2019 Scholarship Benefit - Honorees and Host




GOYA Foods, Inc.

Corporate Impact Award



Goya Foods, Inc. is the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the United States. Founded in 1936, Goya’s first home was a storefront in Lower Manhattan. The company relocated to Brooklyn in 1958, and established its current headquarters in New Jersey in 1974. Goya now operates 26 facilities throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Spain, employing over 4,000 worldwide. In 2018, Goya was ranked #2 as a leading U.S. food brand for its social influence and community support. Its “Goya Gives” program supports nearly 300 charitable endeavors, programs, scholarships, and events, and donates millions of pounds of food to local food banks and shelters, especially during times of natural disasters such as Hurricane María in Puerto Rico, Superstorm Sandy, and Hurricanes Harvey and Irene. Its other philanthropic programs include the “Can Do” campaign, which donated over 1.5 million pounds of food to needy families across the country, and – in collaboration with First Lady Michelle Obama and the USDA – the MyPlate/MiPlato campaign.  


Robert Sancho

Vice President, Development and External Affairs

BronxCare Health System

Lifetime Community Service Award



Robert Sancho was born and raised in the South Bronx. A product of the New York City Public School system, he holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the Inter-American University in San German, Puerto Rico. As an undergraduate he was awarded a Minority Urban Education Scholarship and completed a Teaching Fellowship in both urban and rural school districts in Puerto Rico. He received a scholarship to the Graduate School of Urban Affairs at Hunter College, where he completed his Master of Science Degree. He has a distinguished record of public service. In 1979 Mr. Sancho was appointed Associate Executive Director for Community and Government Affairs at the Metropolitan Hospital Center. In 1981 Mr. Sancho was appointed Vice President of Development and External Affairs at BronxCare Health System, the second largest medical facility in the Bronx. During his 37-year tenure, Mr. Sancho has been instrumental in securing major state funding for the construction of three new buildings and the renovation of existing hospital buildings.




Antone Hernton

Chief Executive Officer

Kerington Spencer Sibling Limited Inc.

Philanthropic Impact Award



Antone Hernton has served as the Chief Executive Officer of Kerington Spencer Sibling Limited since 1998. He is proud to note that his mother, Mildred Webster Hernton, was one of Hostos Community College’s founding faculty members. Mr. Hernton comes from a family of educators; his father, mother, and grandfather were all college professors who stressed the concepts of discipline, sacrifice, and community. He carries on the family tradition – for the last twenty years he has been an adjunct professor of Computer Information Systems and Economics at Medgar Evers College. Mr. Hernton has also served as a manager and economic analyst for a variety of multi-national travel and banking organizations. His philanthropic endeavors include working with USAID and LULA Administration (which brings water purification systems to Brazil) and with Library Initiatives of Guyana, (which helps fund and construct libraries for disadvantaged primary schools in Guyana and South America). Mr. Hernton attended DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, Boston University, and Fairleigh Dickinson University. 




Cheryl Wills

NY1 Anchor

Author and Distinguished Speaker



Born and raised in New York City, Cheryl Wills is a nationally recognized, award-winning television personality for Spectrum News’ flagship national news network, New York 1 News, as well as the host of the talk show “In Focus with Cheryl Wills.” She is the author of three books about her great-great-great grandfather Sidney Wills, who fought in the Civil War:  Die Free: A Heroic Family Tale; an illustrated book for children, The Emancipation of Grandpa Sandy Wills; and a young adult novel, Emancipated: My Family’s Fight for Freedom. Ms. Wills has received numerous awards for her work, including New York Press Club and AP Awards, the YMCA National Black Achievers in Industry Award, and the Carl T. Rowan Leadership in Media Award as part of the 25th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards. She is a graduate of the Newhouse School of Journalism at Syracuse University, and is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from the New York College of Health Professions.

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