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America Ferrera

2011 Speaker

America Ferrera is best known for her fearless portrayal of Betty Suarez on ABC television’s hit comedy “Ugly Betty,” a role that earned her an Emmy, a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award, as well as ALMA and Imagen awards. Ferrera’s impressive debut in the Patricia Cardoso film “Real Women Have Curves,” which screened at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, garnered her a Special Jury Award for acting as well as Independent Spirit Award and Young Artist Award nominations. She was most recently seen on screen in “The Dry Land,” which premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and which she also executive-produced.

Ferrera also recently starred in the hit Oscar-nominated Dreamworks animated film “How to Train Your Dragon” and is currently preparing to record its sequel. Other acting credits include “Lords of Dogtown”(2005), “How the Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer” (2005), “Under the Same Moon” (2007) and both parts of “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” (2005, 2008).

Ferrera served as an artist ambassador for the global humanitarian organization Save the Children and recently raised more than $44,000 to build a new elementary school in Mali. She was the 2010 recipient of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation’s Inspira Award, and the recipient of the 2011 Global Action Award for Childhood Development and Education for her work with Save the Children in Mali. In March 2011, Ferrera was named the 2011 national recipient of the Cesar E. Chavez Legacy Award for her commitment to helping lead underprivileged families and youth to a better life and education.