Student Leadership Award

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Marti Dense Leadership Award

At the heart of the Latina/o community at Cornell are some amazing leaders. In 2014, the 22nd Latino Unity Dinner Steering Committee felt there was a need to honor an exceptional student leader on campus. When considering whom to name this award after, the committee chose to honor someone who has given so much to the Cornell community and represented exceptional leadership within Cornell’s Latina/o community. Hence, on October 17th, 2014 at the 22nd Annual Latino Unity Dinner, the steering committee established the Marti Dense Leadership Award to be given to a student annually.

This annual award honors an exceptional student leader who has invested time, energy, passion and love in Cornell's Latina/o community. Through this service, the student leader must exemplify a strong dedication to empowering the Community and himself/herself. 


In honor of the 26th Latino Unity Dinner celebration, the essay must weave together the theme of “Distinctos, Pero Unidos/Different, but United” and how have your identity/identities shaped your impact on Cornell's campus and the Latinx community.

• Must be a Cornell University sophomore, junior or senior in good academic standing
• The winning recipient must be willing to present his or her essay at the Annual Latino Unity Dinner

Submission Process:
• Updated resume reflecting your involvement within Cornell's Latina/o community
• Three to five page essay on the theme, “Distinctos, Pero Unidos/Different, but United"
• All documents must be submitted by October 5, 2018 to

Questions should be directed to:
Claudia Ponce de Leon, Unity Dinner co-committee chair,

Recipients of the Marti Dense Leadership Award

Read Abraham Araya's 2018 Leadership Award Essay

Read Irving Torres-Lopez's 2017 Leadership Award Essay

Read Julia Montejo's 2016 Leadership Award Essay

Read Amy ElSayed's 2015 Leadership Award Essay

2015 Unity Dinner Keynote Address:

2014 Unity Dinner Keynote Address: