Hispanic Heritage Foundation Presents Inspira Award to Texas Rep. Hinojosa, ExxonMobil CEO Tillerson

Awardees Recognized for Leadership in Education and for Inspiring Latino Youth in America


The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) today honored U. S. Representative Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX) and ExxonMobil Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rex W. Tillerson, with the Inspira Award for their leadership in education for Latinos and for inspiring a new generation of Hispanic leaders in the United States.

According to Jose Antonio Tijerino, HHF president and CEO, the Inspira Award was created to honor Latino leaders who inspire youth in the public and private sector, and in the media. Last year's Inspira Awardee was Actor Wilmer Valderrama. Rep. Hinojosa and Tillerson were honored on Capitol Hill during the 11th Annual Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards in Washington, D.C., which also recognized more than 20 outstanding students from the region. Washington, DC was the last of the 12 Regional Youth Awards ceremonies which have taken place and recognized more than 200 Hispanic high school seniors across America and provided more than $600,000 in educational grants.

"The Inspira Award recognizes those who have taken a leadership role in breaking barriers and creating opportunities for Hispanic youth," said Tijerino. "We commend Rex Tillerson for his vision in encouraging and facilitating young Latinos to focus on science, technology, math and engineering through our Youth Awards and countless other efforts including the National Math and Science Initiative. We also applaud the lifetime of commitment of Rep. Hinojosa who is our champion from barrios to Capitol Hill on the issue of increasing educational opportunities for Latinos. They are truly an inspiration."

Rep. Hinojosa has played an instrumental role in helping to improve educational and workforce-improvement programs for minorities and low-income families. In addition to the many education initiatives he has supported, Rep. Hinojosa founded a year-round program called HESTEC in 2002. Held at the University of Texas-Pan American, HESTEC emphasizes the importance of science literacy for Hispanics to educators, students and parents.

Rep. Hinojosa serves as chairman of the Education Task Force for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and has had tremendous success in vaulting Hispanic-Serving Institutions to a position of prominence. In 2007, Hinojosa helped pass the College Cost Reduction Act which will allow students to pursue higher educational goals by making college more affordable.

"I am extremely honored to be selected for this prestigious award," said Rep. Hinojosa. "Education is the cornerstone of opportunity. It paves the way to improve technology, spreads new knowledge, advances innovation and ultimately shapes our future. It is vital that Hispanic-serving organizations, educational institutions and corporations help America stay competitive by advancing our educational system and capitalize upon the abundance of young and talented Hispanic minds."

Tillerson and ExxonMobil have a long history of support for programs that improve opportunities for minorities and women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. These programs recognize the urgent need to encourage more Hispanic students and professionals to attain higher educational achievements and support initiatives that deliver high-quality educational programs, which prepare Hispanics for leadership in the workforce and in the classroom.

"To be recognized by the Hispanic Heritage Foundation is a great honor," said Tillerson. "In today's challenging fields such as technology and energy, our nation needs more brilliant minds than ever before, that's why we support programs like the Hispanic Heritage Foundation's Youth Awards' Engineering and Mathematics category, which emphasize the importance of role models, including those who have succeeded in the math and science fields, while celebrating the unique Latino culture that brings added strength and dimension to our nation's workforce."

About Exxon Mobil Corporation

Exxon Mobil Corporation and ExxonMobil Foundation, the primary philanthropic arm of Exxon Mobil Corporation in the United States, engage in a range of philanthropic activities that advance education, health and public policy in the communities where ExxonMobil has significant operations. In the United States, ExxonMobil supports initiatives to improve math and science education at the K-12 and higher education levels. Globally, ExxonMobil provides funding to improve basic education and combat malaria and other infectious diseases in developing countries. In 2007, together with its employees and retirees, Exxon Mobil Corporation, its divisions and affiliates, and ExxonMobil Foundation provided $207 million in contributions worldwide. Additional information on ExxonMobil's community partnerships and contributions programs is available at www.exxonmobil.com/community.

About the Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards

The Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards were created to identify, promote and prepare Latino leaders by celebrating their accomplishments in the classroom and community and putting them in a position from which to lead. These young leaders are promoted as role models for their peers and the Youth Awards feed a youth Speakers Bureau, the Mi Mentors program and LOFT (Latinos on Fast Track) workforce program.

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation, a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, identifies, prepares, and positions Latino leaders in the community, classroom and workforce through national cultural, educational, and career development programs. For more information about the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, please visit www.HispanicHeritage.org.

Source: Exxon Mobil Corporation