Adelfa Callejo honored by the Hispanic 100

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by GLORIA CAMPOS

WFAA

Posted on September 14, 2011 at 6:36 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 14 at 6:40 PM

DALLAS - She has a name most people recognize, Adelfa Callejo.

She is an attorney, community activist and one of the most-respected Hispanic leaders in the Southwest.

Callejo has won many accolades in her lifetime and on Wednesday she will be honored by a group of influential Latinas, who call themselves the Hispanic 100.

"I think there have been a lot of improvements, a lot of changes, but we still have a long way to go," said Callejo.

At 88 years old, Callejo has seen a lot in her lifetime.

She was the first Hispanic female to graduate from Southern Methodist University Law School. She has been a leader in the community for years.

Callejo fought for rights of Hispanics, leading many rallies in hopes of reforming immigration laws. She is still fighting -- to get low performing schools in Dallas up to par.

"It should be our moral obligation to do something helping the principals of those schools change the schools from low-performing to exemplary, and it can be done," Callejo said. "We have the resources and the leadership; it's a question of doing it."

Callejo tackled many obstacles in her lifetime, including a recent battle against colon and breast cancer. She is winning that fight.

"I'm cancer free, and that's due to a lot of prayers from all over, Honduras," she said. "It was a very humbling experience to know so many people cared. I am very blessed being loved by so many people, so it is a very happy day for me today."

The National Football League will honor Callejo Monday night at the Cowboys home opener with a National Hispanic Leadership award.

E-mail gcampos@wfaa.com

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