Beacon of Light Awards
To honor and celebrate immigrant contributions in Santa Clara County, OIR organizes an annual event with Beacon of Light Awards presented to local immigrants and organizations.
In 2016 Robert Yabes was awarded Beacon of Light Awards for Innovation in Immigrant Programs and Services. Robert Yabes has worked tirelessly for the past 25 years to protect immigrant rights. He is well known for his ability to unite communities. Robert is cofounder of the South Bay Legal Immigration Services Network. He has also worked to educate the Filipino community about immigration remedies that became available to victims of the 2013 super typhoon Haiyan and advocated for granting a temporary protected status to this group. He has led the Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services team through a media campaign to educate people about new immigration benefits and warn the community against unscrupulous practitioners. In 2012, when the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was implemented, Robert spearheaded the Catholic Charities team efforts to reach out to people who qualified for the program. Robert’s awe-inspiring passion to help the marginalized lowincome members of our community has influenced many colleagues, clients, and volunteers. In 2013, he has lead the Catholic Charities team to successfully complete the Voter’s Registration and Education Project by doing presentations in Christian churches, mosques, and other places of worship. Robert has also travelled to high schools and to various senior centers encouraging the young and the young at heart to register to vote, educating them about the importance of becoming U.S. citizens, and exercising their right to vote.