Ramona Altagracia Torres received a $1,000 scholarship from the ARJ Civic Association to continue her education at Essex County College.
Born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Altagracia-Torres graduated in 1986 from the Universidad Centeral de Este with a degree in civil engineering. She worked as an account assistant in the Instituto de Estabilizacion de Precious (INESPRE) and as a civil engineer trainee in the Secretaria De Estato De Obras Publicas Y Comunicaciones (SEOPC).
She came to the United States in 1990 with her husband, Pedro Barcelo, a civil engineer. She has three children, Pedro Manuel, Susan and Elizabeth.
Altagracia Torres was one of the original founders of the Essex County Domincan Parade and has been the secretary of culture and art for all but two years since it was founded. She also founded the non-profit organization Latinas Unidas en Norte America (L.U.N.A) and serves as its executive director.