ARCHBISHOP OSCAR A. ROMERO SCHOLARSHIP
THE JOHN A. DINNEEN, S.J. HISPANIC ALUMNI COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD 2008
Dr. Olga Lattarulo was born in Pasco, Peru and raised in Lima. Her appreciation for immigrant life and multicultural issues began in her childhood shortly after the family’s move to the capital city. While in high school she volunteered to help elementary and high school students. She became a volunteer counselor at "Cruz Blanca," a Catholic religious organization that counsels juvenile delinquents.
She received her bachelor's and master's degrees from the Universidad San Martin de Porres in Lima, Peru. In 1995 Olga received her second Masters degree from the Boston College School of Social Work and later obtained a Post Graduate degree in Communications from Sorbonne University in Paris. She is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate degree from the Asociación Universidad Privada San Juan Bautista in Lima, Peru.
Olga maintains a profound belief that education and communication are key factors in people's lives. She has developed and still maintains a multilingual-multicultural sensitivity and is fluent in French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and English. For years she worked as a television reporter in Lima, Peru, where most of her work was targeted toward social topics. She carried this passion for social work to America where she produced and hosted the local information shows News Magazine and La Revista Informativa, in Malden, MA.
Between 1990 -1995 Olga worked as social worker for the Salvation Army in Boston, where her Spanish skills became a major asset to the organization. In 1992 she traveled to Florida as a volunteer to help the victims of Hurricane Andrew. She then journeyed to Iowa to help the victims of their devastating flood. Olga worked at Project Cope, an outpatient counseling center, providing help with substance abuse and domestic violence in addition to parents’ and children’s services and other services.
Dr. Lattarulo has received numerous awards, citations, and recognitions for her life of social work. Her honors include a special award in 2005 for her exceptional entrepreneurial and humanistic initiatives; she received the prestigious silver medal from the Peruvian Congress. The Peruvian Ambassador to America and Mayor Menino of Boston gave her an award for her service to the Peruvian Community in Boston.
In 2006 the Hispanic Festival of Lynn gave her an award for her outstanding work with the community, and the Senate of Massachusetts later honored Olga with a Citation for her extraordinary work to serve immigrants through the COPEA Center. In 2007, the Asociacion Universidad Privada San Juan Bautista gave her an award for her “Dedication and extraordinary work on behalf of the victims of the earthquake”.
She is the author of three books, Los Noticieros de Television I, Los Noticieros de Television II, and Olga con el Alma. She has written hundreds of articles in different newspapers and numerous training pamphlets about domestic violence, drugs and alcohol. She has been described as a “woman without obstacles” among other honors by her peers.
Education and advocacy for all people is a priority for Olga, who strongly believes that people who break the law often do so because they do not know or understand the law. To educate the community and understand the law, Olga organizes free clinics on Immigration, Health, Domestic Violence, Operating Under the Influence, Drugs, Alcohol and other subjects. This advocacy has manifested itself in leadership roles throughout the Hispanic and Minority communities. Currently she is an Alternate of the New England Council on Crime and Delinquency. She enjoys creating pathways and opportunities to others to follow and set an example for others to aspire to and emulate. Olga continues to combine community and professional organizational service with scholarship.
On August 15, 2007, a 7.9 point earthquake hit Peru, leaving hundreds of victims devastated throughout the cities of Ica, Chincha, Pisco and Canete. Mrs. Lattarulo, as the President of the Peruvian American Community (COPEA), worked hard throughout New England to garner support and aid for the victims of the devastating earthquake. The devastation impacted around 200,000 victims, including 600 deaths and more than 3,000 injured. For Olga, it was extremely urgent to send aid to alleviate the acute suffering of the affected population; to do so, she and the COPEA opened a special fund to assist the victims and to provide direct relief in the forms of medicine, food, and clothing. A group of medical personnel was recruited and medicine was purchased for the people of Peru. On September 8, 2007, the medical team led by Olga Lattarulo went to Peru and provided medical services to more than 1000 earthquake victims.
Olga’s life of service, dedication, and contributions to the Peruvian community both in America and abroad have led us to select her as the recipient of the John A. Dinneen, S.J. Hispanic Alumni Community Service Award for 2008. We are proud to announce that she will be accepting her award on March 15, 2008.