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  • The San Juan Daily Star

CROEM student robotics team named MVPs by Pelota Dura

A student robotics team from the Mayagüez Residential Center for Educational Opportunities that took first place at a NASA competition this year was honored again, this time by the program “Pelota Dura,” as most valuable players for 2022.

By The Star Staff

The 10 students from the Mayagüez Residential Center for Educational Opportunities (CROEM by its Spanish acronym) who took first place in robotics at the NASA Awards were recently selected as most valuable players of the year 2022 by the program “Pelota Dura” in an activity that rewards people or entities that made a difference during the year by contributing to the quality of life in Puerto Rico.

The student team is composed of Natalia A. Díaz, Brittany Justiniano, Andrés Pérez, Enrique Núñez, Omar Torres, Benjamín Irizarry, Gabriela Martínez, Fernando Ramírez, Alex Vázquez and Adrián Núñez, along with physics professor Danelix Cordero Rosario, who directed the entire academic process for the CROEM robotics group.

“Having been exposed to an audience that captured the attention of thousands of people with the consequence of receiving recognition of that magnitude [from NASA], makes us proud and encourages us to continue improving our academic offer every day,” said Prof. Milton Tomassini del Toro, director of CROEM.

In addition to the recognition of the CROEM students, at the same event, which was broadcast for two hours “live” on Teleonce as part of the Pelota Dura program, recognition was given to island Health Secretary Dr. Carlos Mellado López as public servant of the year; the Reverend Héctor Luis Delgado Román (El Padre), who was recognized for community services; Jorge L. Pérez, manager of the Convention Center and Coca Cola Music Hall, who was recognized as entrepreneur of the year; Nuestra Escuela, a community-based, non-governmental organization that offers educational services to youth and adults; and educator Lilia M. Rivera, who has excelled serving academically challenged students in the primary grades.

“We humbly appreciate this recognition that I receive today on behalf of the almost 4,000 employees of the Department of Health; they are the ones who stand out every day offering their services to citizens and entities that require our participation,” Mellado López said. “The secretary is simply an orchestra conductor who combines his knowledge and enthusiasm to lead a select group of Puerto Ricans who strive to give their best, very much in recent years of the COVID pandemic, the scourges of hurricanes and even an earthquake that left us all scarred. Thanks to the viewers of Pelota Dura for addressing the complaints in the messages we broadcast every day in order to improve the quality of health services on the island.”

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