Ilyitch Nahiely Tábora '03
The 2011 John A. Dinneen, S.J. Hispanic Alumni Community Service Award Recipient
The Archbishop Oscar A. Romero Scholarship Committee of Boston College has named Ilyitch Nahiely Tábora (A&S ‘03, GSSW ‘05) of Brighton as the 2011 recipient of the John A. Dinneen, S.J. Hispanic Alumni Community Service Award.
Tábora was recognized for her commitment to serving thousands of Latino students and English language learners in the Boston Public Schools as associate director of the Talented and Gifted (TAG) Program at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
The Archbishop Oscar A. Romero Scholarship Committee has recognized a Boston College graduate annually since 1999 in honor of the late Rev. John A. Dinneen, S.J., a chartered member of the Romero Scholarship Committee who was responsible for the acquisition of the initial funding from the BC Jesuit community in 1993. Father Dinneen was a mentor, active benefactor, committed worker and valuable friend to the members of the Romero Scholarship Committee and the AHANA community. The committee created the award to honor a BC grad whose work best reflects Archbishop Romero’s legacy and Father Dinneen’s commitment, leadership, and service to the Latino community.
Tábora was born in the United States to Honduran and Mexican parents. She is an alumna of Boston Latin School, and served as an intern in the Education Department of Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino through the John William Ward Fellowship Program. Tábora studied sociology and minored in Latin American studies at Boston College and graduated cum laude from the College of Arts and Sciences in 2003. While completing her undergraduate studies, she enrolled in BC’s Graduate School of Social Work and studied community organizing.
While at Boston College, Tábora served on the board of the Organization of Latin American Affairs (OLAA); participated in and twice led an education-based service trip to the Dominican Republic; was an intern at the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative in the Roxbury/North Dorchester neighborhoods where she supported the Resident Development Institute’s voter registration initiatives and the work of the Dudley Youth Council; and was herself a finalist for the undergraduate Romero Scholarship in 2002.
Tábora was named coordinator of the TAG Program at UMass Boston in May of 2003, having previously served as a teacher, tutor, and student. TAG’s mission is to ensure that Boston Public School Latino students and English language learners excel academically, socially and personally, so as to improve their ability to succeed in high school and at the postsecondary levels. Tábora has helped to secure more than $330,000 in new grants to develop and expand TAG’s various programs, such as the PANAS Mentoring Program and the TAG Summer Program for English Language Learners (TAG/SPELL), both of which have been recognized nationally and locally for best practices in service to Latino and ELL students.
In addition, colleagues say, Tábora has helped to inspire and improve the lives of the thousands of TAG participants, colleagues and friends who have benefited from her tireless dedication and endless support and affection. Her nomination states, “I love Ilyitch. She keeps me honest, and through her example reminds me all the time of the value of sacrificing and sharing your gifts, talents and resources to a community. Too often we misplace praise and recognition on people who have the charisma of a leader but lack the mutual exchange of deep affection between community leader and the community members who are the beneficiaries of the leadership. Ilyitch and TAG represent that perfect marriage between leader and community.”
Members of the Archbishop Oscar A. Romero Scholarship Committee said that they were proud of Tábora’s accomplishments, and honored to recognize her as the 2011 recipient of the John A. Dinneen, S.J. Hispanic Alumni Community Service Award.