Cecilia Avila-Young was born in Bogota, Colombia, immigrating to the United States as a young girl. She earned an M.A. from Columbia University, Teachers College and a B.S. Degree from Queens College. She has proudly served as Secretary of the Long Island Latino Teachers Association for well over a decade. Her positive experience as a student in the public education system and the deep commitment of public-school educators she encountered, fostered a strong desire to become a teacher and to put herself at the service of others. For the past twenty-six years, she has served the Central Islip community as a passionate teacher, dedicated to meeting the needs of her students and helping establish a sound foundation for future educational success. Her passion for public service has led to collaborations with many local environmental organizations including Keep Islip Clean (KIC), the Seatuck National Wildlife Refuge and the Greentree Foundation. For over a decade, she has worked with Esperanza International in Tijuana, Mexico, an organization that seeks to create communities across borders that work in solidarity toward a common dream of sustainable, dignified housing for all people. Since its founding, the LILTA mission has struck a special chord for her and seeing former Scholarship recipients move onto the LILTA Board shows the transformative potential of the organization. Her other passions include cooking and traveling with her husband Ed, and children, Anna and Eddie.