Louisville, Kentucky – Hector Zamora, El Paso Community College (EPCC) Criminal Justice Professor, received the Father William Diersen Award, the highest honor bestowed by Dismas Charities, Inc.
The award presented to Zamora during the awards banquet following the annual Leadership Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, is named in honor of Dismas’ founder.
Zamora is responsible for the development of a national initiative whose goal is to create internships in all Dismas Charities programs across the nation. His relationship with numerous universities have seen the company’s Internship Program grow quickly.
Many of the students become permanent employees of Dismas.
Education officials refer to Dismas as an ideal location as it is a controlled environment with multiple challenges. “Hector Zamora challenged me, constantly providing great feedback and being patient with me,” wrote one intern. Another offered that Zamora was “encouraging and supportive, and a positive step in my learning, ability, and progress.”
The criteria for the award states that the “recipient demonstrated exceptional motivation toward the betterment of the community through direct, active, and frequent action. They improved the quality of life of their fellow man and/or the citizenry by their leadership. They took on difficult issues and challenges, followed them through to successful fruition, made a brighter day, and offered hope for the future of his fellow man. The award-winner instilled a sense of belief and faith in others, pointing the way and offering encouragement and support and proved their honesty and integrity are at the forefront of every decision, and acted without thought of personal gain. Dismas Charities gives men and women releasing from state and federal incarceration the skills and motivation to re-enter society as contributing members. The work of Dismas is to end the cycle of victimization and to heal the human spirit.”
Dismas Charities is a not-for-profit company that operates 35 Re-Entry Centers nationwide. In New Mexico and Tennessee, it is known as Diersen Charities.