Cultural Heritage Awareness

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Houston • Sept. 16, 2019

Houston Public Media and Houston First are paying tribute to the diversity in our region by spotlighting Houstonians from various communities in conjunction with national awareness months.

Director | Arts Connect Houston

As director of Arts Connect Houston, Deborah Lugo oversees the strategic direction of a citywide collective coalition aimed at ensuring students in the public school system have access to high-quality arts education and creative learning. Previously, Lugo served as the founding executive director at Mercury for eight years, shaping it at all levels and growing it from an intimate ensemble focused on Baroque music to a lively chamber orchestra bringing a broad range of music to life across the region.

Lugo’s long-time passion for music and the performing arts goes as far back as her time at Libre de Música School in her hometown of Puerto Rico. As a violinist and mother to two children in area public schools, Lugo understands that the arts are vital to a complete and well-rounded education. She envisions a world where students are at the forefront of our community, and continues to be involved in efforts that pave the way for improvements in student outcomes. She’s an alumni of Leadership ISD, holds a Master in Public Policy from Princeton University, and a Bachelor in Violin Performance from Florida International University.

President | Latin Women's Initiative

Daisy Mendoza is a proud native Houstonian and first-generation America that celebrates her family’s roots in Guanajuato, Mexico, a community rich in folklore, culture, and the arts. Daisy is the eldest of three siblings to Serafin and Maria Mendoza.

As the first in her family to go to college, one of Daisy’s greatest accomplishments is earning a double major in finance and marketing from University of Houston on a full ride scholarship. She began her career in insurance and investment sales, and today serves as a portfolio manager at Amegy Bank in the commercial lending department.

In the community, Daisy serves as president of Latin Women’s Initiative (LWI). LWI works to make a difference in the lives of Latin women and children using fashion as a platform to bring awareness to the needs of the Latino community. Its signature fashion show has provided more than $2 million dollars in grants to local non-profits since its inception in 1995.

Daisy also serves on the fashion show committee for the University of Houston Hispanic Alumni Association and Rubbish to Runway. She is an active member of Dress for Success Houston, The Institute of Hispanic Culture of Houston, Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, as well as a graduate of the Emerging Leaders Institute.

Daisy recently added fashion design student to her resume, setting in motion a once tabled dream of creating designs that make women feel empowered, feminine and beautiful.