DALLAS (KDAF) — Since 1982, The Concilio has been building communities by unlocking opportunities, for Latinos and other diverse families right here in DFW.

I sat down with CEO and President Florencia Velasco Fortner, on why she has been recognized on being so passionate about giving to those in need.

She says, “ I think I feel overwhelmed about the attention we’ve been getting personally, but professionally I think it’s one of the best things that’s happen to The Concilio.”

For 41 years, this small but powerful organization has been known for doing good work quietly, giving future generations a strong foundation. Since COVID, they had to expand fast to help residents to live a better life. She goes onto say that the love of giving comes from her parents.

“They’ve always been my mentors, my best friends, and they are the people who have brought me to where I am.” Fortner learned early what it means to love thy neighbor, and recalls her early in her career straight out of college was working with gangs in California, where she learned the importance of parental engagement and working with the entire family and looking at children in a holistic way, and that was the beginning of the journey that led to The Concilio.

She’s been President and CEO for 18 years, and still sees the importance of going out in the community to hear those real life testimonies of residents and how their lives have dramatically changed after getting assistance from The Concilio.

Fortner and her team at her non-profit organization are the 2023 recipient of the George W. Bush Institute Trailblazer Citation Award, an honor given annually to an innovator who has inspired and enriched the quality of life in North Texas.