The Women and Men In The Arena


Regrettably for generations the narrative around the Latino community has strategically been a negative one, and most recently it has taken an even darker tone. However, the Internet and the various platforms that have emerged in the last decade have now allowed a more even playing field. We now have the opportunity to be part of the narrative, in fact, we can now write our own narrative.  We now write a narrative that is based on facts, on our own experiences, our very real experience. Furthermore, documenting these experiences allows us to capture the way we contribute and add value to society and in doing so we educate ourselves and the mainstream about who we are, what we do and how we do it.


In our latest video project, The Women and Men In The Arena, we’ve taken Roosevelt’s epic passage from his 1910 speech, Citizenship In A Republic, and have remixed it to pay tribute to some of the men and women who have devoted themselves to strive valiantly towards worthy causes. To those women and men in the arena, who despite your early challenges were able to succeed, we applaud you for your perseverance, tenacity, vision, and aspiration to achieve more than was ever expected. We thank you for having the audacity to envision a different reality, a better reality. We applaud you for daring greatly.

Because of the vision, commitment, leadership and faith in our community by these men and women, our society benefits from organizations like the National Council of La Raza, the Latino Community Foundation, Hispanics in Philanthropy, the Castellano Family Foundation, the Mexican Heritage Corporation, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, Sacred Heart Nativity Schools, the Small Business Administration, the Avalos Foundation, Conexion, Latino Start-up Alliance, Hispanic in IT Executive Council and LISTAS to name a few.

It is with great pleasure that we release this video as we approach May 1st’s “Day Without An Immigrant” and it is our hope that as you choose to participate in these marches that you are fueled with more pride about who you are, what you stand for, and what you represent.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

We look forward to producing more videos that will feature more of the countless leaders from our community who strive valiantly, stay tuned.



Do you know how to Rock Your LinkedIn Profile?



With over 400 million members and 2 new members joining every second, LinkedIn is the largest professional network and has become one of the top recruiting sources for employers. At the recent sold out San Jose State University Latino Alumni Network (SJSU LAN) LinkedIn Networking Event – “Rock Your Profile” attendees were able to learn how to make their profile stand out from other candidates straight from the source.

Teresa Leija, Associate Program Manager, presented a step-by-step approach to build and expand your networks with your LinkedIn profile. During the presentation, she stressed the importance of how using every feature will increase the views to your profile.

  • Adding a professional photo increases profile views by 14x
  • Including a summary increases profile views by 10x
  • Including work experience increases profile views by 12x
  • Adding volunteer experience and causes increases profile views by 6x


You get the picture- the more you use LinkedIn’s profile features the more views to your profile. It is so important that you don’t leave anything blank or empty.

Here are a few more ways to really ROCK your profile:

  • Spend some time really crafting your headline. It should explain what you do, show your passion and value. Spend just as much time, if not more, creating a compelling summary that focuses on your career accomplishments and aspirations. The summary should be less than 740 words and include keywords not buzzwords!
  • Make your profile dynamic and visually appealing with presentations, photos and videos that tell your professional story. If you don’t have any media to share, Teresa suggested adding a general presentation about your company and utilizing SlideShare to get ideas for presentation decks and infographics.
  • Add skills that are a mix of high-level and niche skills and try obtaining endorsements for those skills.
  • Complete the volunteer experience section of your profile. Teresa stated that 41% of hiring managers see volunteer work just as valuable as professional experience.
  • Be active and engaged on LinkedIn
    • Join at least 5 groups in your industry
    • Read Pulse to build your knowledge
    • Follow LinkedIn influencers that resonate with you such as Arianna Huffington, Richard Branson, and Gwen Stefani to name a few
    • Share links, articles and quotes at least twice a week. Try adding a question in your comment to spark conversation and reaction.
  • Take advantage of the LinkedIn publishing tool to post your own articles. Kathy Goss, Diversity Recruiting Lead, noted that your posts are a way to deeply explore topics that matter to you and an opportunity for potential employers and recruiters to know more about you.
  • Increase your skillset with an invaluable online learning platform to learn business, technology, software, and creative skills through videos.


On top of the networking and profile tips, another great part of this event was that the attendees had a glimpse of the LinkedIn company culture by being onsite and listening to the panelists from the internal employee resource group HOLA (Hispanics of LinkedIn Alliance) moderated by Sean Cevera, Diversity & Recruiting Champion. The panelists included Matthew Mendiola, Talent Solutions Support Specialist, Nicole Prairie, Customer Success Manager, and Andrew Trevino, Recruiter. They shared their unique experiences which in turn led to their current positions at LinkedIn. For example, Nicole discussed leveraging her Portuguese language skills as she navigated her career path including working abroad in Germany. Andrew talked about how he transferred his recruiting efforts at the UC Berkeley campus for a recruiter position at LinkedIn. Matthew shared the importance of being a part of the conversations about corporate culture and making connections in your career.

Your LinkedIn profile is not only a way for potential employers and recruiters to find you but also a great way to be known for what you do and strengthen your reputation. Be sure to take advantage of all the LinkedIn tools and tips in this article to ROCK your profile!

If you are interested in learning more about upcoming SJSU Latino Alumni Network’s events be sure to follow SJSU LAN on Facebook, sign up for their eNewsletter or become a member.

Technovate brings High Tech to Alpha Public School in East San Jose


Only 4% of the tech workforce in companies such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple are Hispanics, according to a report published by the Wall Street Journal. Hispanics make up 27% of the population in Silicon Valley but are severely underrepresented in the tech industry.


Diversity in tech is not a talent pipeline issue. Several studies show that there are more Black and Hispanic computer science and computer-engineering students graduating from college than are working in the tech sector. Tech companies seem determined to address this contentious issue, but much more work and commitment is required to not only look at internal recruiting practices, but also culture in these companies. A very crucial first step is for tech companies to invest and engage with the communities around them. We at Silicon Valley Talent Partnership create opportunities for companies in the valley to do just that. Technovate, held on April 9th, 2016, at Alpha Public School in East San Jose, was an attempt to build that bridge between Silicon Valley and the communities it exists in.

Technovate San Jose

At Alpha, where the demographic leans 88% Hispanic, students learn to code, build robots, and delve deep in computer science. John Glover, the founder and CEO of Alpha Public Schools in East San Jose, is all too familiar with the lack of diversity in tech and his vision with Technovate is to connect his students with Silicon Valley’s innovation community early on.


Technovate brought employees from Cisco, SAP, Google, Facebook, SanDisk, Oracle, Samsung, Microsoft, PayPal, Square and others to Alpha Public School in East San Jose. It was a full day event with speakers, demos, workshops and a speed mentoring session, which allowed middle school students and families to interact with individuals currently working in tech.


Despite the rain, more than 400 students and families assembled at Alpha School early on a Saturday morning. Students experienced virtual reality with Google Cardboard led by Gabe Alatorre and Oscar Cullen, and Shawnee Baughman from Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab. Microsoft’s Technology and Civic Engagement Fellow, Andrew Hernandez, taught students how to code with Minecraft. SAP’s Vice President of Portfolio and Strategy, Dean Sivara, introduced the concept of Design Thinking to the students— who before Dean’s presentation thought SAP was just a venue for hockey and concerts. LinkedIn’s Oscar Garcia, Andrea Carlos, and Zach Roberts all took turns showcasing students various LinkedIn tools to navigate through college and career. We were very fortunate to have Gloria Kimbwala, a campus program specialist at Square, to lead workshops on career in tech and looking for scholarships for college. As a woman engineer of color in tech industry, Gloria understands the lack of diversity first hand. She is determined to be a force of change, to move that needle, to shatter ceilings. Parents found her advice invaluable and left motivated to stay involved in their children’s lives.


A panel discussion on career in tech, featured Ricardo Benavidez from Google, Jessica Ruvalcaba from Samsung, Jorge A. Barrera from Cisco, Gloria Kimbwala from Square and Joseph Phan, Developer Support Engineer, Facebook. A parent in the audience felt that, “the speakers were very motivating and authentic in sharing their stories & experiences.” Speaking in both English and Spanish, panelists shared their personal stories of humble beginnings and their experience working in the tech sector.


The event concluded with an hour-long speed mentoring session where 27 mentors from various tech companies made themselves available to students and their families. Feedback from both the mentors and the mentees were enormously positive. Our takeaway from this event is that there is a massive need for engagements such as Technovate— and our communities are strengthened as of result of these activities. We invite tech companies to invest time in the Silicon Valley communities and actively participate in developing the next generation of talent pool, which is as diverse as the consumers.


For inquiries, interest and/or inspiration, please email us at


Srijana Angdembey, SVTP Engagement Manager

You can see photo album of this  event here ==>


About Silicon Valley Talent Partnership:

Silicon Valley Talent Partnership (SVTP) creates, sources, and manages innovative and meaningful partnerships between private-sector volunteers and civic agencies, capitalizing on the unique opportunity to restore public sector’s capacity to innovate, enhance service delivery, and ultimately improve the quality of life of residents and communities across Silicon Valley.

We must invest the same creative muscle and resources we put toward our products into neighborhoods. We must ask how to fulfill the very real needs of communities in ways that are relevant to our business, take advantage of our strengths while being cost-effective and, yes, potentially profitable.


About Alpha Public Schools:

Alpha Public Schools is a public charter school network serving grades 5-10 (eventually 5-12) that prepares low-income communities with the knowledge, skills, and character traits they will need to succeed in college and career. By focusing on building collaborative relationships, empowering teachers, and integrating technology with teaching, Alpha Public Schools aims to personalize student learning for each student to ensure that they have the skills ready for future success.

Alpha Schools serves 913 students in 3 schools where 88% of students are Hispanic and 8% are Vietnamese in the East Side of San Jose. 95% of students are on free or reduced lunch and 50% of the students are English language learners.


A Peak into Inspire Higher Tour Spring 2015

Here’s a peak at Silicon Valley Latino’s Inspire Higher Tour. So far we’ve Inspired and Impacted hundreds of students!

Silicon Valley Latino would like to thank the Inspire Higher Tour panelists for sharing their journeys in an authentic and inspiring manner. Guillermo Diaz Jr, Laura I. Gómez, Julissa Ramirez Lebron, Ivan Reyes, Tony Quintero, Ileana Rivera, Pepe Gomez, Nancy Rosales, Gabriel F. Lomeli Jr., Veronica Cedillos, Rich Garcia, Jessica Ruvalcaba, Salvador Xava Arciniega, Diana Albarran Chicas, Esmeralda Barriga Gonzalez, Lemuel Lebron.

We are excited to feature other amazing Latinos at our next tour stop is scheduled at Milpitas High School on April 24th.

A special thanks to our sponsors as this initiative would not be possible without your partnership and support!

Champion Sponsor: Cisco
Advocate Sponsors: Microsoft & Perezidential Homes
Amigo Sponsors: Kaiser Permanente & Oracle

Local Laureates Assemble in Support of August Boeger Career Day


“Now, on the road to freedom, I was pausing for a moment near Temuco and could hear the voice of the water that had taught me…” Pablo Neruda

Nestled at the base of the East Foothills of San Jose, in the Mount Pleasant Elementary School District, resides August Boeger Middle School. On Thursday, April 2nd, there was an event that drew together a cosmopolitan group of dignitaries who served as diplomats of Silicon Valley success, presenting to the group of more than 600 students in attendance.

photo 1The event would have pleased even Neruda himself, as professionals and university laureates mingled with the students, and shared their diverse backgrounds and career aspirations undaunted. Speakers presented in break out rooms of approximately 30 students. Among the notable professionals were graduates of Harvard, Santa Clara, and San Jose State University. In addition, the fair featured dignitaries from Google, IBM, Dreamworks, the Peace Corps, as well as, Alex Ontiveros of Silicon Valley Latino.

August Boeger’s Student Advisor, Mr. Donati, stated, “We want to provide our students with a glimpse into their perspective futures, allowing them direct access to the many possibilities and opportunities that exist for them, here, in the Silicon Valley, from the professionals who have done it.”

August Boeger Middle School serves a diverse student population that is approximately 75% Latino, and offers a rigorous curriculum embedded in 21st century learning skills.  With a talented and collaborative staff, they combine ability and passion to engage all students in learning that is designed to make students college and career ready. Educators guide students through PBLs, or Project Based Learning Units. These PBL’s allow students to actively learn about a subject through the experience of problem solving. Students develop skills in communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. Boeger also boasts an AVID program that is well respected, and has connections to Stanford University, University of California at Berkeley, and San Jose State University. AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is a global program dedicated to closing the achievement gap by preparing all students for college and other postsecondary opportunities.

As Neruda so eloquently stated, “It was passed from one bird to another…” so too, was this day for the dedicated students, professionals, and community of August Boeger Middle School.

For more information on August Boeger Middle School, please check out their website at:


Conexion – High School Career Fair @ LCPA


Cisco’s Conexion spearheads another successful career fair at the Latino College Preparatory Academy in San Jose, CA.

On Friday March 13th over 100 high school students and professionals gathered as Conexion and the Latino College Preparatory Academy (LCPA) produced another successful career fair. The day started with a warm welcome by Conexion San Jose Chapter Director of Talent Pipeline Jessica Ruvalcaba (Americas Channel Marketing Manager at Cisco).

She then introduced Jose Lazares Jr., Sr. Director of Business Development Application Integration Solutions Group at Cisco. Mr. Lazares delivered an open, honest and passionate keynote where he talked about his non-traditional route to corporate success in the tech arena. His authentic messages of determination and perseverance truly kept the audience of high school juniors and seniors engaged. It was impressive to hear his narrative of how he consistently overcame obstacles through his journey and it was also refreshing to see how well the students responded to his candid candor. Silicon Valley Latino was able to conduct a brief interview with Jose at the conclusion of his remarks, we will be bring one that to our audiences soon.

After the keynote, the students were broken-up into a couple of different groups where they either participated in a mock interview or career group discussion. Conexion and Silicon Valley Latino sent out invitations to several groups in an effort to engage them to participate in this special event.

We were delighted to see that many Silicon Valley Latino “Cultura Ambassadors” conduct the mock interviews and career group discussions. This empowerment event certainly resonates with Silicon Valley Latino’s own mission and that is why we decided to roll up our sleeves and assist Conexion and the LCPA in the production of this worthy cause. We would also like to thank many of the collaborators who made this special day possible starting with the planning committee and Cisco’ Conexion, Jessica Ruvalcaba ( Conexion San Jose Chapter co-lead), Esmeralda Barriga Gonzalez (Conexion San Jose Chapter co-lead), Raul Lomeli (LCPA Director), Saira Canales (LCPA Head Counselor), Jorge Calixto (Cisco) , Jessica Graham (Cisco), Paula Garcia (Cisco) and Alex Ontiveros (Silicon Valley Latino) as well as Keynote Speaker Jose Lazares Jr. and the event video production crew Robert Alvarez and Samantha Franco of the Luis Valdez Leadership Academy (LVLA).
Silicon Valley Latino was also proud support as the event’s media sponsor.


SVL’s Inaugural Inspire Higher Tour 2015


Silicon Valley Latino takes a proactive approach to engaging, empowering and inspiring Latino high school students while also addressing the lack of diversity in tech issue.

As is stated in the company’s vision statement, Silicon Valley Latino is committed to engaging, educating and inspiring the new generation of Latino heroes. With this commitment in mind, Silicon Valley Latino decided to create an initiative where Latino professionals from the STEAM fields would engage and ultimately inspire Latino high schools through a newly created program, the “Inspire Higher Tour.” The “Inspire Higher Tour” is a high touch/high impact component within the Inspire Higher Initiative and it’s comprised of a touring and rotating panel of Latino professionals visiting numerous schools where the student body is predominantly Latino and/or students of color.

10835157_902604943105874_7980071187313040070_oThroughout the tour these STEAM Latino professionals will be sharing their stories via various moderated panel discussions within high school campus settings, creating a direct dialogue and impact with students. The end goal is to inspire Latino youth throughout Silicon Valley/San Francisco Bay Area to engage and prepare for careers in STEAM while also helping fill the pipeline for the future Latino workforce. Silicon Valley Latino is optimistic that this initiative will eventually aid in minimizing the well publicized diversity gap in the tech sector.

Alex Ontiveros, Founder & CEO of Silicon Valley Latino was impressed with the newly launched Luis Valdez Leadership Academy (LVLA). Specifically, Ontiveros appreciated LVLA’s committed to providing a rigorous academic program designed to instill a lifelong passion for learning and its desire to equip students with the skills for social and academic success at four-year colleges and universities as well as local community colleges. Alex was also impressed with the school’s emphasis on visual and performing arts, digital media and its culturally sustaining pedagogy. LVLA’s goal is to graduate empowered young adults who are poised, confident, and articulate leaders. Through a focus on the Spanish language, for both native speakers and learners, LVLA students will use their education, bi-literacy and life experiences to create positive change in their lives, their families and within their communities. Alex was truly impressed with this comprehensive approach to education and contacted the school’s ambitious and confident director, Jeff Camarillo, about hosting the inaugural Inspire Higher panel discussion.

SVL Inspire Higher Tour 2015

On January 23rd, the inaugural Inspire Higher panel was indeed hosted by the LVLA and its inaugural freshmen class. Silicon Valley Latino knew that this tour needed to get off to a great start, so it carefully selected a group of high hitting and high impact panelist. This inaugural panel included the following STEAM Rock Stars, Guillermo Diaz Jr., Sr. VP of IT at Cisco, Laura I. Gomez, tech entrepreneur and founder of Atipica, Ivan Reyes, Director of Digital Media & Culture at MACLA and Julissa Ramirez Lebron, Industrial Engineer and rising star at Intel Corporation. The panelists were on point with their authenticity and messages of perseverance, focus and commitment while the audience was an enthusiastic and eager interactive group of 97 students from LVLA ‘s debut freshmen class. The panelists hit a homerun as they were engaging and inspiring and the students were attentive and eager to speak to the panelist at the conclusion of the moderated Q&A.

“Silicon Valley Latino’s Inspire Higher tour is an empowering and culturally resonating experience for the youth of East San Jose!  Many of my students were deeply moved by the stories of the four panelists.  For my freshman, the panelists’ stories further reinforced that through education all dreams are attainable!  Thank you Silicon Valley Latino for making LVLA your first stop on this much needed and important tour.” Jeff Camarillo.

“Sharing a panel amongst champions who have proven true leadership is always a pleasure, but seeing some youth eager and determined to be in our position is beyond exciting.” Ivan Reyes

I believe in you Silicon Valley Latino, I believe in our youth, I believe in our community and I believe in the Inspire Higher Tour” Guillermo Diaz Jr.

SVL Inspire Higher Tour 2015

At the end of the day, the Inspire Higher Tour was a huge success. Clearly from a “supply and demand” perspective, the demand is in place. We have tapped into a community of students that are eager to be inspired, fueled by a strong supply of highly accomplished and inspiring Latino professionals. SVL, LVLA and the panelists were very pleased with the tour’s first stop and Silicon Valley Latino is eager to conduct several more in Silicon Valley this Spring Semester. Stay tuned for more updates as the Inspire Higher Tour makes its rounds!


If you are interested in hosting an Inspire Higher Tour event at your school please reach out to us.





Silicon Valley Latino launches Inspire Higher Tour 2015


We are excited to announce that tomorrow (Jan. 23rd), Silicon Valley Latino launches its Inspire Higher Tour at the Luis Valdez Leadership Academy in San Jose!

Thank you Cisco for your sponsorship as well as for your continued support and thank you Luis Valdez Leadership Academy for being the first stop on our tour!

10835157_902604943105874_7980071187313040070_o 10855074_902604893105879_790013727223311836_o









About Luis Valdez Leadership Academy:

Mission and Vision
Luis Valdez Leadership Academy (LVLA) is committed to providing a rigorous academic program designed to instill a lifelong passion for learning and to equip students with the skills for social and academic success at four year colleges, universities and local community colleges. Through an emphasis on visual and performing arts, digital media and culturally sustaining pedagogy, LVLA will graduate empowered young adults who are poised, confident, and articulate leaders. Through a focus on the Spanish language, for both native speakers and learners, LVLA students will use their education, bi-literacy and life experiences to create positive change in their own lives, families and within their communities. Through leadership, excellence, responsibility and resilience, our graduates will make a positive impact on the East San Jose community and beyond.

Luis Valdez Leadership Academy (LVLA) se compromete a proporcionar un programa académico riguroso diseñado para inculcar una pasión de por vida para el aprendizaje y para equipar a los estudiantes con las habilidades para el éxito social y académico en las universidades y colegios de cuatro años y los colegios comunitarios locales. A través de un énfasis en las artes visuales y escénicas, medios digitales y la pedagogía culturalmente sostenible, LVLA graduará a jóvenes empoderados que son líderes listos, confiados y bien expresados. A través de un enfoque en el idioma español, tanto para hablantes nativos y aprendices, los estudiantes de LVLA usarán su educación, bi-alfabetización y experiencias de vida para crear un cambio positivo en sus vidas propias, de sus familias, y de sus comunidades. A través del liderazgo, la excelencia, la responsabilidad y la capacidad de recuperación, nuestros egresados ​​tendrán un impacto positivo en la comunidad del Este de San José y más allá.


About Silicon Valley Latino:

Silicon Valley Latino is the premiere media company in the Silicon Valley/San Francisco Bay Area that educates, inspires and engages the Latino community through its media platforms and events by showcasing the Latino and Latina experience.
Silicon Valley Latino is committed to CELEBRATE the stories of successful Latinas and Latinos, to CHALLENGE perceptions and INSPIRE new generations of Latino heroes.

Five ways to make college admissions less stressful and achieve better outcomes


Within my experience in college admissions, I have observed parents who use different approaches with their children when applying to college. These range from hijacking the process, to opposing their child’s decision to apply to some or even any colleges, to making it more difficult due to cultural beliefs, to being incredibly joyful and supportive about the entire journey. I promise you that the best approach is almost always for the parents to become the head cheerleaders and let the student manage and own the process.

Here are my top five tips:


  • We live in the land of opportunity, right? So when parents feel that their child can only follow one admission pathway to graduate from selective state and national universities, that’s a mistake. Students can absolutely start at a community college and transfer to a 4-year institution; they can take a gap year – an extra year between the end of high school and the start of college, an option that is becoming increasingly popular; or students can attend a less famous school because that is the place that is the best fit for them. Don’t get wrapped up in what the rest of your community is doing. This will only make you a prisoner of pressure and rumor. Rather talk with your child and find out what they need to plan the most enjoyable and effective route to college.



Start Grande! When you are starting the admissions process, research and visit colleges without prejudging whether the school is either a good brand name or a decent fit. You can start with a big list, but the easiest and least expensive opportunity is to visit colleges in our Bay Area backyard; between San Jose State, UC Berkeley, Santa Clara, Notre Dame de Namur, and USF, you’ll get a terrific sense of the array of possibilities that lie before you. Once you have visited our local schools, you can start exploring out of state colleges (which in many cases could lead to your child qualifying for more financial aid). You can take advantage of any    family trips (with or without your child) to visit new colleges. A new city provides you with exploration opportunities. Once the research and the visits are over, your child can make a list of all of the elements that she is seeking in her top choice college and a more comprehensive search can begin. Your goal is to have a college list in place by the end of junior year.


  • ¡Si se puede! Instead of focusing on the admit rate of any particular university, think of the possibilities offered by any college and share that positive attitude with your child! If he sees that you strongly believe in his abilities, then his application will be powerful and confident. When she notices that her parents have enormous faith in her eventual outcome, she’ll put together the best possible list and be excited about any of the schools who admit her. This is how you get great results with maximum joy.


  • ¡Cálmate! During the application process, try not to get overwhelmed. If it’s all feeling too crazy, make an appointment with your high school counselor and explore a plan to better manage the application process. Remember, your high school counselor is your best ally and she can offer a wealth of information. She may also have information about when your college representatives will be visiting your high school. This can be a great way for your child to learn more.


¡Pachanga time! Any moment that your child has shown interest in particular school or has researched something related to the admission process, celebrate the small milestone. Every acknowledged accomplishment will instill confidence in the entire family. I have seen this truth thousands of times, and since we Latinos do like our pachangas, you can plan the appropriate celebration on, or before May 1st – the national enrollment deadline for incoming freshmen.



Now that you are prepared to create your child’s personalized college pathway, remember to keep a positive attitude. Don’t get discouraged and trust that your child will find the best college fit.

Share with the community your experiences on the college admissions process.


For more info contact Marisela Gomez at



Voto Latino Power Summit Engages Millennials in San Jose

Last weekend downtown San Jose had a little bit more Hollywood star power than usual with the arrival of the Voto Latino Power Summit. College students, educators, civic leaders, and business professionals attended the two-day event to hear distinguished panelists discuss the power of the Latino vote.

Co-founded by actor and activist Rosario Dawson and led by Maria Teresa Kumar, Voto Latino is a non-partisan organization from D.C. that aims to inspire English-speaking Latinos to become invested in the political process. Over the last ten years, the organization has creatively used the power of the media, Latino celebrities, mobile technology, and social media to register nearly a quarter-million voters. Now, Voto Latino has the support of entities such as PG & E, Southwest Airlines, The MacArthur Foundation, The Kapor Center for Social Impact, and Silicon Valley Community Foundation and of course Silicon Valley Latino.
Rosario Dawson-Voto Latino Power Summit San Jose

“It’s nice to be home,” said Kumar, a native of Sonoma County who is Voto Latino’s CEO and President. According to Kumar, it was important to include San Jose in the tour not only because the city is the hub of new technology, but also the home to a large Latino community. It was through her friendship with Assemblymember Nora Campos that Kumar realized bringing the Summit to San Jose would be “an opportunity for incredible change.”

Actor and Voto Latino Artist Coalition co-chair Wilmer Valderrama agreed by stating, “In order to empower this community, in order to empower our culture, we have to go where they live.” Valderrama added, “I feel like that’s the biggest issue that local government has is that they don’t bring the conversation where people are.”

What kind of conversation did the Voto Latino Power Summit bring to San Jose? The workshops and panels held at the San Jose State University campus tackled different topics—from how to build your own website to the dos and don’ts of networking. However, the main conversation that surfaced from all these different discussions was clear: Latino Millennials have the potential to enact change in this country and to be more than just sought-after consumers.

Indeed, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth, the U.S. Latino purchasing power is approaching $1.5 trillion this year. In 2010 it was $1 trillion. Companies and marketers are noticing this trend.

During a panel discussion, Dawson encouraged the Millennials in the audience to take that leap from being consumers to being creators. “What would you like to see yourself doing?” she asked them. “You’re not just consumers—you are innovators.”

A dynamic speaker, Dawson explained to the audience, “The next generation is going to be reading about you in our history books—the ones who created that thing, that promoted that thing, that changed the face of the world.”

When it comes to Silicon Valley’s tech industry, the sobering reality is that only seven percent of tech workers are African American or Latino (see Working Partnership USA report). This means that only a small percentage of underrepresented minorities are in the position to make decisions about new technology. It also means only a few Latinos are working in an industry where the average annual salary is $70k.

One way for Latino Millennials to change those statistics and to generally become more empowered is through the political process, said Assemblymember Nora Campos. “We need to encourage ourselves and our family members and others that we need to start seeing civic engagement as a must, not an option,” stated Campos.

Another way to enact change is through technology, which Latinos are quite comfortable using. According to Kumar, Latinos went to their mobile devices in 2006 to help bring together 2 million people to march peacefully for comprehensive immigration reform. They were “the first people in the world to organize using technology in our streets,” she said.

Voto Latino Power Summit San JoseState Senator Alex Padilla, who was on the same panel, concurred: “Latinos are diverse, we’re young, we’re old, we’re in the East Coast and West Coast. Our parents may not have email but we’re on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.”

And sometimes a young person can become empowered just by doing something as simple as networking. Indeed, one of the biggest aims of the Voto Latino Power Summit was to create opportunities for participants to share their stories, exchange information, and network with each other.

Sarahi Espinosa, a student from Cañada College in Redwood City, appreciated the panel on how to “schmooze.” Silicon Valley Latino founder, Alex Ontiveros, was delighted to have participated in that panel as he and the other panelists shared numerous insights on effective networking which include the use of social media platforms. Sarahi will start incorporating these tips soon as she plans to become a leader in local politics. She attended Voto Latino because she wanted to “network with the right people.”

“A lot of the times I feel that we take a super long way to try to get somewhere when we just could have gone straight,” said Espinosa before she left for the next panel.

While the Voto Latino Power Summit tour reached its conclusion in San Jose, it is clear that Kumar and her team will continue to engage and inspire the next generation of Latinos for years to come.