News: Border Patrol Agent receives Community Service Award
Story by Sgt. Barry St. Clair
EL PASO, Texas - Community requires a commitment to the good of others and service securing better opportunity. The commitment and service of one member of El Paso is a story of passion, pride and effort.
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol agent has won the Community Service Award for 2012, at the CBP El Paso station annual award ceremony, March 1, 2013, for community involvement with nonprofit Dance for Dreams Foundation. DfDF seeks to benefit youth here, and create a sense of community through the art of dance.
CBP agent Deliris Montanez of Caguas, Puerto Rico, serves the community as founder of DfDF, in patrolling the borderland to stem the threat of terrorism and assist in legal trade, and, as a Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army Reserves, she serves the nation in the global war on terror. Balancing a life of service in these professional and personal areas requires energy and organization.
“I feel honored to receive the Community Service Award from CBP,” said Montanez. “I wasn’t expecting it.”
Agent Montanez is an outgoing, dedicated and determined leader who is always trying to motivate her peers and supervisors to do something good for others, stated Patrol Agent In Charge of the U.S. Border Patrol El Paso Station Exiquio Saldivar at El Paso station.
“We will now recognize the winner of the Community Service award,” said U.S. Border Patrol Deputy Division Chief Michael E. Przybyl at the CBP annual employee awards ceremony held March 1.
The Community Service award submitted by Montanez’s supervisor CBP Agent Fox Grayson reads in part; “During 2012, this CBP agent established a nonprofit organization called Dance for Dreams. She formed the organization to foster, support and develop El Paso community inter-athletes between the ages of 10 and 17 in local, national and international organized sporting events and competitions. Her vision of the DfD program is to utilize athletics as a way to improve the youth in our community mentally, physically and emotionally. The program is designed to assist our local youth achieve their dreams …”
“With the border issues here in El Paso, we need something in the Sun City to bring us together as a community,” said Montanez.
Montanez has placed several times in the Natural Physic Committee’s figure competitions for bodybuilding. She began the DfDF in March 2012 to involve the community in Latin style dinner parties to fund scholarships for El Paso youth. The scholarships require that the youth be residents of El Paso, age 10 to 17, and competing in any recognized, organized sport.
Starting an organization requires a plan since there is a mountain of paperwork to file, applications to make, and after waiting patiently, re-filing again. Applications to the Federal Government, the state, and city licenses; and then the never ending accounting paperwork to document what monies come in, and where it goes.
“One of the biggest challenges starting the organization is to get people involved on a committed membership level of support,” Montanez said. “Also, people are more likely to give to a catastrophe, than scholarships for youth.”
Montanez does most of the planning, organizing and hosting of the DfDF events to bring the community together in a fun-filled evening of formal dining and dancing to Latin bands. Her training as a logistician for the military assist her in facilitating events to provide theme parties for anyone looking to enjoy an evening of dance. An event on March 3 featured live bands, catered meals and Latin style dance themed for St. Patrick’s Day at the Hilton Garden Inn near the airport in El Paso.
Montanez also serves the country as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserves where she is a logistics officer ensuring that supplies are ordered and delivered where and when needed to U.S. soldiers on the global battlefield.
“It is an honor and privilege to serve in the Army Reserves,” Montanez said. “I have followed my dad: he was in the Army, and then became a police officer and then worked for the government. I started as a detention officer, and them became a deputy sheriff, a police officer, and finally a CBP agent. I have been in the Army Reserves for more than 20 years now.”
Montanez is scheduled to serve with United States Forces – Japan at Yokota Air Base to complete her monthly drills and annual training with the reserves all at one time.
Within the U.S. Border Patrol there is diversity of assignments and stations. El Paso station is a line station and most of the assignments involve watching and patrolling the border. Other places CBP has four-wheelers, bicycle beats and even horseback agents doing a variety of tasks. The border entry agent wears the blue uniform and provides protection at border crossings and facilitates legal trade. The agents in the green uniforms are responsible for those who attempt or gain access at points other than ports of entry. Each agent in CBP works for the Department of Homeland Security.
“I think the border patrol has an important mission. If we don’t stop them at the border, then where are we going to stop them?” asked Montanez.
To become a member, register for the next dinner-dance event, or contribute to the scholarship program, visit https://www.facebook.com/dancefordreamsfoundation?fref=ts