SJCC & SVL College Declaration Day 2018

 

On June 30th, Silicon Valley Latino had the pleasure of partnering once again with San Jose City College to produce the most recent College Declaration Day celebrating the accomplishments of the latest cohort of Academic Honorees at San Jose City College Milpitas Extension. San Jose City College and SVL have produced a total of three Declaration Day events including a co-sponsored event earlier in the spring with The Hispanic Education Foundation. In total, our current count of Academic Honorees is 40, which includes this latest cohort.

The nine students in the latest cohort honored on June 30th ,as the in the previous cohorts, showed amazing dedication under challenging circumstances in high school and are headed to notable universities across the country.

Both San Jose City College and SVL are proud to acknowledge this fine group of Latino students. This year’s class consisted of Mayra Luna of Cristo Rey High School who will attend Cornell University, Marlene Quintanilla of Downtown College Prep will attend UCLA, Daisy Rodriguez of Cristo Rey High School will attend Princeton University, Emily Calderon of University Preparatory Academy will attend Cal Poly SLO, Kenneth Madrigal of University Preparatory Academy will attend U. of San Francisco, Diana Juarez-Montano of Ceiba Schools will attend University of Miami, Cheyenne Mungaray of University Preparatory Academy will attend Texas Christian University, Arnulfo Castaneda Montiel of ACE Charter High School will attend UCLA and Max Luna of Bellarmine Preparatory will attend Santa Clara University.

The achievements of these young adults and the importance of their acknowledgment cannot be overlooked or overstated. These students have shown amazing dedication and are starting the most amazing journey of their lives. We are delighted to also offer these Academic Honorees networking and mentoring opportunities as well as social media coaching via our collaborator Oscar Garcia founder of Aspira.

We invite you to acknowledge and share their achievements. Additionally, we will ask you to help us further this initiative by preparing to nominate students for our 2019 College Declaration Days.

As you know, the end of summer is here and these students are off to school to begin their collegiate careers. We look forward to tracking their success and sharing their journeys with you so please stay tuned for more.

 

Author: Adam Mendoza

Silicon Valley Latino

 

San Jose Jazz Summerfest 2018 wrap-up

 

It’s virtually impossible for one person to try and catch all the acts at Summerfest in San Jose, one of the nation’s most important live music events, featuring 100+ performances of the best in jazz, blues, R&B, funk, New Orleans and more, but we tried. Silicon Valley Latino was proud to be a media partner at this year’s event and Summerfest 2018 did not disappoint. Witnessing all the diversity in the audience for this music festival is so exhilarating. Watching fans of all ages and ethnicities practicing their salsa moves. The young and old moving to the unconventional swing of jazz. Music aficionados rubbing elbows with curious first time attendees, Summerfest had it all going on!

With 12 stages, plus other attractions approaching its 30th anniversary in 2019, Summer Fest is THE preeminent music festival in San Jose. In recent years, the Fest has become renowned for its top-flight lineup of breaking international and Latin artists, presented on stages throughout the event. The Jazz Beyond programming presents young jazz artists pushing the boundaries of the art form, many influenced by the hip-hop, R&B, neo-soul and electronic music. There’s something for everyone and, even with its awesome scale and breadth, the Fest has remained one of the most affordable events of its kind.
SummerFest as it’s now known was once known as the San Jose Jazz Festival. But the festival still promotes that spirit of celebrating the artists. Artist’s that push the boundaries of what is music of the spirit as we like to call it. Its platform is a celebration of music lovers and performers alike.

Friday Night on the main, ConFunkShun brought the crowd to its feet while I enjoyed some sultry vocals at The Hammer Theatre with torch singer Jane Monheit. The kick off night offers choices late into the evening with local venues staying open late. Some performers kicking it in at 11:00 pm.
Saturday is wall to wall music beginning at noon. Earlier that afternoon the Blues Stage was alive with the New Orleans vibe of Zydeco music with Andre Thierry. But that’s the thing; we missed what we heard to be an amazing performance by Sandy Cressman and Homenagen Brasileria over at Café Stritch at the same time. Sarah McKenzie gave a spirited performance soon at The Hammer Theatre.
But the afternoon rocked at the Salsa Stage as The Boogaloo Assassins stormed through a feverish set of dance music that set San Fernando St on fire. Back on the main stage Johnnie Gill was set to perform for the captive audience. We head back to the Blues Stage to take in the utter Cajun joy of The Soul Rebels. Later the mesmerizing Cuban drumming of Yissy and bandancha pack the intimate El Taurino Stage.

Day Three of Summerfest and honestly, I am exhausted. The notes are the starting to blur, the faces are starting to blend together, but the vibe is still exciting. Sunday’s audience, delirious yet still moving to the rhythms of the street. With the beautifully haunting almost mystic rhythm of Changüí Majedero, dancers appear floating down the boulevard. The cooler weather Sunday soothed the languid souls. The narrative of the lyric is not simple; the rhythms are complex and haunting.. A heartfelt spirit that transcends love, romance and dancing, it speaks to a deeper layer inside of us. That humble spirit, acceptance, and honesty.

Of course we could have visited the swing stage and gotten swing lessons, or spent more time in the British Airways Music Lounge, but like we said, this festival is nearly impossible to fully cover. Oh yeah, crossing over to the food court Sunday afternoon, the legend himself Herb Albert is on the main stage. We just have to stop, eating will have to wait.

The job Jesse Cutler and the SJZ crew do over this weekend is phenomenal. We had the pleasure of sitting down and talking to Betto Arcos who procured the Salsa stage this year. Wow, what performances. Always guaranteed to be an ecstatic annual celebration of diverse Latin styles, the Salsa Stage is one of San Jose Jazz Summer Fest’s musical and social pillars. For 2018, the stage’s bookings are in the incredible hands of beloved national radio personality, Betto Arcos. Whether it’s the traditional sounds of Changüi Majadero, the modern timba styling of Rumbankete or the Stage’s titular salsa courtesy of Orquesta Son Mayor, Arcos has San Jose Jazz Summer Fest patrons covered for the most anticipated epic Latin dance party of the year.

A radio journalist, DJ, educator and concert producer, the Los Angeles-based Arcos can be heard on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” PRI’s “The World,” and he’s hosted the influential “Global Village” program on Pacifica Radio’s KPFK for nearly two decades (1997- 2015). Arcos was recently a professor at Loyola Marymount University (teaching art, culture and broadcast journalism in 2016 and 2017) and is the host of the popular podcast, The Cosmic Barrio. His work as a scholar led to contributing to the anthology, The Tide Was Always High: The Music of Latin America in Los Angeles (University of California Press, 2017).

“None of the bands I’ve booked had performed at Summer Fest before, so it’ll was a first for them and Northern California fans of Latin music,” says Betto Arcos. “The common denominator here is dance music, but each of the artists are so different and very representative of what’s hot right now in L.A. We’re bringing these bands north to interweave with the amazing acts on the Bay Area salsa and Latin music scene.”

Bruce Labadie, Artistic and Festival Director, adds, “Betto and I met some years ago and I’ve always been impressed with his knowledge of Latin artists and expertise as a renowned radio host. He brings knowledge from the potent Southern California music scene and an intense curiosity about Northern California acts and tastes. His point of view will be invaluable as we continue to present as many artists from Spanish speaking countries into our programming as possible across all Fest stages.”

Foundational to the roots of Afro-Cuban styles of salsa and timba, changüí is an Eastern Cuban musical form that originated in the 1800s in the Guantanamo region. Led by Los Angeles native Gabriel Garcia, the foremost Changüí Majadero brings an urban – and urbane – 21st Century perspective to this traditional genre. Changüí Majadero has appeared on many of the world’s greatest stages including Lincoln Center, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and at Dodger Stadium.

Whereas Changüí Majedero performs vintage Cuban dance music from hundreds of years ago, Rumbankete presents an eclectic mix of modern dance music. Emerging in Cuba in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, timba was formed with the amalgamation of funk, jazz, improvisation, and musical styles such as rumba. The two primary singers/composers of Rumbankete grew up in Havana during the heyday of timba. Along with eight powerhouse musicians, Rumbankete’s 10-piece ensemble makes it impossible to stop dancing once the music starts.

The most revered Los Angeles-based salsa band, the 10-piece Orquesta Son Mayor have performed at prestigious venues such as the Hollywood Bowl and have shared concert billings with the likes of Celia Cruz, Tito Puente and Chucho Valdes. Led by Southern Californian dance institution Eddie Ortiz, Orquesta Son Mayor features Ortiz along with his three brothers who’ve consistently
headlined the biggest salsa events for more than two decades across Los Angeles, Las Vegas and the Bay Area.
Born in New York in the early 1960’s, boogaloo is the alchemy of Cuban rhythms and R&B. Boogaloo Assassins are a next generation phenom writing original music inspired by 60’s classics. After releasing their debut album, Old Love Dies Hard (2013) Boogaloo Assassins quickly garnered airplay from tastemakers such as KCRW 88.9 FM and DJ/producer/label head Giles Peterson. In 2016, they signed a licensing deal with the famed Fania Records salsa label.

All the ingredients to this year’s Summerfest left us all hungry for more. And with 2019 being the 30th anniversary of this great event, I’m sure the SJZ crew will find a way to take this to another level high above the stratosphere.

Author: Adam Mendoza

Silicon Valley Latino

San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2018

 

Silicon Valley’s premier annual music event, San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2018 returns for its 29th festival season from Friday, August 10 through Sunday, August 12 in and around Plaza de César Chavez Park in downtown San Jose, Calif.  A showcase for jazz, blues, funk, R&B, salsa, world and related genres, SJZ Summer Fest is nationally recognized as one of the biggest Latin festivals in the country. Always guaranteed to be an ecstatic annual celebration of diverse Latin styles, the Salsa Stage is one of San Jose Jazz Summer Fest’s musical and social pillars. For 2018, the stage’s bookings are in the incredible hands of beloved national radio personality, Betto Arcos. Whether it’s the traditional sounds of Changüi Majadero, the modern timba styling of Rumbankete or the Stage’s titular salsa courtesy of Orquesta Son Mayor, Arcos has San Jose Jazz Summer Fest patrons covered for the most anticipated epic Latin dance party of the year.

Rumbankete

 

A radio journalist, DJ, educator and concert producer, the Los Angeles-based Arcos can be heard on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” PRI’s “The World,” and he’s hosted the influential “Global Village” program on Pacifica Radio’s KPFK for nearly two decades (1997- 2015). Arcos was recently a professor at Loyola Marymount University (teaching art, culture and broadcast journalism in 2016 and 2017) and is the host of the popular podcast, The Cosmic Barrio. His work as a scholar led to contributing to the anthology, The Tide Was Always High: The Music of Latin America in Los Angeles (University of California Press, 2017).

 

“None of the bands I’ve booked have performed at Summer Fest before, so it’ll be a first for them and Northern California fans of Latin music,” says Betto Arcos. “The common denominator here is dance music, but each of the artists are so different and very representative of what’s hot right now in L.A. We’re bringing these bands north to interweave with the amazing acts on the Bay Area salsa and Latin music scene.”

Orquesta Son Mayor

 

Bruce Labadie, Artistic and Festival Director, adds, “Betto and I met some years ago and I’ve always been impressed with his knowledge of Latin artists and expertise as a renowned radio host. He brings knowledge from the potent Southern California music scene and an intense curiosity about Northern California acts and tastes. His point of view will be invaluable as we continue to present as many artists from Spanish speaking countries into our programming as possible across all Fest stages.”

 

Foundational to the roots of Afro-Cuban styles of salsa and timba, changüí is an Eastern Cuban musical form that originated in the 1800s in the Guantanamo region. Led by Los Angeles native Gabriel Garcia, the foremost Changüí Majadero brings an urban – and urbane – 21st Century perspective to this traditional genre. Changüí Majadero has appeared on many of the world’s greatest stages including Lincoln Center, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and at Dodger Stadium.

Boogaloo Assassins

 

Whereas Changüí Majedero performs vintage Cuban dance music from hundreds of years ago, Rumbankete presents an eclectic mix of modern dance music. Emerging in Cuba in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, timba was formed with the amalgamation of funk, jazz, improvisation, and musical styles such as rumba. The two primary singers/composers of Rumbankete grew up in Havana during the heyday of timba. Along with eight powerhouse musicians, Rumbankete’s 10-piece ensemble makes it impossible to stop dancing once the music starts.

 

The most revered Los Angeles-based salsa band, the 10-piece Orquesta Son Mayor have performed at prestigious venues such as the Hollywood Bowl and have shared concert billings with the likes of Celia Cruz, Tito Puente and Chucho Valdes. Led by Southern Californian dance institution Eddie Ortiz, Orquesta Son Mayor features Ortiz along with his three brothers who’ve consistently headlined the biggest salsa events for more than two decades across Los Angeles, Las Vegas and the Bay Area.

 

Born in New York in the early 1960’s, boogaloo is the alchemy of Cuban rhythms and R&B. Boogaloo Assassins are a next generation phenom writing original music inspired by 60’s classics. After releasing their debut album, Old Love Dies Hard (2013) Boogaloo Assassins quickly garnered airplay from tastemakers such as KCRW 88.9 FM and DJ/producer/label head Giles Peterson. In 2016, they signed a licensing deal with the famed Fania Records salsa label.

 

Together with many Bay Area acts including East Bay native and recent GRAMMY Award nominee Doug Beavers, the Salsa Stage remains one of the cornerstones of San Jose Jazz Summer Fest. The featured acts are sure-fire artists ready to keep spirits high, feet moving and good will flowing at Summer Fest 2018. The three-day event includes 120+ performances on 12 stages, attracting tens of thousands of visitors to downtown throughout the weekend.

Latinas Contra Cancer – National Latino Cancer Summit

 

Latinas Contra Cancer will host a National Latino Cancer Summit in San Francisco, CA

The National Latino Cancer Summit will convene researchers, providers, community agencies, health educators and community members to explore and discuss the latest in cancer research, prevention, treatment and best practices within Latino populations.

San Francisco, Calif. – June 11, 2018 – Latinas Contra Cancer, a San Jose based health advocacy organization, today announced the program for the National Latino Cancer Summit. The theme for this 6th Biennial event is From Science to Populations to People: The Latino Cancer Conundrum. The National Latino Cancer Summit and its network of researchers, providers, community agencies and outreach workers will explore issues of biology, risk factors, prevention and treatments at the individual and population levels in an effort to address needs and gaps across the Latino Community. The two-day program will be held on July 30 and July 31 at UCSF Mission Bay Conference Center. Everyone is welcomed to attend, space is limited.

“The topics presented at this summit spark important conversation about the impact of cancer on a heterogeneous Latino community,” said Sandra Madrigal, Board Chair of Latinas Contra Cancer. “This impact is under-researched and the effect that the differences in lifestyle, environment and genetic variation among Latinos have on cancer incidence, risk and prognosis are still mostly unknown. That is what makes this national summit so crucial.”

The Summit will host more than 30 distinguished panelists and speakers including nationally recognized researchers, academics, health educators and health advocates with keynote addresses from Ms. Amelie G. Ramirez, Dr.P.H. of UT Health Science Center at San Antonio and Mr. Robert A. Hiatt, M.D., Ph.D. of UC San Francisco Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. The prestigious “Making A Different World” award will be given to a selected researcher or academic making a positive impact on health outcomes for Latino populations. Nominations are still being accepted.

“We are very excited about the enthusiasm our speakers, sponsors and attendees continue to have about this event dedicated to recognizing and discussing the health disparities Latinos face across the cancer continuum,” said Darcie Green, CEO of Latinas Contra Cancer, “We look forward to bringing together experts and advocates from across the country to identify needs and gaps through research and best practices.”

The lead sponsor for the conference is the UCSF Helen Diller Comprehensive Cancer Care Center. Additional sponsors include City of Hope, NIH National Cancer Institute, Pfizer, The Sobrato Organization, American Cancer Society and the Have A Ball Foundation.

Latinas Contra Cancer is a San Jose health advocacy organization that provides community education regarding cancer prevention as well as support services to low income, Spanish-speaking cancer patients and their families. Since its inception in 2003, Latinas Contra Cancer has educated over four thousand community members, guided several hundred women (and some men) into cancer screenings, provided psychosocial support groups since and navigated over hundreds of patients through cancer treatments.

Join us for another great Summit program packed with exciting speakers, cutting edge panel discussions, learning labs and interactive science cafes.

Fireside Chat with Dr Lopez & Bob Nuñez

 

On May 12th, San Jose City College – Milpitas Extension and Silicon Valley Latino were honored to host another intimate and insightful Fireside Chat, this time it was conducted in an Iconoclast style. The featured guests were Dr. David Lopez and City of Milpitas Councilmember, Bob Nuñez.  Both shared various aspects of their life’s journeys in a very open and even vulnerable manner that was truly inspiring for those in attendance.

Jorge Escobar Vice President of San Jose City College welcomed the audience. He also spoke very passionately about both featured guests as he transitioned to introducing the theme of the event and the tone was set. From that point on, the Iconoclast style, Fireside Chat was underway and the dual interview began as casual conversation centered on their journeys. Both shared stories about their humble beginnings, early childhood memories that shaped their view of the world, trials and tribulations, key moments and lessons learned. Both men also shared in a very vulnerable manner how specific interactions with key people propelled them on the paths they took without necessarily knowing what lied ahead of them. Throughout the conversation, a clear theme related to the value of mentors and finding key people that believe in you prevailed.

Dr. Lopez specifically cited an instance when he wanted to move to San Francisco to live with his older sister to attend a community college as he was about to graduate from high school but how his mother interfered and strategically arranged a meeting with a family friend and attorney who was a key influence in having him be admitted to the University of New Mexico. That turned out to be a pivotal moment in his life that led him on a path toward earning his doctorate in Education and ultimately leading a career in higher education. Throughout his time in higher education, he has been passionate about helping, guiding and mentoring Latino students and paying it forward.

Council member Nuñez also shared about how he had a significant meeting early on in his career where he was asked: “what do you do here?”  That somewhat innocent question turned a pivotal moment where he learned about the power of his position, his influence and how it would impact people’s lives in a positive or negative manner. He took that lesson to heart and from that point on he was on a mission to empower the students he was responsible for as a key administrator to various school districts. He has now taken that approach to city government and looking out for his constituents.

By the end of the interview, it was very clear that both men have had and continue to have a very positive influence in our community and at an age where most people spend their time traveling, playing golf or engaged in other retiree activities, both of these gentlemen show no signs of slowing down.

We thank you both for all that you have done for our communities and continue to do. Thank you for believing in, us, our potential and the possibilities of an educated and empowered community.

At the conclusion of the program, San Jose City College and Silicon Valley Latino had the pleasure of presenting them both with the Creo En Ti Champion Award.

 

#CreoEnTi #CulturaAmbassador

 

 

BeVisible’s #BeWokeSF event

 

On May 17th, Silicon Valley Latino – Cultura Ambassador, Andrea Guendelman and her team at BeVisible led an unprecedented event in the Bay Area, #BeWokeSF.  The purpose and message of the event were clear challenging Silicon Valley: it is not enough to just hit certain diversity numbers. Companies must be intentional about going further than simply inclusion. They need to move towards developing a sense of belonging that leads to retention and productivity. As Andrea, co-founder of Be Visible and the event’s organizer, shared in her opening remarks, “Belonging is what we should be talking about all the time.”

#BeWokeSF, a next-gen career networking event, brought together over 500 underrepresented professionals to the Pearl in San Francisco to push the diversity and inclusion topic forward. The event was filled with razor-sharp conversations that included the power of female networks particularly in the era of #MeToo, equal pay, activism and multiculturalism in tech, and even the new frontier of dating apps.

Unique to the event was the incredibly diverse array of speakers and luminaries from Thaddeus Arroyo – CEO at AT&T Business to Beatriz Acevedo – co-founder and President at Mitú to Jesse Martinez founder at CareerForce to Sarahi Espinoza Salamanca founder & CEO at DREAMers RoadMap to 
our very own, Silicon Valley Latino, founder & CEO, Alex Ontiveros. The rather long list of equally engaged forward-thinking organizations included Pathbrite, AT&T, Airbnb, Mitú, Backstage Capital, Tinder and Lucasfilm who spoke to a similarly diverse audience. For many, it was an important and one-of-a-kind opportunity to connect directly with others who shared their experience, insights, and expertise. “It means a lot to me to be invited to speak here today because this is really the first opportunity for me to speak to an audience who may be interested in not only my perspective of working in the entertainment industry for 20 years but as a woman working in the entertainment industry, as a woman of color working in the entertainment industry, and as a woman of color who is a first generation child of immigrant parents,” shared Keynote Speaker Julie Peng, Senior Manager of Talent & Production, ILMXLAB at Lucasfilm.

With electrifying energy, the conversations evolved through a series of short discussions that packed personal stories, data, and solutions. The general message: employers in this country need to move beyond the diversity index data to develop an organizational culture that makes the underrepresented talent community feel welcomed without feeling tokenized. A creative use and synergy of culture, lifestyle, tech, and storytelling offer a direct pathway to that.

“The days of talking about diversity are long gone. It’s time to act and that entails taking courageous and untraditional stances. As underrepresented minorities we don’t connect to a ‘thing’ an‘ethereal thing’. We connect to people, so companies need to start betting on diverse leadership and putting diverse leadership forward; it will change things,” said, Andrea Guendelman, the Harvard-educated Latinx entrepreneur. “At the same time, women, people of color, the LGBTQ community–we need to take our place as owners of this country and stop asking for permission to belong. As my friend Ana Flores from #WeAllGrow said, don’t just get a seat at the table. Build your own table and create your own room,” she added.

 

Guendelman created the career platform after experiencing first hand the difficulties of making it in the workplace without the necessary support networks and mentors. The platform was born in 2014 to help Latinx millennials and Gen Zers connect with the innovative mentors and leaders needed to increase diversity and inclusion in the business world. Today, BeVisible, through #BeWokeSF, is taking a stance for women, people of color, LGTBQ, and non-gender binary individuals. Among the corporate partners were Google, YouTube, Disney, Tinder, Spotify, Airbnb, Adobe, Charles Schwab, Williams Sonoma.

“Participating in BeVisibile’s inaugural conference helped us connect with the talented community in the Bay Area while facilitating important, candid discussions about inclusion, representation, and mentorship,” said Lina Alcala, VP of HR at Tinder. “Engaging in these conversations is important to us as a global company, and crucial in effecting positive change across industries.”

 

Beyond the discussions, guests participated in an intimate and immersive experience where they connected and built a community committed to fostering a more inclusive workplace that reflects the diversity of America.

The program closed with an epic party that paid homage to diversity and multiculturalism. Performances from Smoked Out Soul, Deuce Eclipse of Bang Data, Afrolicious, DJ Umami, the exquisite rapper Aima the Dreamer, DJ Icon with a Silent Disco, and other installations kept the crowd going. BeVisible is just getting started and have big plans for more dynamic #BeWoke events in the near future.

 

Andrea, we look forward to your next event and continuing to support the work that you and your team lead in this space.
#CreoEnTi
(We are finalizing an event recap video, in the meantime please enjoy this event slideshow.)

 

 

Inspire Higher Panel featuring SHPE-SV members!

 

 

On April 7th Silicon Valley Latino held a very special Inspire Higher Panel featuring members of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Silicon Valley (SHPE-SV)

The Panel consisted of Roxana Ruvalcaba, Operations Finance at Intel Corporation, Mario Rincon, Senior Software Engineer formerly at Linkedin, Consuelo Cervantes, Senior Human Resources Manager with Intel Corporation and Lemuel Lebron a Silicon Architecture Engineer at Intel Corporation.

The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) was founded in Los Angeles, California, in 1974 by a group of engineers employed by the city of Los Angeles. Their objective was to form a national organization of professional engineers to serve as role models in the Hispanic community.

The concept of Networking was the key basis for the organization. SHPE quickly established two student chapters to begin the network that would grow to encompass the nation as well as reach countries outside the United States. Today, SHPE enjoys a strong but independent network of professional and student chapters throughout the nation. SHPE has been a long-time friend of Silicon Valley Latino with many shared members. We are certainly thrilled to be collaborating with this stellar organization. These professionals took time out of their busy schedule to spend time with students and community leaders at San Jose City College Milpitas Extension.  A special shout out to Adriana Fuentes President of SHPE-SV for helping coordinate this special event.

The panel shared their incredible stories of achievement and perseverance to a very captive audience. We are proud to share their stories here…

Originally from LA, Roxana Ruvacalba went to UC Berkeley to study Industrial Engineering and Operations Research. While at Berkeley, she had two summer internships at Toyota where she learned about the Toyota Production System and continuous improvement. Once she graduated, she joined PG&E through a rotational program where she worked on various projects including creation and implementation of new policy. After completing the rotational program, Roxana joined the renewable energy team negotiating contracts.

Four years into her career, she decided to go back to school to complete an MBA at UCLA Anderson. While at Anderson, she interned at Google in Finance Operations working on the renegotiation strategy for their outsourcing contracts. Upon graduation, she joined Intel through the finance rotational program. She is currently in Operations Finance at Intel.

Roxana is one of four siblings. Family support and a strong network of friends has been essential to her both professionally and personally.

Mario Rincón was born and raised in Santa Marta, Colombia. He is the first in his family to earn a college degree. Mario graduated from Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá with a B.S. in Computer and Systems Engineering. After working for the Central Bank of Colombia, he earned a scholarship to pursue graduate school in the U.S. at Carnegie Mellon University where he graduated with a Master’s degree in Information Security. Since then, Mario has worked in different areas of software engineering and software development in Silicon Valley for Cisco, Ooyala, and LinkedIn. Mario is also a husband and father, and an active member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). In his free time, he enjoys writing, playing the guitar, and memorizing poetry. As a first-generation college student and Latino software engineer, he likes to share his journey to inspire others to pursue higher education and careers in software development.

Consuelo Cervantes is currently a senior HR Manager at Intel, supporting the data center sales team. She has over 15 years of deep HR experience managing talent, succession planning, total compensation, resource planning, organization design, driving culture change and building leadership teams across industries and geographies. She has global experience managing business groups and teams based in Latin America, Europe and Asia. She has led and managed through several mergers and acquisitions at Cargill, 3M and Intel. Consuelo holds a Master’s degree in HR and Change Leadership from the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis MN and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from DePaul University, Chicago. She is multilingual, fluent in Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch. Consuelo was born in Mexico and raised in Chicago. She currently lives with her family in San Jose, CA.

Lemuel Lebron is a first-generation Latino, born and raised in New Jersey to Puerto Rican and Dominican parents. He currently works at Intel as a System-on-Chip Validation Engineer designing the intellectual property for next-generation processors targeting the data center and high-end computing market segments. Lemuel received his Bachelors in Computer Engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2011 just before relocating to the Silicon Valley to start his career. Lemuel uses his expertise in technology to give back to the community through mentorship, leadership coaching, and contributing to pro-bono web-development projects for non-profit organizations such as SHPE, Braven, and LSU. Currently, he is exploring new interests in machine learning and looking for ways to apply them in the hardware development space.

All four panelists shared the moments they drew inspiration from that one mentor who guided them in their professional careers.  One highlight being how eloquently Mario Rincón shared his fear of his first few months in the U.S.  A time filled with uncertainty and challenges. A time he sought solace in the software programming he so passionately loved. Throwing himself head-long into a language he felt universal and spoke to him, when few around him could due to language barriers. Driven by dreams, he turned hope into action in a land very far from home.

We identified with Roxana’s story of parents who put all their hopes and dreams into their children and raising them with strong civic approach in a safe, supportive home. While her parents worked long hours to provide the tools she needed. Overcoming obstacles that could have easily made them feel like giving up. They didn’t. Roxana never did…it shows.

Consuelo Cervantes’ carries a force within her that is undeniable. Failure was never an option for her. A strong work ethics and never depending on anyone but herself makes Consuelo a fierce Latina for her generation. Truly a role model for the young Latinas in the attendance that day.

Lemuel Lebron has been a long time SVL Cultura Ambassador, giving tirelessly of his talents to the youth of our community. His energy is infectious and we are always genuinely warmed by Lemuel’s effortless way of connecting with young people. Well, we must say, he’s done a lot in his young career. Doesn’t hurt that he still looks 19. Such a fresh face in the tech landscape.

All our participants took time to meet and greet with our audience and, as in the past, the post panel discussion became a friendly networking moment. Smiles shared, cards exchanged. New stories blossoming as our audience grows at Silicon Valley Latino.

 

#CreoEnTi

 

College Declaration Day with The Foundation for Hispanic Education

 

On Friday April 27th The Foundation for Hispanic Education (TFHE), San Jose City College and Silicon Valley Latino presented the first College Declaration Day focused on TFHE schools, Latino College Preparatory Academy (LCPA) and Luis Valdez Leadership Academy (LVLA), where 23 seniors declared their college selections.

The College Declaration Day is an opportunity for students to announce their college choices in a format similar to Collegiate Declaration Days presented by sports network channels and popular on social media. Only this event celebrates academic achievement, not touchdowns. Unlike highly recruited Football players, these students have been accepted to notable universities on academic, civic merit and Ganas. It’s our mission at Silicon Valley Latino to ensure these academic honorees are celebrated by our local community through this special event and that they are featured through our various platforms so that our online community may also celebrate them and take pride in their achievements.

With destinations across the country ranging from The University of Pennsylvania to UCLA, from Duke University to UC Berkeley, students from Luis Valdez Leadership Academy and Latino College Preparatory Academy are embarking on the opportunities of a lifetime. Many of these students will be the first in their family to go to college and for them and their families this is truly a significant event as many of them could not imagine such a day four years ago at their middle school graduations.

Four years of effort and focused determination have led these students on this illustrious path. The joy and sense of achievement was palatable that evening.

Dry eyes? Not many. Master of Ceremonies Jeff Camarillo (LVLA) and Jesus Rios (LCPA) delivered such eloquent and memorable remarks on each recognized student. Sharing stories first hand of trials and tribulations, hope and encouragement, laughter and tears, but most of all joy. The pure joy of their realizing the passion of each student’s path. Basking in the celebration of this very important milestone in their own professional lives and the lives of the students they have grown to bond and love these past four years.

As each student addressed the audience, you could really feel the sense of pride shared with their friends, family and community who had gathered to share in this exciting event. Speeches delivered by students gave recognition to the people who had supported them on their journeys. Students gave thanks, but more importantly shared the promise of one day giving back, just as they have been given.

Here is the list of honorees that evening…

Latino College Preparatory Academy: Brian Guevara, Duke University. Dalliana Banuelos, Santa Clara University. Alicia Brady-Sabioncello, University of California, Santa Cruz. Hugo Ayala, University of California, Santa Barbara. Anahy Jimenez, University of California, Merced. Lucydania Robles, University of California, Berkeley. Angel Jauregui, Saint Mary ‘ s College of California. Briseyda Aguilar, University of California, Berkeley. Melanie Mireles, University of California, Berkeley. Jazmin Dominguez, University of California, San Diego. Cristina Martinez, University of California Merced. Yeimy Ventura, University of California Berkeley.

Luis Valdez Leadership Academy : Abisaid ‘Abby ‘ Esquivel, University of Pennsylvania. Angela Rascon, Saint Mary ‘ s College of California. Aylin Velazco, Bryn Mawr College. Roberto Alvarez, Sacramento State University. Cheyenne Ferranti, University of California, Los Angeles. Lesley Sanchez Garcia, University of California, Merced. Ivette Mondragon, University of California, Davis. Oscar Diaz, University of California, Merced. Andrew Garcia, California Baptist University. Emily Espino, UC Riverside.

¡Felicidades! to all the students who were honored that evening. Viva Class of 2018!

#CreoEnTi

3rd Annual Latino Education Summit

Greetings Cultura Ambassadors and friends,

We would like to invite you to attend The 3rd Annual Latino Education Summit: Silicon Valley scheduled for this Saturday, April 21st at Santa Clara University.

Featured speakers and presenters include Dr. Byron Clift Breland, SJCC President, Keith Aytch, Interim President at EVC, Roland Montemayor, VP of Academic and Student Affairs at SJCC, Felix W. Ortiz, CEO of Viridis Learning,  Dr. Fabio Gonzalez, District Academic Senate President, Jesus Covarrubias, Academic Senate President, and our very own Cultura Ambassador and Education Champion Jorge Escobar, VP of Administrative Services of San Jose City College.

The summit’s focus is on Language, Culture, and Identity in the Education of LatinX Students

Register via the link below:

Register

We look forward to seeing you there!

 

 

 

Inspire Higher Panel at SJCC Milpitas Extension

 

This past week we delivered another successful Inspire Higher Panel presentation at the San Jose City College Milpitas Extension. With over 100 students in attendance, it was standing room only.

Silicon Valley Latino’s Inspire Higher Initiative engages numerous successful and inspiring Latino professionals. We ask them to share their journeys primarily through “The Inspire Higher Tour” – a high touch/high impact panel of diverse Latino professionals that visit schools with predominantly Latino students. Our end goal is to inspire Latino youth throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and expose them to exciting and rewarding careers in STEAM.
Through the Inspire Higher Program, we Inspire, Impact and Ignite our youth to aspire beyond the dreams they’ve previously had. Through this special program, we have sparked the interest and dreams of hundreds of youth over the last few years and we continue to build on this program through key strategic public/private partnerships.

Today we were delighted to feature another four exceptional Latinos:

Jose Benitez Cong – Co-founder & CEO @ Plause

Sonia Munoz – VP of Marketing @ Bill.com

Maritza Vallejo – HR Manager @ STG Partners, LLC

Rich Garcia – Sr. Software Developer @ Bill.com

They all shared their life’s journeys in a very open, honest, authentic and inspiring manner. We want to thank San Jose City College Milpitas Extension, once again for sponsoring and presenting another exceptional panel.

Special thanks to MUSD Superintendent Jordan and her team for collaborating with us in making today’s Inspire Higher program a truly impactful event for our youth!

Enjoy the video and photos from this very successful event!

 

Inspire Higher Panel at SJCC Milpitas Extension

If you are interested in bringing our Inspire Higher program to your school please reach us at info@svlatino.com

#CreoEnTi #Adelante