Last week, we celebrated some of the best and brightest young people in the Dubuque area at our BizTimes.biz Rising Stars awards breakfast, and it was as inspiring as ever.

If you missed it, you can get the flavor of the event by watching the video profiles of the award winners at tinyurl.com/yyhh3r6u.

There’s one video in particular I want you to watch, and that’s the one about Sergio Perez, of Loras College.

I met Sergio at an event at Jubeck World Brewing a couple of years ago as part of the “I’m a Dubuquer” campaign. He impressed me then as he spoke thoughtfully and made connections easily.

It seemed natural that Loras College, his alma mater, had tapped him to become director of Intercultural Programs. He is a champion for inclusion and advocacy.

That’s why it is particularly disappointing that we encountered a problem at the Rising Stars event and could not play the video story about Sergio for the 200 people present — including his family who had traveled from Chicago.

Sergio accepted our gaffe graciously, as is his manner. But it was disheartening, and even after making apologies to Sergio and Loras officials, our mistake has bothered me all week.

While I can’t undo what happened, I can take this opportunity to tell you a bit about Sergio.

His goal in work and in life is to level the playing field for first-generation college students, for students who are black, Latino, undocumented, disabled or identify with the LGBTQIA+ community.

“I want to do my part in helping make spaces as inclusive as they can be,” he said. “I strive to make space for those in the margins. I want all to belong and have autonomy of their lives.”

Watch our video about Sergio (youtu.be/QXzLNUMmcbA) and join me in congratulating this inspiring young man and all our Rising Stars.

SURVIVOR STORIES

As we head into National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the TH Advertising Department will again publish a special section honoring survivors.

You’ll find it in your TH on Sunday, Sept. 29. Don’t miss it.

Though our newsroom didn’t oversee this product, I had an opportunity to read the submissions from survivors that we received.

Four area women told their stories, and let me tell you, they are compelling. Anyone who has been on the cancer journey or supported a loved one who has will appreciate reading how these women, in their own words, describe their experiences.

Thanks to those who shared their stories. Don’t miss them in Sunday’s TH.

TRY EATING LOCAL

All through September, there have been events and workshops aimed to celebrate local food and farms, sponsored by ISU Extension and Outreach in Dubuque County.

It was interesting and sometimes surprising to me just how much locally sourced food is available in Dubuque stores, markets and restaurants.

Activities continue with Eat Dubuque Local Restaurant Week going on now through Sunday. Visitors can stop by area restaurants and enjoy featured dishes made with locally sourced foods.

To see a list of participating restaurants and featured dishes, check the event website: tinyurl.com/yxdcfcyg.

Email Gilligan at amy.gilligan@thmedia.com.

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