(Nick Wass/Associated Press)

“These exceptional individuals, with their work in sports and community development, in education and financial inclusion, inspire others by their example,” Roberta Jacobson, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, said in the statement. “In a region with such profound human links between our societies, ideas and inspiration spread quickly to the benefit of people all over the Americas and the Caribbean.”

Vasquez, a 2010 Maryland graduate, has operated youth sports camps in his native Venezuela and has partnered with the U.S. State Department’s Sports Envoy program “to help foster improved relations” between the United States and Venezuela, the statement said.

Friday’s ceremony starts at 10:30 a.m. and will be streamed online at www.whitehouse.gov/live.