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MIND Research Institute Leader Named “Ambassador of the Year” by Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Irvine, Calif., Apr 15, 2014 MIND Research Institute’s Diversity Partnerships Manager, Maria Cervantes, was named Ambassador of the Year by the Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at its 21st Annual Estrella Awards Ceremony. Held April 12 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, Calif., the event drew leaders from Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Diego counties, in support of the OCHCC’s commitment to facilitating multicultural economic development in Orange County.

In an award notification message, OCHCC President and CEO Reuben Franco commended Cervantes for her devotion to the Chamber and for serving as a stellar role model for its members and ambassadors.

“You have been a ‘Star’ or an ‘Estrella’ for the Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Committee,” stated Franco in his letter to Cervantes. “Your dedication to serving the Chamber is one of the many reasons why you were selected for this award.”

Since joining Irvine-based MIND Research in 2002, Cervantes has become a powerhouse member of the nonprofit’s philanthropy team, helping to raise more than $4 million to help low-income K-12 students and English language learners excel in math and prepare for high-tech, high-paying jobs. Nationwide, schools using MIND Research’s revolutionary Spatial-Temporal (ST) Math instructional software program show, on average, that students double or triple their standardized achievement test scores in math.

As an OCHCC ambassador since 2012, Cervantes helps lead the organization’s public relations efforts and serves as a liaison between the chamber board and the membership. “I really enjoy helping members and friends feel welcome at OCHCC events because the Chamber has played a huge role in helping me overcome my shyness,” said Cervantes, who shared a similar sentiment in her Ambassador of the Year video profile. “Being part of the Chamber has opened up a whole new world for me. I’m so grateful for the networking opportunities that have enabled me to share MIND’s mission of ensuring that every child is mathematically equipped to solve the world’s most challenging problems.”

Cervantes, who in 2011 spearheaded the launch of MIND Research’s Diversity Council, also serves on the Advisory Board of the Women Network, which seeks to empower women around the world; as a Scholarship Review Committee member of TELACU, a nonprofit community development corporation; and as an active PTSA volunteer at Mendez Fundamental Intermediate School in the Santa Ana Unified School District.

In addition to the “Ambassador of the Year” award, Cervantes was named one of 10 Women to Watch in 2014 by OC Register Metro magazine. In 2013 she received the Comerica Bank Best of LA Women’s Business Award for Woman of Diversity and was named an inaugural Fun Fearless Latina by Cosmopolitan for Latinas.

About MIND Research Institute
MIND Research Institute is an education nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that all students are mathematically equipped to solve the world’s most challenging problems. MIND's distinctive visual approach to math and problem-solving is the basis of its innovative, research-proven ST Math® programs for elementary and secondary schools. MIND's programs currently reach over 630,000 students and 25,000 teachers in 2,050 schools in 35 states. For more information, visit


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