Optimum’s annual essay contest recognizes and celebrates the diverse histories, cultures, and contributions of generations of Hispanic Americans across the country.

(L to R): North Babylon High School Principal Dr. Jonathan Klomp, Optimum’s Jay Keel, Optimum’s Samantha Pardal-Jerez, HHM Runner-Up Muskan Malik, School Counselor Kristin Loeffler, NY State Senator Monica Martinez, Director of Guidance Stephen Dombo, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Graham.

Optimum, together with co-sponsor TelevisaUnivision, is proud to announce the 2023 winners of its annual Hispanic Heritage Month Essay Contest. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, which is celebrated each year from September 15 – October 15, Optimum invited students across the company’s 21-state footprint to share in 500 words or less a person, group of people, or cultural experience (TV show, movie, music, app, event) that has helped them connect to Hispanic culture and what it means to them.

The student essay contest ran from Friday, September 15 to Tuesday, October 31 and boasted a total of four Grand Prize scholarships of $3,000. This year’s winners are:

  • Nydia C. from International High School in Paterson, NJ

  • Ginelle M. from St. Ignatius School in The Bronx, NY

  • Citlally D. from North Henderson High School in Hendersonville, NC

  • Rachel Z. from A&M Consolidated Middle School in College Station, TX

Honorable Mention prizes have also been awarded to a dozen finalists in both the high school and middle school categories. To view the full list of finalists, visit www.Optimum.com/hhm.

(L to R): West Hempstead Secondary School’s Molly Gegerson, Assemblyman Ed Ra, Lilian Ortiz, HHM Runner-Up Henry Ortiz, West Hempstead Secondary School’s Daisy Weinstein, Optimum’s Frank Alleva, Optimum’s Jay Keel, Principal Joseph Pumo.


(L to R): Optimum’s Samantha Pardal-Jerez, HHM Runner-Up Cameron Bica, New York State Assemblyman Jake Blumencranz, Town of Oyster Bay Councilwoman Vicki Walsh.


“This year’s long-running Hispanic Heritage Month Essay Contest saw the largest number of student submissions since the contest was first launched over 10 years ago,” said Lisa Gonzalez Anselmo, Chief Diversity Officer at Optimum. “We are thrilled to see such great excitement around the contest and the students’ passion to spotlighting the contributions that the Hispanic American community makes to our everyday lives. We look forward to celebrating with the winners during our recognition events in the coming weeks and to continue supporting and uplifting all the communities we serve.”

Optimum is committed to making a positive impact in the communities we serve. Click here to learn more.


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