Jennifer Gomez-Chavez, director of UNM Title V, has been selected for a National Hispanic Heritage Award. She will go to Long Beach, Calif. next week to receive $2,500 to designate for a charitable organization.

"I have chosen to give it to the Hispanic Heritage Committee as seed money to continue doing our work together," she wrote in a message to committee members. "We have operated on a shoe string budget of little or no money, and this can provide us leverage to find further funding sources," she added.

Patricia Chavez, of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation, was her nominator.

The funds will be placed with the Hispano Chamber of Commerce to be allocated by the committee and to the Multiple Sclerosis Society, she said.

Ralph Arellanes congratulated Gomez-Chavez, "This is a well earned and well deserved accomplishment. This national award has been a long time coming for all you have done for our community for many years. It will be great to showcase our Hispanic Heritage Committee on a national level since we are a very unique group of organizations proudly celebrating our culture and heritage." Arellanes is New Mexico LULAC state director; National LULAC board member; Hispano Roundtable of New Mexico chair; and Hispanic Statement of Cooperation chair.

A video team will be in town today to catch some footage of Gomez-Chavez in action. She wrote to the committee, "I thought how great it would be for all of you to be in the video. I am winning this award because of our collective efforts, and I am inspired by the work that you do to represent your organization on this committee."

The group is meeting at the Hispano Chamber of Commerce for the video because of the space, resources and support it provides the committee, she said.

Media Contact: Carolyn Gonzales (505) 277-5920; e-mail: