2016 Distinguished Service Award Recipients


Carmen Rita Wong

Carmen Rita Wong, a widely respected commentator and financial journalist, already had a killer career track when she decided to write her first novel: millions of viewers, from recent immigrants to CEOs, had relied on the daily wisdom she doled out as the host of CNBC’s “On the Money” and columnist for several national publications. But even though her work had already been published extensively on every outlet, Carmen decided to pursue another challenge: portraying the community she loved so much in a positive and inspirational light. Her debut novel, Never Too Real, tells the story four power Latinas and their journey of overcoming obstacles together. Since it was published earlier this year, it’s been a huge success, inspiring Latinas everywhere and being actively considered for television and film options.

nadia-lopezNadia Lopez

When famed Humans of New York photographer and blogger Brandon Stanton encountered a 13 year old student in Brownsville, New York, he had one question: “Who has influenced you most in your life?” The answer: his principal, Nadia Lopez, who taught him that “we have to work toward who we want to be, not what society wants us to be.” Lopez founded the Mott Hall Bridges Academy, hoping to provide economic stability in the poorest neighborhood in New York City. What she never expected? That her story would inspire hundreds of thousands around the world, raising $1.4 million plus in donations online in less than three weeks. Her touching book, The Bridge to Brilliance, was released in August, and is sure to inspire millions more throughout the years.

catherine-saint-louis-150x239Catherine Saint Louis

Catherine Saint Louis is a reporter for the New York Times, covering health and medicine. Prior to taking on the health post, Catherine held a variety of positions at the Times, where she has been a reporter and editor for the past 16 years. As a reporter, she has covered cultural trends and beauty, and she edited the Fitness, Story and Lives sections of the Times prior to transitioning to reporting. Catherine also previously held a position at Lingua Franca magazine. Catherine holds a BA in English from Princeton University, where she lettered in Varsity Track & Field, and an M.Phil in English from the University of Oxford.