Members recognized for service in Hispanic community

CLEVELAND – Lt. Yamaris D. Barril, an inspector in the prevention department at the 9th District here, collects donations in December 2010 for a Cleveland area family in need consisting of a single mother, her five children and her disabled sister.  She collected nearly 1,500 dollars in clothing and other donations.

Lt. Yamaris D. Barril collects donations in December 2010 for a Cleveland area family in need .

WASHINGTON – Two members of the U.S. Coast Guard are scheduled to receive public recognition awards this week for their work with Hispanic communities in the Coast Guard and the communities in and around the Cleveland and Washington areas.

Lt. Yamaris D. Barril, an inspector in the prevention department at the Coast Guard’s Ninth District in Cleveland and Jose A. Velazquez, a civilian with the Coast Guard’s Personnel Service Command in Arlington, Va., are scheduled to receive the 2011 National IMAGE Meritorious Service Award at IMAGE’s annual training conference and exposition in Orlando, Fla., Thursday.

“Both Lt. Barril and Mr. Velazquez have demonstrated a strong commitment to the Coast Guard’s civil rights program by promoting diversity, equal opportunity and working in the Hispanic community,” said Capt. Ekundayo G. Faux, the deputy director of the Coast Guard’s Civil Rights Directorate in a message to Coast Guard employees.

Barril is recognized for her efforts while serving as a chapter president of the Association of Naval Services Officers, an organization that fosters the advancement and recognition of Hispanic officers in the uniformed naval services. Several programs during her tenure promoted better communication and understanding of the challenges facing minority women both in the Armed Forces and in the civilian community. She also reached out to Hispanic families in need by volunteering to work with underprivileged high school students in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“My efforts are important because through these diversity and outreach programs, children and young adults are educated and provided with information that can change their lives,” said Barril. “We just need to be the bridge between our children and the information.”

Velazquez, an ANSO regional vice president, is recognized for his contributions to the Coast Guard’s equal opportunity program and for mentoring junior enlisted Hispanic members of the Coast Guard and supporting their efforts to apply for officer programs.

“This award is a one-time public display of gratitude for the work I’ve done in the Hispanic community,” said Velazquez. Every day I can support the Hispanic community is a reward within itself.”

The national awards program is run by IMAGE, a national Hispanic government membership organization that “advocates and empowers Hispanics through leadership development, training, and advocacy,” according to their website.

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