TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Education Association (FEA) has honored Carmen Esquijarosa with the FEA Andy Ford Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes a lifetime of commitment to children, teachers, education employees and public education. Esquijarosa has been an active and dedicated member of United Teachers of Dade (UTD) for 41 years.
Esquijarosa immigrated from Cuba to the United States as a young girl. She understood from an early age that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Esquijarosa joined United Teachers of Dade as a staff member in 1980 and retired from work in June, but will always be a part of her union. During her time with UTD, she has served in numerous leadership capacities, providing valuable support for the union’s membership and presidents. Esquijarosa is known for her abilities as a photographer and has captured many key moments in the history of UTD.
“Her wisdom leaves us but to question our own dedication and commitment as we seek to make a difference in the lives of our nation’s greatest resource, our children,” said Karla Hernandez-Mats, UTD president.
Esquijarosa was honored at the FEA Human and Civil Rights Awards Gala on Oct. 15 at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, where FEA held its annual Delegate Assembly.
The Andy Ford Lifetime Achievement Award, named for a longtime former president of FEA, was one of four statewide awards presented at this year’s FEA Human and Civil Rights Gala.