LOS ANGELES, CA ( MAY 22, 2009  ) - IndyCar driver Milka Duno has been acknowledged as a 2009 National Hispanic Woman of the Year by the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation at their 33rd annual National Hispanic Women’s Conference on May 22, 2009 at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, CA.

In a letter to Duno announcing her selection, Martin Castro, President and CEO, Mexican American Opportunity Foundation, stated "Professionally, you have reached exemplary achievements and are considered a positive role model for Hispanic women of all ages. As honoree, you will be recognized for the contributions you have made in the field of motorsports - both locally and internationally - and what it reflects in the community." 

The Mexican American Opportunity Foundation, MAOF,, is a non-profit, community-based organization that was established in 1963 in order to serve disadvantaged individuals and families in the Los Angeles area. MAOF is the largest Latino-oriented, family services organization in the United States, and has achieved this status by providing high quality social services and programs to those communities where the need is the greatest. For more than four decades, MAOF has provided critical programs and services for Hispanics in social and economic need and has been lauded as one of the nation’s top 25 Hispanic not-for-profit organizations over the past three consecutive years.  

Duno is the first and only Hispanic female driver in the Indy 500 and IndyCar Series and she competes with the Dreyer & Reinbold racing team in the #23 CITGO-sponsored car. In the 2008 IndyCar Series season finale at Chicagoland Speedway Duno became the first Latina in history to lead an IndyCar race. She also led the most race laps of any female driver during the 2008 season and was the only female driver to finish at the 2008 Indy 500.

Off the track, Duno is a certified Naval Engineer who holds four master's degrees, earning the last three simultaneously. Duno is also working through her "Milka Way" program to inspire youths to "Aim for the Stars' and achieve academic excellence. Duno appeared in the May, 2008 Warner bros. film "Speed Racer."



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