Kids’ mariachi manager recognized for contributions to Latino community

Celina Milnerreceives 2010 Regence Latino Hero Award

SALT LAKE CITY — Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah has awarded a Salt Lake City volunteer mariachi manager, Celina Milner, its 2010 Latino Hero Award. The award is part of Regence’s ongoing commitment to the Latino community, and honors individuals of Latino descent who have given back to the community and have impressive professional or educational accomplishments.
 
“Celina is a wonderful advocate for education within the Latino community, and she’s managed to use mariachi as a way to help kids be successful,” said Francisco Garbayo, who leads Regence’s Latino outreach efforts. “Her commitment to Latino youth truly embodies the spirit of the Latino Hero Award.”
 
Milner volunteers her time as the director of the Mariachi Juvenil de Utah, a mariachi group for kids from seven to seventeen years old. The program is a part of the Salt Lake Education Foundation and is geared toward high risk students. According to Milner’s nominator, her students are now maintaining at least a C+ average, have improved their school attendance, and have eliminated all "safe school violations."
 
By day, Milner is a sales manager at the Crystal Inn Hotel & Suites in downtown Salt Lake City. Previously, she was an account manager with Morris Murdock Travel. Milner was born and raised in Salt Lake City and graduated from Wells College in New York. She was recently appointed chair of the Immigrant & Refugee Initiative for the Women’s Philanthropic Network of the United Way of Salt Lake.  She also serves as board chair for Comunidades Unidas, a non-profit organization focused on eliminating ethnic disparities in health and education.
 
Upon learning she was the winner of the Regence Latino Hero Award, Milner said, “I’m surprised because there are many others who also deserve this award, but I will accept it with pride for the entire Latino community.”
 
As the recipient of the award, Milner will receive $2,000 which she plans to donate to the Salt Lake Education Foundation for the Marichi Juvenil de Utah.
 
About Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah
Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah is a leading health plan in Utah, with more than 360,000 members, offering health, life and dental insurance. Regence is the largest health insurer in the Northwest / Intermountain Region, serving nearly 2.5 million members as Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah, Regence BlueShield of Idaho, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon and Regence BlueShield (selected counties in Washington). Each plan is a nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Regence is committed to improving the health of our members and our communities, and to transforming our health care system. For more information, please visit www.regence.com or www.regence.com/RegenceUtah.