Marisol Alcantara was born in the Dominican Republic, the only child of parents who wanted a better future for their child. At the age of 12, she immigrated to Maryland to reunite with her family. Education has always been one of Marisol’s priorities, and in seeking higher education, she moved to New York City to pursue a Bachelor’s in Government and Political Science from Manhattan College. She then went on to graduate work in Urban Aff airs from Queens College and completed a fellowship from The New York Immigration and Coro. In 2004, Ms. Alcantara was one of 25 individuals selected by United Way of New York to be a Junior American Leader.
George Alexander, Jr. was born on June 18, 1920, and raised in Palatka, Florida. After serving his country in the United States Navy, he was honorably discharged in 1945. Mr. Alexander devoted much of his time and talents to the New York City Department of Sanitation, where he ultimately retired as a supervisor after twenty-eight years of dedicated service.
Mr. Alexander was most proud of his marriage to his lovely wife, Lorrain Alexander on June 25, 1960. They were married for fifty-two years before Mrs. Alexander passed away on October 26, 2012. Their pride and joy was their child, Denise Renee.
Julie Menin is the former Chairperson of Community Board 1 in Lower Manhattan, a position she was unanimously re-elected to three times. She has been hailed in the press for her “solution driven” and “results oriented” approach to government – and her leadership abilities and hands-on approach have delivered again and again for the residents and businesses of New York City, producing a stellar record of accomplishment.
Estela Vazquez is Executive Vice President of 1199 SEIU, the largest healthcare union in the country and the largest union local in the country. Ms. Vazquez diligently represents the 15,000 hospital workers at Montefiore, Beth Israel and St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Medical Centers, among other institutions.
A native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Ms. Vazquez became politically active in 1961 as a junior high school student, joining demonstrations to demand the removal from government of the family and supporters of the brutal dictator Rafael Trujillo, who had been in power for 31 years.
Zenaida Mendez was born in the Dominican Republic and immigrated to the United States as a teenager with her family. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in government and public administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a Master’s degree in public administration from the City University of New York, Graduate School of Public Aff airs.
As a result of her hard work and dedication, Mayor David Dinkins appointed Ms. Mendez to his officeof Latino Aff airs in 1990. From 1992 to 1994 she served as special assistant to the New York City Commissioner of Human Rights, and for fi ve years she was legislative assistant to Representative Charles B. Rangel.
Merlin German, a United States Marine Sergeant in Iraq, became a symbol of recovery throughout the world, soon known as the "Miracle Marine," during the 17 months he spent hospitalized following a blast in 2005. Sergeant German eventually regained the ability to walk, and set up a charity for child burn victims. Sadly, just over three years after the blast, he died following a minor skin graft surgery.
Jeanne B. Mullgrav’s quest was to make New York City a better place to live. After being appointed as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), Ms. Mullgrav has done just what she set out to do.