In recognition of the Ibero American Action League’s 50th anniversary, Jose Rene “J.R.” Martinez will serve as the keynote speaker at the Annual Gala and Hispanic Scholarship Recognition Awards on Saturday, June 9th at the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center. The signature fundraiser will recognizes 74 high school scholarship recipients while highlighting the agency’s accomplishments in its award-winning programs.
“When Ibero was established in 1968, it was to serve the growing Latino community in Rochester. Programs from back then paved the way for so many Latino leaders today. Since then, we have evolved to an agency that serves people of all ethnic backgrounds; yet, we maintain our unique ability to target Latino families,” says President and CEO Hilda Rosario Escher. “Our programs take a holistic approach to helping families address their needs and challenges. By working with the entire family, we are able to guide every individual toward their goals while strengthening the family unit
Ibero is the only full-service dual-language human services agency in the Greater Rochester region that is able to target the Latino community at all levels. Some of the agency’s results include:
- an award-winning Early Childhood Center that serves as a national model
- the highest attendance among children under five in all of Monroe County
- youth programs with a 92 percent improvement rate in behaviors and knowledge related to prevention of substance/drug abuse
- bilingual programs in the division of Developmental Disabilities
Board of Directors President and RTS Chief Operating Officer Miguel Velazquez says, “IBERO was founded 50 years ago by passionate people who saw the need to fill a gap in helping a culture that was looking for understanding and representation. 50 years later, IBERO still consists of passionate people who want to help all those in need through all stages in live. Over the last 50 years IBERO, has become the largest Latino agency in New York State outside of New York City. It has built a wide range of
services, an excellent track record and a unique understanding that being aware and supportive of people’s background and culture is a key aspect of helping people achieve their maximum potential.”
Ibero will mark its 50 year anniversary with a number of events and recognitions throughout the year. In February, the main office building at 817 East Main Street was renamed the Laurence Tracy Administration Building. The name change was prompted as a way to recognize Father Tracy as one of Ibero’s founders and for his advocacy for the Latino community for the past five decades.
In securing J.R. Martinez as the keynote speaker, students, families and other attendees at Ibero’s gala will hear from someone who has experienced tremendous challenges.
In March of 2003, Martinez was deployed to Iraq. In April he sustained severe burns to over 34 percent of his body when his Humvee hit a roadside bomb. Since his recovery, Martinez has since become a highly sought-after motivational speaker. He has traveled around the country speaking about his experiences to corporations, veterans groups, schools and other organizations.
J.R. Martinez Biography Jose Rene “J.R.” Martinez is an American actor, author, motivational speaker, and retired U.S. Army soldier. In March of 2003, Martinez was deployed to Iraq. In April he sustained severe burns to over 34 percent of his body when his Humvee hit a roadside bomb. Since his recovery, Martinez has since become a highly sought-after motivational speaker. He has traveled around the country speaking about his experiences to corporations, veterans groups, schools and other organizations.
Martinez began his acting career on the Emmy Award winning daytime drama All My Children. Since then he’s appeared on numerous television shows. Many remember best him as the season 13 champion on Dancing with the Stars. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller “Full of Heart: My Story of Survival, Strength, and Spirit”. Martinez serves as a spokesperson for Operation Finally Home, as well as for the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, and Glasswing International.
For media inquiries or any other questions, please contact Ibero at 256-8900. Established in 1968, Ibero is a dual-language human services that ignites the potential of individuals and families to prosper and make the community stronger. Please visit www.iaal.org for more information.