Browns honor Victor Ruiz with Hispanic Heritage Award

Posted Sep 25, 2013

The Cleveland Browns have honored Victor Ruiz with the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award.

The Cleveland Browns have selected Victor Ruiz as the recipient of the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award, the organization announced Wednesday.

The NFL and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) have partnered for the third annual NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Awards during the 2013 celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. The awards recognize the contributions of Hispanic leaders in each NFL market.

The Browns will honor Ruiz during pregame ceremonies and feature various in-stadium Fútbol Americano elements throughout the team’s Hispanic heritage game against the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium on Sunday.

Ruiz is the executive director of Esperanza Inc., a non-profit designed to improve the achievement of Hispanics in the Greater Cleveland area by supporting and promoting education. Esperanza Inc. opened in the early 1980s and was Ohio’s only non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of Hispanic educational achievement. Under Ruiz’s leadership, Esperanza Inc. has increased the Cleveland high-school graduation rate by more than 20 percent and tripled the scholarship dollars awarded to Hispanic students attending college.

Each award recipient will select an organization of his/her choice that serves the local Hispanic community to receive a $2,000 donation.

Ruiz selected Esperanza Inc. to receive this contribution. Esperanza Inc. has taken a leadership role in advocating on behalf of Hispanics and developing and assisting in the implementation of educational policy statements. By establishing linkages between community leaders, organizations and educational institutions, Esperanza Inc. represents a model for overcoming educational barriers and ensuring quality education through community action.

On Sept. 17, the Browns, including TE Jordan Cameron, OL Shawn Lauvao, LB Craig Robertson and LB Jabaal Sheard, and 100 students from Walton School in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month and Fútbol Americano with a Browns PLAY 60 event, helping youth learn the importance of exercising at least 60 minutes per day. Browns players, Browns mascot Chomps and students with perfect attendance, selected for their commitment to learning, participated in relay races and other physical activities during the visit.

Throughout Hispanic Heritage Month, fans can visit to learn personal stories of Hispanic players in the NFL.

About the Hispanic Heritage Foundation: Since 1987, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) has inspired, identified, prepared and positioned Latino leaders in the classroom, community and workforce to meet America’s priorities. HHF believes its young leaders are leaders of today, not tomorrow, and should make an impact on thousands of others. Visit for more information.


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