TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tampa Hispanic Heritage, Inc. has named Monica Rodriguez as this year’s Hispanic Woman of the Year after more than two decades of giving back to the Hispanic community.
Rodriguez’s job title may be Senior Sales Manager of Care Plus in Tampa, but her heart is in the community.
‘We want to see equity,” Rodriguez said. “It’s about seeing the Latinos prosper and advance in this country.”
Rodriguez was born in Mexico, but for the past 22 years she has dedicated her life to giving back to the Hispanic community in Tampa Bay.
“I started back then doing baby showers for the community for those moms, bringing massages, hair cuts, all free of charge,’ she said.
In 2010, she joined the Latino Coalition of Tampa Bay. She became the chair in 2013 and has been ever since.
The coalition works with 300 companies who provide resources to those in need.
“When COVID hit last year, we found out a lot of the communities were lacking foods,” she said. “Those in the east, those in the migrant communities, so we started doing food drives.”
Rodriguez is also a member of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Hispanic Advisory Board, the HCC Community Advisory Committee and more. For her selfless and outstanding efforts, she is now Tampa Bay’s Hispanic Woman of the Year.
“I never expected it, but I feel honored,” Rodriguez said. “I want to make sure all of the kids, Hispanic men and women know there is a future for us in this country and we can do it.” “We want to see that everybody has the same opportunity, especially our children.”
Rodriguez will be honored at the 33rd Tampa Hispanic Heritage Gala on Saturday, Oct. 16. Tickets are available for purchase online.