The Chelsea Collaborative’s Gladys Vega probably isn’t quite the right size for the National Football League (NFL), but she certainly packs just as much punch as the fiercest New England Patriots linebacker when it comes to hard hitting community issues – and recently the Patriots and NFL combined to honor Vega for her efforts.
Appearing at a ceremony on the field of Gillette Stadium during the third quarter of the New England Patriots-Tampa Bay Buccaneers football game on Sept. 22, Vega accepted the NFL’s Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award from Patriots owner Bob Kraft and former Patriot linebacker Andre Tippett. Vega was one of only 32 Hispanic leaders nationwide to be honored with the award – as each NFL team honors one person per year.
It is the third year that the NFL has sponsored the Hispanic Heritage Leadership Awards, and it annually presents the awards at a game in late September.
Hispanic Heritage Month runs from late September to mid-October.
Each award recipient selects an organization of their choice that serves the local community to receive a $2,000 donation.
Vega chose the Chelsea Summer Youth Employment Initiative to receive this donation. The Chelsea Summer Youth Employment Initiative was created in September of 2001 to reduce and ultimately eliminate youth violence. Years later, the SYEI has hired hundreds of youth and kept them off the streets all while learning valuable employment skills.