Three entrepreneurs were awarded for their business efforts at The Immigrant Learning Center’s Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards Dinner on May 9. The Massachusetts-based business leaders were honored by the non-profit for their exceptional contributions to their communities. The trio joined 21 other nominees, thousands of fellow entrepreneurs, respected community members and ILC leaders.
Larry Dossantos, a native of Cape Verde, founded 912 Auto Center in Dorchester, Massachusetts 27 years ago. He was awarded the Outstanding Neighborhood Business award for not only serving the community, but also for using sustainability throughout his business practices. Over the years, he has provided auto assistance to community members. More recently, he modified his business to include several sustainable efforts.
Amar Sawhney, a native Indian, was awarded for his work in the science and technology business world. Sawhney was given the Outstanding Science/Technology award for developing several high-tech businesses, including Augmenix, which is a company whose products improve the results of radiotherapy in cancer patients. According to ILC, Sawhney was very thankful for his award.
“I don’t think any of this could have happened in most other countries,” Sawhney told the source. “The United States is singularly accepting of entrepreneurs, providing a fertile ground on which to grow the seed of creativity and create wonderful ventures. So, for this adopted homeland I am very grateful.”
Julia Silverio joined the duo when she was given the Outstanding Business Growth award for her Lawrence, Massachusetts, insurance agency. Silverio, who originally had her citizenship with the Dominican Republic, started the business in 1984 to assist Lawrence’s Latino community with insurance services. According to the source, her business has grown 56 percent since 2009, and Silverio said she felt she was winning “The American Dream” with her award.
“We came to this country in pursuit of the American dream and a better life for ourselves and our families,” she told ILC. “And, just by that mere fact, we are all winners.”
The ILC isn’t the only non-profit that awards outstanding immigrants. A similar organization, Canadian Immigrant, annually hosts the “Top 25 Canadian Immigrant” campaign, where it awards 25 immigrants for their successes.