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NFL Honors WSU Extension Employee for Hispanic Heritage Month

SEATTLE – A Washington State University Extension curriculum coordinator was one of just 32 Hispanic leaders around the country honored by the National Football League this week in the second annual NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Awards.

Martitha May, who serves as curriculum coordinator and facilitator for a Spanish-version of WSU Extension’s Strengthening Families program in Kitsap County –Fortaleciendo Familias –, was recognized at the Seahawks vs. Green Bay Packers pre-game here on Monday. As part of that recognition, she was given the opportunity to identify an organization that serves the local Hispanic community to receive a $3,000 donation. She selected the Kitsap Immigrant Assistance Center where she volunteers as executive director.

WSU Extension educator Martitha May. Click on image to download high resolution version.

“On behalf of the growing Hispanic Community in Kitsap account, please accept my humble and deep gratitude for this award,” May said. “Your generous gift will allow the Kitsap Immigrant Assistance Center to continue providing services such as ‘English as a Second Language’ classes, medical and legal referrals, advocacy to victims of domestic violence, and health and nutrition classes taught in Spanish.”

In her position at WSU Extension, May is a cultural ambassador who has been connecting Hispanic/Latino families in Kitsap County to WSU Extension family education since 2007.

“Martitha has the trust of the local Hispanic/Latino community,” said Renee Overath, WSU Extension youth and family development faculty member in Kitsap County. “When she invites families to our programs, they turn out in big numbers. She is richly deserving of this award.”

The NFL and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation formed a partnership in 2010 to recognize and honor the contributions of Hispanic leaders in each NFL market.

Carol Blakely of Kitsap County nominated May. “Ms. May is truly an outstanding leader who has elevated an empowered numerous members of our local Hispanic community through her dedication and perseverance,” Blakely wrote. “The fact that she volunteers endless hours on behalf of the Hispanic people in Kitsap and Mason County speaks volumes for her character and giving spirit.”