Cuban Latina Excels at Education and Preserving Heritage Languages

Blanca M. Guerra Hispanic Woman

Meet Blanca M. Guerra the 2017 Hispanic Woman of Distinction, Curriculum Supervisor, Broward County Public Schools

 

“It is our role to ensure that our children have and take full advantage of educational opportunities. It is also our role to teach our children their value and their ability to succeed in our society while maintaining their cultural values.”

As one of more than 14,000 unaccompanied children who emigrated to the United States from Cuba during the early 1960s as part of Operation Peter Pan, Blanca M. Guerra learned at an early age just how important being a dual (or multiple) language speaker is in global society. She understood the importance of education.

Blanca received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of South Florida School of Education and a Master Degree in Education from Nova Southeastern University.

Blanca M. GuerraAs an educator, Blanca has restructured the dual language program in Broward County Schools and increased the participating number of schools from three to 41 in just the last four years. She’s also worked with the Montpellier Region Education Department in France in a student and teacher education exchange program and is working on expanding this program to Spain as well.

Understanding that preserving heritage languages is equally important as new language acquisition, Blanca also has worked with immigrant students to develop Advance Placement World Language courses and placement tests. Because of this, students taking these tests have now increased in number and scored higher enabling them to earn more college credits through AP courses.

Her accomplishments and community service efforts include writing multiple successful Federal grants for language programs, being named one of the “Most Dynamic Women” by the American Cancer Society of Miami-Dade County, being chosen as the “Miramar Teacher of the Year,” receiving the “Florida World Languages Supervisor of the Year” designation given by the Florida World Languages Supervisors Association, being honored with the “Wings of Inspiration Award” from the Florida Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents and receiving the medal of Ordre des Palmes Academiques by the Counsul General of France to name just a few.

Blanca, and her husband of fifty years, Joseph, a retired banker, have three children, Cindy, Jeffrey and Robbie and dote on their four grandchildren Gabriela, Sofia, Levi and Brooklyn. They live in Sunny Isles and enjoy reading and traveling the world.

There is nothing more exciting than to spend a South Florida afternoon honoring 12 Latinas who have contributed to the south Florida communities and a special award, The Latina Pioneer for 2017.    

The 16th anniversary of the Hispanic Women of Distinction Charity luncheon to be held on August 25th at Signature Grand in Davie, Florida is expected to be another sell-out of philanthropists, business leaders, elected officials as well as socialites in attendance to pay tribute to Latina professionals who are strengthening the social fabric of this country and making inroads in the leadership pipeline for a growingly diverse America.   The event benefits the Jessica June Children’s Cancer Fund and Pace Center for Girls. 

2017 Hispanic Women of Distinction honorees

2017 Hispanic Women of Distinction honorees

At PACE Center for Girls, girl-centered culture celebrates the power and potential of girls. With 19 non-residential centers throughout Florida, they provide a safe environment where middle and high school aged girls can thrive.

The balanced emphasis on academics and social services is combined with a program model to produce an experience that is nationally recognized as one of the most effective programs for helping at-risk girls realize brighter and more productive futures.  

The Jessica June Children’s Cancer Foundation (JJCCF) is a nonprofit public charity founded in 2004 by Sandra Muvdi shortly after the loss of her only child to cancer. Its mission is to provide emergency financial assistance for children fighting cancer to ensure access to basic human necessities. The Foundation also advocates for and raises awareness of childhood cancer.

Presented by Latina Style Magazine, the nation’s leading publication for Latina entrepreneursin partnership with Bank of America and AARP, the highly-promoted celebration brings to the forefront the contributions of Hispanic women from South Florida.  Co-sponsors include Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Walmart, Latin Business Today and La Poderosa Radio.  What the women have in common and is a major part of the judging process, is their American entrepreneurship intertwined with their values and traditions.

“This year was truly a difficult decision for our judges. With more than 50 nominations submitted, selecting 12 became a week-long effort to cast votes for the “crème de la crème” stated, Elaine Vasquez, founder and producer of the annual event.  Nominations were solicited from past honorees and community leaders in south Florida. 

“We are delighted to continue our long-time partnership with Hispanic Women of Distinction and provide insight and support to the entrepreneurs and community leaders who are making a difference, “said Robert Bard, CEO and Publisher of Latina Style Magazine.  

The 2017 Hispanic Women of Distinction are:

GLORIA L.  DIAZ-DANIELS –Div Sales Mgr Sales-Pharmacy Walmart – Palm Beach

ADRIANA FAZZANO FICANO – Chief of Staff, Broward College – Broward County

BLANCA GUERRA -Broward County Schools-Curriculum Sup/Dual Languages -Dade

KARINA GOMEZ-HERRERA – Pres. CEO Karnna Fashion & Company – Broward:  Outstanding Venezuelan Latina Excels as a “Hispanic Fashion Advisor”

Dr IVERIS LUZ MARTINEZ- Assoc Prof. Herbert Werthein College/Medicine FIU-Dade

LORENA MASTRARRIGO -Assistant Public Defender, Broward County – Broward

CHRISTINA PEREZ McDOWELL – Founder, Solutions by CPM, LLC – Dade

JACQUELINE NUNEZ – Co-owner, SOMA Medical Centers PA – Palm Beach

Dr. JACQUELINE PENA – Dean Academic Affairs – Miami Dade College -  Dade

MICHELLE MARTINEZ-REYES- CMO, Greenspoon Marder Law Firm – Broward

MARIELLE SOLOGUREN – Vice President. Pierson Grant Public Relations – Broward

RACHEL TOURGEMAN –Community Relations Dir.- Florida National University-Dade

LATINA PIONEER of the YEAR:  

DAISY EXPOSITO-ULLA – Chairman, CEO of d exposito & Partnersa visionary creative leader in cross-cultural brand building for more than 30 years, Daisy has been recognized by numerous organizations and named as one of the most influential Latinas in the United States. 

Daisy joins past Latina Pioneers: Columba Bush, Ileana Ros Lehtinen, Maria San Juan, Caridad Asensio, Joyce Kaufman, Nelly Rubio, Aida Levitan, Maria Elena Torano, Helen Aguirre Ferre, Marielea Villamil and Millie Herrera.

Tickets to the luncheon are $95 per person.  Table sponsorships are $1500.  The luncheon includes a social hour with complimentary “mojitos”, a business expo, raffles, Latin entertainment, as well as a runway fashion show presented by the Las Olas fashion designer, Zola Keller. 

For more information visit www.hispanicwomenofdistinction.comwww.wedoevents.net or by calling (954) 709-1622.  Follow us on Facebook and Instagram. 

Related articles:

Latinas and the Business of Fashion

Latina Entrepreneur Turns a Crisis Into a New Career Catalyst

Latina Marketing Leader Transfers Skills 

Proud Puerto Rican Latina Is a Life-Long Advocate for the Elderly

Cuban-Honduran Latina Serving Health and Well-being of Babies

Colombian Latina Helps Others Achieve the American Dream

Inspirational Latina Engineer Serves as Broward College President

Successful Hialeah Born Latina Councilwoman- Community Activist

Latina Domestic Violence Advocate From Cuba, Spain to the US

Cuban Latina M.D. Is Committed to Her Patients and Community

Colombian Latina Marketer Helps Businesses and Non-Profits

First Generation Cuban-American Latina Mentors Immigrants

Cuban-American Latina Proudly Serves As Miami-Dade’s State Attorney

Puerto Rican Latina Fashion Director, Teacher and Charitable Events

Cuban Latina Small Business Supporter and 2016 Pioneer Honoree

About the author

Phyllis Cambria

Phyllis Cambria is a freelance writer based in South Florida with an international roster of clients. As a retired, award-winning event planner, she co-authored several party planning books and has written or been the subject of articles for numerous local and national print and online publications. Phyllis writes online and print content on a wide-array of subjects including entertaining, show business, etiquette, weddings, restaurant reviews, travel, relationships and marketing materials.

Website