Sonia Valentin Fernandez
Award: HONORING WOMEN IN NEW YORK
Sonia Valentin Fernandez was born in Puerto Rico and moved to New York where she attended Walton High School and Brooklyn College. After graduation, she went to work on Wall Street, but found her true calling in volunteerism.
Ms. Fernandez is known for giving without bias or hesitation where she sees the need. A prominent leader and participant in several organizations, she has become a pillar within her community. She has 30 years of diverse community involvement, including but not limited to, being a coordinator at St. Augustine’s pantry, working with a women’s homeless shelter and volunteering at the VA Hospital, Prospect Park, the Law Firm Latino Justice PRLDEF and the Brooklyn Borough Tourism Center. In addition, Ms. Fernandez set up rallies with elected officials to obtain street lights, fed the hungry with Community Board 13, coordinated tournaments with the 62nd precinct and the Police Athletic League and organized food drives.
Ms. Fernandez is successful in all that she does, overcoming obstacles that could have held her back. As a child, she faced financial hardships that could have dampened her spirit, but instead made her stronger. She believes her success and ability to contribute to society are the results of a strong family foundation and her faith.
For her dedication to volunteering, leadership and selfl ess spirit, Ms. Fernandez has received many accolades, including the PTK Honors Scholarship to Harvard’s Extension School, the All-USA Academic Award, the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women Award, the Dr. Max Koch Award, Brooklyn College’s Presidential Scholarship, the Women’s Forum Educational Award, the Puerto Rican & Latino Award, the BC Foundation Award and the Buddy of the Year Award, to name a few.
Though retired, Ms. Fernandez is still an avid community activist, volunteer, and student mentor. In addition to her community involvement, Ms. Fernandez enjoys traveling, reading, theater and film.