• Maria Duaime Robinson

[Source] Discovering Hidden Gems Co-Founders Receive Latinx Excellence on the Hill Award

FRAMINGHAM – Margie Ann Rosario and Julissa Ortiz, co-founders of Discovering Hidden Gems in Framingham, were honored by the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus (MBLLC) during a ceremony at the Massachusetts State House last Thursday, October 3.

They were among the 44 recipients of the Caucus’ 2019 Latinx Excellence on the Hill award.

Rosario of Hudson and Ortiz of Hyde Park were nominated by Representatives Jack Patrick Lewis and Maria Robinson for their unparalleled dedication to “at-promise” youth and promoting public health and well-being in the Framingham community. Growing up in Framingham, both understand the intricacies, needs, and strengths of the community.

Founded in April of 2018, Discovering Hidden Gems, is a nonprofit that helps increase the quality of life of “at-promise” youth through recreational and educational experiences, where every event is created to implement community engagement and inclusion, and are provided free of cost to families.

The Discovering Hidden Gems programs began with “Lounge Fridays,” providing local youth with access to recreational activities that target the development of interpersonal skills and positive self-image, with activities including game nights, spoken word, yoga classes, paint nights, and more.

They have since added the Planeta Infanti program at the Framingham Library, which introduces children to Spanish while encouraging parent involvement through sensory activities and body movement, as well as the Fearless Dance Team, where participants are introduced to a variety of dance types while learning about the origin of each. Youth gain knowledge about dance culture, exercise, and using dance as a coping strategy, as well as practicing skills that help them become leaders and work as a team.

“Margie and Julissa embody the values we espouse here in Framingham: embracing our diversity to better our community. We are so grateful for everything they have contributed to strengthen our families,” said Representative Robinson.

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