Senator Brouk Inducts Arts Advocate Nydia Padilla Rodriguez as 2022 Woman of Distinction

ROCHESTER, NY - Senator Samra Brouk recognized her 2022 Woman of Distinction, Nydia Padilla Rodriguez, M.S.E., in a special ceremony held at the Geva Theatre Center.

As an ardent youth and arts advocate, Padilla Rodriguez’s contributions to the Greater Rochester area in education and dance have been foundational. As the founder & artistic director of the Borinquen Dance Theatre, Padilla Rodriguez’s tireless efforts brought previously unrecognized dance genres into the mainstream. Her dedication to her craft garnered the Borinquen Dance Theatre recognition from the New York State Archives, as a “Distinguished Performing Art Group” in Upstate New York. Wednesday’s ceremony included remarks from Garth Fagan, Jennifer Leonard, and Hilary Respass, among others, and a tribute performance from the Borinquen Dance Theatre. 

“The Senate’s Women of Distinction Award is for pioneering women who have performed outstanding work in the interest of the greater community—a description that immediately brings to mind Nydia Padilla Rodriguez,” said Senator Brouk. “An arts and education advocate whose work celebrates her Puerto Rican heritage, Padilla Rodriguez’s work has given so many in our community a connection to their culture and a role model to aspire to. It is an honor to recognize Nydia Padilla Rodriguez as the 2022 Woman of Distinction, and thank her for her service to our Rochester youth and families.”

“I am honored and humbled to receive the 2022 New York State Women of Distinction award,” said Nydia Padilla Rodriguez, 2022 Woman of Distinction. “I am so grateful for this journey and the people who made it possible along the way. Community support is part of a complex puzzle to ensure our youth aspire to be their “best.” It truly takes a village to work with our children with fidelity, integrity, and commitment. Thank you, Senator Samra Brouk, for this recognition.”

Since 1998, the New York State Senate has annually recognized a group of outstanding women whose accomplishments and dedication can be lauded and celebrated. These Women of Distinction are selected by their respective State Senators as role models who have stepped up to serve their communities and their neighbors. Senator Brouk honored Sara I. Taylor as the 2021 Woman of Distinction.