LEAP Foundation DC recently recognized Dr. Claudia Ivette Canjura de Centeno, Ambassador of El Salvador to the United States, with a Public Service Award. Established in 2017, the recognition is awarded to an individual who has worked tirelessly on behalf of the community and whose impact affects the population both locally and at a global level. In December 2017, LEAP presented Mayor Muriel Bowser with its first Public Service Award in recognition for her work in the community since 2015, which brought a fresh start to the area specifically for the city’s middle-class citizens, including the implementation of new jobs, affordable housing and historical educational investments.
Her Excellency Dr. Canjura de Centeno accepted the award at a dinner held in her honor a week after the announcement of her resignation and plans to return to her native country of El Salvador.
“We felt it was necessary to applaud Dr. Canjura de Centeno for the incredible work she has completed in her three-year assignment here in the United States,” said Dr. Clayton Lawrence, chairman and founder of LEAP Foundation DC. “Hosting a dinner was the least we could do to show our gratitude for the numerous accomplishments of the Ambassador, as well as our support for her future endeavors.”
The nonprofit organization closely collaborated with the Ambassador as she worked toward making higher education possible for the Latino population in the Washington, D.C., and surrounding areas. Although this was a much smaller piece of her mission to work toward harmony and mutual respect between El Salvador and the United States, its impact not only reaches today’s minority students and their families, but generations to come. Among her accomplishments, Dr. Canjura de Centeno is proud of the work she has completed, citing the importance of maintaining benefits for immigrants and their families; the establishment of new consulates in the southern border; and the strengthening of the bilateral relationship with the government here in the States.
Through close ties with the Latino Student Fund, LEAP Foundation DC was able to expand its outreach to countless students and families, and together, along with the Ambassador, the organizations have celebrated the achievements of students, the opportunities for minority families to make positive contributions to society and an inclusive community that leaves no one behind.
“Dr. Canjura de Centeno recently told a local publication that her mission was accomplished here in the United States, but we believe her return to El Salvador is not the end of her impact on our country,” Dr. Lawrence said. “The doors the Ambassador has opened for our citizens has created amazing hope and opportunity that we’re sure will continue.”