APB's Sonia Manzano to be Recognized for Her Contribution to Children’s Entertainment
20 Oct 2022
APB speaker Sonia Manzano, an Emmy Award-winning actress, producer, screenwriter and author, will be honored on Oct. 20 at Paramount Pictures studio in Los Angeles by Shine Global with its first-ever Children’s Resilience in Film Award for her contributions to children’s entertainment and the impact it’s had on future generations.
Manzano will receive the Champion for Children Award, which recognizes an individual who has demonstrated a deep commitment through generous support and engagement to youth and family causes. Others recognized include pioneering Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard for her commitment to advocating for children’s rights; and 2020-21 Philadelphia Youth Poet Laureate Cydney Brown for her work to inspire children and families alike to speak their truth and fight for change.
For over 40 years, Manzano inspired, educated and delighted children and families as "Maria" on Sesame Street. Named among the “25 Greatest Latino Role Models Ever” by Latina Magazine, Manzano broke ground as one of the first Hispanic characters on national television. Throughout her career, she has continued to contribute to enriching diversity on television, on the stage and in the educational realm. A first-generation Puerto Rican born on the mainland, Manzano’s tale is one of perseverance and courage as she overcame countless obstacles to become one of the most influential Latinas in television.
After 44 years, she decided to retire from Sesame Street and author books. Her book titles include The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano; a memoir, Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx (Scholastic); and A World Together (National Geographic), which promotes unity by celebrating cultural and generational diversity. She's also penned three picture books with Simon and Schuster. Her latest book—Coming Up Cuban: Rising Past Castro’s Shadow—was released in August.
Manzano has also created and developed with Fred Rogers Productions an animated children's program for PBS. Alma's Way premiered in Oct 2021.