Maria Woltjen Receives "Global Citizenship Hero" Award from the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois

American Red Cross to Honor Local Heroes

The American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois is honoring exceptional individuals from the Chicago and Northern Illinois area for their outstanding acts of heroism, dedication and service at the organization’s 17th Annual Heroes Breakfast. The event will be held on Wednesday, May 1 from 7:30-9:30 a.m. at the Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan Ave. To purchase tickets or for more information please call 312.729.6178 or go to website:

“It is an honor and privilege for the American Red Cross to recognize the selfless acts of these heroes and their significant contributions,” said Celena Roldán, Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois. “Attendees at the Chicago & Northern IL Heroes Breakfast will understand what it means to “Be Human. Be Kind. Be Inspired.” They will be introduced to the heroes among us, such as the doctor who risks his life to provide medical care to children in Syria, the teenager fighting cancer who advocates on behalf of other children, to the daughter of immigrants who puts her retirement plans on hold to provide services to veterans,” added Roldán.


Maria Woltjen, J.D. of Oak Park is the Global Citizenship Hero. For the last 15 years, Maria has dedicated her life to advocate on behalf of unaccompanied, immigrant children. She is an attorney and the executive director of the Chicago-based Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights. The center’s mission is to ensure that law enforcement and immigration judges consider the best interest of the children when making decisions. Under Maria’s leadership, the center has expanded from three employees in Chicago to multiple cities, including San Antonio, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. The Young Center currently has a staff of 65 including attorneys and social work professionals, all working on behalf of immigrant children’s rights.

Read more at American Red Cross

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