We are excited to announce that our 2022-2023 Bolívar Network’s Pablo J. Davis Award Recipient is Frank Valdez!
Frank Valdez graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in Global Development Studies in May 2021. He currently works at the Legal Aid Justice Center in Charlottesville as a Youth Justice Program Organizer, where he works on a variety of issues including child welfare/foster care and parent representation, education access and school discipline, and youth incarceration and juvenile justice. In the Charlottesville community, he is also part of Creciendo Juntos, a Latinx based community organization, through their high school mentorship program. Throughout his time at UVA, he was heavily involved with a variety of organizations including the Alpha Epsilon Chapter of La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc., PLUMAS at UVA, the Hispanic/Latinx Peer Mentoring Program, and The Virginia Youth Solidarity with Migrant/Immigrant Workers.
We are excited to announce that the 2021-2022 recipient of the Bolívar Network’s Pablo J. Davis Award is Fanny Smedile!
Fanny is from Columbe, Ecuador; helping people has been her passion since her teen years. She studied Business Administration, and while working for a public hospital, she volunteered as a health promoter, making home visits to people who struggled to meet their basic needs. In 1988, she came to the United States and settled in New Jersey. As a parishioner of St. Mary Church in Pompton Lakes, she learned of the struggles of recently arrived families and wanted to respond with compassion to the trauma and difficulty they experienced.
Fanny collected and distributed food and furniture, and initiated ESL classes, health clinics, and celebrations of Hispanic culture. In 2000, Fanny and her family moved to Virginia; since then she has been active in justice efforts and outreach through the Catholic church. Fanny is a founding member of Creciendo Juntos and Sin Barreras, and serves as the senior member of the Sin Barreras staff. Her objective is to bring needed services to members of the Hispanic community and to reach out to those who are most vulnerable.
Pablo Davis Award Re-Launch:
The Bolívar Network is re-launching its annual Pablo J. Davis Award! The Pablo J. Davis Award seeks to identify a University of Virginia staff member, Alum, faculty member, or Charlottesville resident whose work has contributed significantly to the advancement of the Latinx/Hispanic community.
The 2020 Recipient of the Pablo J. Davis Award is Wayne Cozart! The Bolívar Network is very grateful to Wayne’s early and ongoing support of our organization. In light of today’s growing diversity at the University, having a strong Latinx alumni network to support students and fellow alumni is so powerful and essential. His friendship and leadership gave our group legitimacy, critical contacts of early alumni, and necessary infrastructure. As Wayne ascends into retirement, we would like to honor his contributions to UVA, Jefferson Trust, Alumni Association, and the Bolívar Network.