The American Veterans Ball (AVB) is PROUD to announce that Mr. Samuel Rodríguez Rios, Jr. will be the recipient of this year’s AVB PURPOSE Award for his patriotic and purposeful efforts in the approval of the Borinqueneers‎ Congressional Gold Medal Awarded to the entire Members of the 65th Infantry Regiment.

Samuel was born in the Bronx in New York City.  After the passing of his father, his mother moved the family to Mayagüez, Puerto Rico where Sam grew up and graduated from the Eugenio María de Hostos High School in 1982.  As a senior at Eugenio María de Hostos High School he was the Editor of the Yearbook Hostos 1982.  Three decades later he is still connected with his classmates as the social media expert and webmaster As a part time student he graduated with the Bachelor of Arts from the University of Maryland University College in 1994.

He served in the US Army for 10 years and he is a career United States Government servant with 36 years of service.  With several agencies as a Senior Management Program Analyst. Currently, Sam works at the United States Immigration Customs Enforcement (USICE).  Samuel is also passionate about live music, since 1998 he became Latin music promote on the internet and in the Washington and Baltimore metropolitan business market. Currently he collaborates with Maryland Live Casino in coordinating the Live Center Stage Latin Nights.

As a resident of Baltimore, he is an active community organizer in the Latino Community.  He is a columnist with Prensa Libre de Maryland, and serves on the Board of Directors with the community institution Education Based Latino Outreach 501 c3.  Samuel has been producing the entertainment program for the LatinoFest in Baltimore, which is one of the most popular Latino Festivals in the Mid-Atlantic region by a Latino organization and major fundraiser for EBLO.

On April 25th 2013 the legislation to honor the Borinqueneers with the Congressional Gold Medal was introduced at the House of Representatives Congressmen Bill Posey and Resident Commissioner Pedro R. Pierluisi. As result, all Maryland Legislators became co-sponsors.  He also activated his personal network of friends across the United States gather co-sponsors in many states.   Once H.R. 1726 became Public Law No.  113-120.[3] Resident Commission Pedro R. Pierluisi, Congressmen Bill Posey, Senator Richard Blumenthal, and Senator Marco Rubio assigned Sam as the Liaison in the United States to the U. S. Mint to collaborate to develop design sketches for the Congressional Gold Medal.  That phased started in August 5th, 2014 and the Borinqueneers Congressional Gold Medal (BCGM) designs were approved for minting by the Secretary of the Treasury on August 10th 2015.  On April 13th during the Congressional Gold Medal unveiling ceremony Sam was noted and recognized by Senator Marco Rubio for his leadership and efforts for the success of the Borinqueneers Congressional Gold Medal.  The BCGM obverse side won the 2017 International Design Award as designed by Joel Iskowits.

Since November 2014 Sam has been bringing volunteers together create a national organizations to manage and he organized the Borinqueneers Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony National Committee (BCGM CNC).  On August 31st Sam submitted a 501c3 application to the Internal Revenue Service to become a Non-Profit Organization.