottola for attaining

A Lifetime Achievement


Your dedication to humanity has established new guidelines. As a co-founder to NAPRHSW and an advocate for Social Justice we are proud to be a part of your life and family.

Acknowledgments, Sabrina and Joseph Grotolla, Sr. & Grandchildren, Cristal Grottola, Joseph Grottola, Jr., Deanna Palacio and Joseph Palacio



Congratulations to NAPRHSW on their 36 th Anniversary Awards Gala and our Dear Friend


and Fellow Honorees Gladys Serrano for the, “Legacy Award” Pilar Delgado for, “Agency of the Year” LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD &

Accolades to the 2019 Scholarship Awardees for their dedication. 

Thank You!

Angelina and Manny Martínez Acknowledgements,




Thank You!



Congratulations L ifetime A chievement A ward Sonia Palacio-Grottola


As a Board, we want to applaud you for your achievements. We wish to acknowledge the efforts and amendments you have accomplished as Co-Founder of the National Association of the Puerto Rican Hispanic Social Workers for the betterment of society. We are proud to be members of this organization with the opportunity to have worked alongside you. Congratulation to fellow Honorees Gladys Serrano for the Legacy Award & Pilar Delgado for achieving the Agency of the Year Award for Adelante of Suffolk County Acknowledgements, Louis Medina, Dilcia Granville, María Elena Girone, Lois Logan, José Fernando Canosa, Joan Fusco, Abraham Valentine, Yeutima Johnson, and Daniela Vinegas.

Thank You!

“ Legacy-Promise-Leadership”




Thank You!



CONGRATULATIONS Sonia Palacio-Grottola on your L ifetime A chievement A ward

The Ayala Family Celebrate all the Honorees THE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT Sonia Palacio-Grottola, LCSW THE LEGACY Gladys Serrano, LCSW THE AGENCY OF THE YEAR Adelante of Suffolk County, Inc. Pilar Delgado, Director

Sonia Palacio-Grottola

Lifetime Achievement Award Best Wishes to Fellow Honorees Special accolades to the 2019 Scholarship Awardess!

Sonia has given her life to caring and advocating for social justice.

Lois Logan

Ruth A. Brandwein, Ph.D., MSW

As sociate

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Pilar Delgado Thanks to your dedication and perserverance.

Congratulations to NAPRHSW on its 36 Anniversary Awards Gala and the 2019 Honorees & Scholarship Awardess

CONGRATULATIONS to the N ational A ssociation of P uerto R ican H ispanic S ocial W orkers on your 36 th A nniversary and to the 2019 H onorees Sonia Palacio- Grottola Gladys Serrano Pilar Delgado To feed the hungry, clothe the needy, welcome the stranger and provide healing and hope to everyone who walks through our doors. OUR MISSION

ADELANTE Agency of the Year

S tephen H. T esta , CPCU, ARM P resident

I am so proud of you! Your Loving Husband, Hector Delgado

Thank You!


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(631) 231-8290 | 28 Pine Aire Dr., Bay Shore, N.Y. 11706





The National Association of Puerto Rican Hispanic Social Workers would like to express their gratitude for the consideration, time, and work that each Raffle Donor contributed. Your support and generosity have influenced the success of this event.

Roy Aranda, Psy.D., J.D. José Fernando Canosa, ESQ. Joan Fusco, RN Steven Gillen María Elena Girone, MSW Dilcia Granville, PhD., LMSW Nancy Iglesias-Gillen Yeutima Johnson, MSW Lois Logan, LCSW Louis Medina, MSW Sonia Palacio-Grottola, LCSW Abraham Valentine, Jr., CASAC Daniela Vinegas, MSW

Gemelli Fine Foods Gourmet Market N Studios, Ltd. Salon Di Sorella Taprogge America Corporation Thank You!



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