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UMass TAG Director Is Dinneen Award Winner

Ilyitch Nahiely Tábora ’03, MSW’05, is the 2011 recipient of John A. Dinneen, SJ, Hispanic Alumni Community Service Award

By Office of News & Public Affairs |

Published: Mar. 31, 2011

Ilyitch Nahiely Tábora ’03, MSW’05, whose work as director of the University of Massachusetts at Boston Talented and Gifted (TAG) Program has benefited thousands of Latino students and English language learners, is the 2011 recipient of the John A. Dinneen, SJ, Hispanic Alumni Community Service Award.  

A Brighton resident, Tábora received the Fr. Dinneen Award at Boston College’s annual Archbishop Oscar A. Romero Scholarship Banquet, held March 26. Since 1999, the Archbishop Romero Scholarship Committee has recognized an alumnus for commitment, leadership and service to the Latino community; the award is named for the late John A. Dinneen, SJ, former University chaplain and a charter member of the Archbishop Romero Scholarship Committee.  

In May of 2003, Tábora became coordinator for the UMass-Boston TAG Program, which seeks to ensure that Boston Public School Latino students and English language learners excel academically, socially and personally, and thereby improve their ability to succeed in high school and at 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, 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. The nomination for Tábora cited her ability to help others reflect on “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.”   

Born in the United States to Honduran and Mexican parents, Tábora graduated from 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.   

At BC, Tábora studied sociology and minored in Latin American Studies, graduating cum laude. While completing her undergraduate studies, she enrolled in the Graduate School of Social Work and studied community organization. As an undergraduate, she served on the board of the Organization of Latin American Affairs, and participated in and twice led an education-based service trip to the Dominican Republic. She also interned at the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative in the Roxbury/North Dorchester neighborhoods, where she supported voter registration initiatives and the work of the Dudley Youth Council. Tábora was a finalist for the Archbishop Romero Scholarship in 2002.