Antonia Pantoja (1922–2002)
Dr. Antonia Pantoja was a pioneer in developing critical social institutions and was a congressional medal of honor recipient. A graduate of the Columbia University School of Social Work, Dr. Pantoja was regarded by many in the Puerto Rican and Latino communities as one of the most important leaders in the United States. A charismatic and visionary leader, she led a group of Puerto Rican activists in the early 1950s to seek innovative solutions to exorbitant high-school dropout rates, debilitating unemployment and the destabilization of family life.
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