I wish to express my utmost gratitude to the Prime Minister, Jose Maria Neves, the Government of Cabo Verde, the Consulate General staff, and organizing committee for the recognition and the First Degree Honorable Mention of prestige bestowed upon me at Gala event on September 26, 2015, for my work and service to the community.
My involvement and work within the community was fostered by my upbringing. I was blessed to be born into a family whose priority is to promote positive moral and social values, and at a period of historical changes in my country.
I‘ve had many mentors, however, my father was the greatest influence in my life. He was a man of great intelligence and his wisdom was greater than most people acquire in many lifetimes. My father was well respected in our community and people regularly sought his advice. He sought excellence from his children, but he accepted their best. He instilled virtues in me that have carried me through life and have continued to guide me ever since his early departure from this world. I stepped into his shoes after his passing and tried, to the best of my abilities, to assume his role. Arriving in the United States at the age of eighteen, I lead my family unit and helped my mother navigate this new landscape.
In the United States, I tried to balance the new culture with my traditional culture. I built a strong support network of family and friends and was fortunate to be introduced to the world of media productions, which became my mode for self – expression. My work in media combined both my interests in preserving my traditional culture while contributing to the Cape Verdean-American community. Today, I am recognized for work that I actually love doing.
I am the embodiment of the African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child”. That same child will in turn raise its village.
Again, I am honored and humbled for receiving this prestigious recognition.
Luis D. Lopes