Earlier this year, Inter Miami CF teamed up with Procter & Gamble and leveraged P&G’s relationship with The Hispanic Star to introduce the Hispanic Star Award and celebrate individuals in South Florida who are going above and beyond to develop their communities through fútbol. Now, four more finalists for the Hispanic Star Award - Oscar Amuz, Khia Lopez, Jorge Calix and Luis C. Perea - have been identified, with each finalist receiving $2,500. The Hispanic Star Award winner will be determined by an open vote and will receive $10,000 for their contributions to advancing Hispanic youth in the community.
The Club previously recognized Juan Mesa, Inter Miami’s athletic trainer, as the first Hispanic Star Award finalist, for his positive attitude and immutable contributions to the Club on and off the pitch.
Cast your vote for the first-ever Hispanic Star Award winner in the Inter Miami App. Voting will close on Monday, Sept. 13 and the winner will be unveiled on Friday, Sept. 17, as Inter Miami takes on the New York Red Bulls at home to kickoff Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations.
The South Florida community was encouraged to nominate individuals who exhibit the values of work ethic, dependability, generosity, integrity, respect and service, all prevalent in Hispanic culture. In addition, nominees should demonstrate a commitment and impact in at least one of the four priorities for advancing the Hispanic community: better education, better jobs, better health and gender equality.
Inter Miami, P&G and The Hispanic Star would like to thank everyone who submitted nominations. After an extensive search with a number of standout candidates nominated, here are the selected finalists.
Meet the Finalists:
Amuz is the founder and CEO of Autism Soccer, an organization that focuses on creating programs for autistic children that allows them to learn about and play soccer. This provides exercise for the kids and improves their quality of life. Oscar is extremely motivated and dedicated to these children, using his own money to help fund the program and pay for the use of fields. Oscar hopes to improve the children's experience and grow Autism Soccer into a global organization that services countries all around the world. For more information about Amuz and his cause, visit https://autismsoccer.org/.
Lopez is the Founder of Great Heights Academy, a K-12th grade school and young adult program for individuals with special needs in South Miami. She is also the founder of Great Heights Foundation, a 501(c)3 dedicated to improving the lives of children with disabilities in the community. Through her foundation she has helped start various give-back projects in the community such as Love For Kicks and Kids and No Limits Soccer, which are completely free soccer programs for children and young adults with special needs in our community. These programs focus on helping children with developmental disabilities in the South Florida community by increasing their physical endurance and helping them work on their interactions with others - while utilizing soccer as the main teaching tool. Lopez is truly a selfless person who gives back to others, not for the recognition, but because she loves improving the lives within her community. She has dedicated herself to this cause and hopes to provide her kids with proper soccer equipment and continue to run her annual soccer clinics. She also hopes to open more free recreational activities in the special needs community such as basketball, football, baseball, and more. For more information about Lopez and her cause, visit https://www.greatheightsacademy.com/.
Calix is the owner of United Stars Academy, an organization for kids who come from lower income families, providing them excellent soccer resources – often at no cost. He serves his community and helps children realize their dreams, even going as far as to adopt one himself. He is known for his honesty, reliability, selflessness, and compassion. Several children who have gone through his academy have also received soccer-related scholarships, been invited to play for Fort Lauderdale CF, and benefitted from the doors that they have opened. His academy provides training, fields, equipment and more to those who would otherwise not have access to such resources, and he hopes to be able to reach even more children to provide them with these opportunities. For more information about Calix and his cause, visit https://www.facebook.com/unitedstarsacademy/.
Luis C. Perea
Perea is a former professional soccer player, most notably playing for the Colombian National Team. He currently lives in Miami, where he has his own soccer club, Coroncoro, through which he teaches, guides, inspires and develops young soccer talent. Luis is the creator of "Golden Steps Foundation," a project inspired by his life, that helps children and young people with limited resources follow their dream and get the soccer training they want and need but cannot afford. Perea hopes to make a huge impact via his club and foundation by adding more staff and training supplies/gear for his club to improve the experience for all the kids and coaching staff that work with him. With these tools at his disposal, he will look to give opportunities to those who otherwise would not have it and allow them to reach their full potential. For more information about Perea and his cause, visit https://coroncoro.net/.
Mesa, an athletic trainer for Inter Miami, has made an indelible impact on the community, and globally, throughout his fútbol career. He embodies the work ethic, dependability, generosity, integrity, respect and service values this award celebrates, and he has helped numerous people achieve better health and better jobs. The Colombian-born award recipient became Inter Miami’s first athletic trainer in 2019, following a seven-year career as a trainer with the Haitian National Team, including at the 2016 Copa America Centenario and three Concacaf Gold Cups. Mesa has been an instrumental part of Inter Miami’s journey, having begun his career with the team working with the 120 local youth players who were chosen to participate in the Academy’s inaugural class. He then earned a spot with the First Team and also continues to work with youth players pursuing their dreams of reaching the professional levels.