Miguel Garcia – SVL Jr. Cultura Ambassador

 

Silicon Valley Latino is excited to introduce our Jr. Cultura Ambassador program, which is focused on featuring stellar high school students. We are delighted to introduce our first Jr. Cultura Ambassador, Miguel Garcia.  Miguel is a junior at Cristo Rey High School in San Jose, California and an intern at Cisco. Through his internship, Miguel works in the IT department for Katty Coulson, IT Director (Regional IT Leader for Americas) where he has been doing an outstanding job on various projects.

Besides being focused on achieving his academic goals by taking AP courses, Miguel enjoys playing on the varsity soccer team and next year he plans to join the volleyball team.  In addition to academics and sport, Miguel has taken a deep interest in photography and video editing and plans to pursue a career in this field in the future. Miguel also enjoys working on bicycles and when he’s not fixing them he enjoys riding throughout San Jose. He also derives much satisfaction from working in landscaping with his father on a weekly basis.

We’ve also received several reports that Miguel is a great networker and enjoys meeting people from various backgrounds and learning about their journeys so don’t be surprised to see him at one of our networking events in the near future. This summer Miguel will be attending the Saints and Scholars program in Indiana at the Holy Cross College.  We will certainly keep an eye on Miguel and his up and coming senior year at Cristo Rey.

Interested in becoming an SVL Cultura Ambassador?  Reach out to us so that we can give you all the details on joining this growing community of professional latin@s.  email us info@svlatino.com

Marcela Denniston – SVL Cultura Ambassador

 

Marcela Denniston is a Brazilian American living in California. Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil Marcela moved to New Jersey, United States with her mother at the age of 4.  Marcela is the first person in her immediate family to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in Computer Information Systems and an MBA: International Business.

At 17, she joined the US Navy where she began her career in Cyber Operations and Intelligence. During her military service, she received several medals, including a Joint Service Commendation Medal and a Navy and Marine Corp Achievement Medal for her work in the Navy Cyber Defense Operations Center and the National Security Agency.  After leaving the Navy, Marcela worked in several consulting roles, nationally and internationally supporting the growth and development of Cyber Security Operations and Products. Today, Marcela works as a cyber security consultant for government organizations, start-ups and venture capital firms.

Outside of work, Marcela is a passionate social activist supporting equality and inclusion for minority groups worldwide. She is an active member of several organizations focused on establishing meaningful connections between LATAM entrepreneurs and US investors including the Latino Start Up Alliance and BayBrazil. Marcela also participates in empowerment and education of STEM careers for young females through Girls Can Hack and IGNITE Worldwide.

Marcela is also a community contributor; she is a volunteer soccer coach for the American Youth Soccer Association as a girls U10 soccer coach. This opportunity allows her to help young girls build confidence and camaraderie with each other. Her team won the 2016 Hirschel Cup for the U10 girls age group.

Marcela currently lives in Foster City, CA with her husband and two daughters and hopes to continue her contributions to the Latino and female community through an initiative to empower, encourage and educate Latinas in technology and engineering fields called Poderosa. Marcela envisions her efforts will create a movement of young girls looking to pursue careers in technology fields and ultimately change the norm for women’s equality in business.

Cultura Ambassador Diana Albarrán featured in Vanity Fair

 

“In Celebration of the Release of the Movie Hidden Figures,Vanity Fair Studios Profiles Notable and Diverse Figures in S.T.E.M.”

And highlighted is, Cultura Ambassador and friend, Diana Albarrán Chicas among these wonderful women!

 

Nancy Rosales on the move in her new Ford Edge Eco Boost!

Our Cultura Ambassador, Nancy Rosales,  is a driven Entrepreneur, Business Innovator, Game Changer, Winner of the Latina Style Magazine Entrepreneur award and an “Inspire Higher Tour” Panelist.

In an effort to expand her “Pepitos” authentic Mexican Paleta business, she was looking for a vehicle that she could use for work and play, stylish and efficient.  She was asked to be part of the Ford campaign about real people. She agreed with flying colors for many reasons.  Going through the entire Ford approval process, she was able to authentically deliver her exact experience on camera with no script.

“It was easy it was fast, Ford knows its about people’s credit and making the process simple” she said.

Nancy is one of the most positive, inspirational and action oriented people we know and we’re delighted to feature her video, check it out!

 

Guillermo Diaz Jr. “G” video interview

 

Silicon Valley Latino is delighted to share Connected Futures Magazine’s interview of Cultura Ambassador and Cisco CIO, Guillermo Diaz. Guillermo or “G” as his friends refer to him, has been a tech leader that we at Silicon Valley Latino have been following for the past few years and it gives us great pleasure to share this interview where he talks about his first year as Cisco’s CIO.  In signature G fashion he talks about engaging others and creating a culture that inspires innovation. He further discusses some of the challenges in this first year, his approach towards solving problems, some of the accomplishments, opportunities and what lies ahead. We are also proud to note that Guillermo isn’t just a tech leader at a Silicon Valley company, he’s also a champion in the community as he makes time to inspire the next generation of innovators on a regular basis. We encourage you to take a moment and learn about how this successful Fortune 500 executive drives a successful approach to innovation, engagement and building a thriving culture at Cisco and beyond.

 

Cultura Ambassador Tiq Chapa recognized by Voto Latino

We at Silicon Valley Latino are proud and encouraged with the work that Voto Latino leads for our community through its various initiatives  and Mission statement as a pioneering civic media organization that seeks to transform America by recognizing Latinos’ innate leadership.  They have recognized & awarded, through their “VL Innovators” video, Cultura Ambassador, Eutiquio “Tiq” Chapa for his Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative.

Tiq is the epitome of what it is to be a Cultura Ambassador. He along with the rest of his colleagues Dr. Jerry Porras (SVL Trail Blazer) and Remy Arteaga are doing an outstanding job in leading the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative and we look forward to sharing their success stories in the near future.

Tiq keep up the great work, we are very proud of you and delighted to support your efforts in empowering our entrepreneurship community.

Adelante!

 

About LBAN:

In 2012, Professor Jerry Porras and a group of Stanford Alums came together to form a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, the Latino Business Action Network (LBAN), focused on making America stronger through LBAN funded Latino research and education impact programs at Stanford University.

Maria Pina-Carrasco – SVL Collegiate Cultura Ambassador

 

We take great pride in presenting Silicon Valley Latino Collegiate Cultura Ambassador Maria Pina-Carrasco.  A true example of hard work and determination until reaching her goals and success!

Growing up in an environment where Maria’s father would tell her to speak English outside the home and only Spanish at home, was confusing and it made her feet lost trying to figure out her identity.

 

Maria went to Washington elementary school, where the majority of the population looked like her. Maria can still remember hating ESL classes and thinking how pointless they were. Today she embraces her dual cultures, Mexican and American. Thankfully Maria listened to her father mainly out of respect, and now she can speak, read, and write in Spanish. Although at times she encounters difficulties with accents, she is proud to say that she can help more latin@s. Maria has always been an outgoing and happy child, but growing up she also realized the financial hardships her parents faced, especially her mother. Maria’s mother worked real hard to keep a roof over their head, have food on the table and raise Maria, her two sisters and two brothers on a tight budget. Maria now knows that five kids weren’t easy for her mother, but her mother has always demonstrated strength and perseverance.

 

Teenager/High School:

IMG_5045Although Maria started to embrace her cultures as a child, as a teenager she found herself encountering different challenges. By senior year of high school, Maria was six and a half months pregnant with her son and graduating. Maria was going to CCOC to study to become a medical assistant, and was eager to meet professionals in the medical field and find a job. To her surprise, it will also mark one of the toughest journeys for her. She was not prepared to have her teacher from CCOC tell her privately that she was disappointed in her. That Maria would end up like her parents on welfare and that she could still give her unborn child for adoption. When she told her mother what happened at school, she replied with another surprise comment, “Maybe she saw something in you, and she did not mean any harm.” Maria kept battling internally with the way her teacher treated her and how her mother couldn’t see that her teacher was in the wrong. Maria’s mother has always been strong at so many things, but she was always afraid to advocate for herself, and did little to stand up for her kids. Maria felt alone, knew it was wrong, and recognized that she needed to express to her teacher how she felt. Long story short, Maria found her voice and her passion, to not ever let a teacher or anyone look at her different because she was another “teen mom” statistic. Maria wanted more for her unborn baby and she was not going to be afraid to advocate for herself, for her baby, and for others.

 

Adult/Community College:

Even though Maria’s high school time was a new challenge and the CCOC experience was not a positive one, she realized that it was time to conquer a different fear, to go to college and give teachers a chance. Maria didn’t believe that she was smart enough and she thought it was impossible because a little of that negative experience lingered in her mindset.

 

By her mid twenties, Maria faced more challenges. Maria tried to attend Evergreen Valley College (EVC), but she did not feel the need to get a higher education because her number one priority was to earn a wage to raise her son. Soon after enrolling at EVC, she quit and focused on working full time for the City of San Jose, Department of Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Services (PRNS). However, it was not until Maria was pregnant with her second son and the City experienced economic downfall. While some employees got their pink slip, others were transitioned to other departments or roles, and Maria’s hours were now strictly to 1,140. Maria gave birth in May of 2005, and that very summer was laid off because she went over 1,140 hours. Maria for the first time experienced unemployment and faced the reality that a high school diploma was not enough education to support her two children and herself. A higher education was beyond needed, and she was determined to accomplish any obstacle in order to succeed and have a brighter future.

 

Maria felt blessed as many people entered her life, at the very right time. They were able to motivate her to return to EVC and helped with the entire community college experience. From the beginning, Maria asked for help, was involved in different organizations and clubs on campus, and eventually stepped out of her comfort zone.

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Some of the clubs/organizations Maria was a member of were: ENLACE Honors Society, ENLACE Student Association, Honors Institute, Phi Theta Kappa, International Honors Society, EOP&S, CalWorks, and many more. Some of her accomplishment at EVC: Maria was the MC for two years for the ENLACE honors society, MC for the ENLACE student association cinco de mayo event, and she helped her student body government with club rush, promoting special events and informing students about their power to vote. Maria experienced many successes, and her last year at EVC was pregnant with her youngest son. Maria’s perseverance and determination to attain a higher degree was still her goal, she walked the stage Spring 2013 and graduated Summer 2013 with a GPA of 3.7 and with honors. However, the GPA didn’t define her, it was her believing in herself, working very hard, and surrounding herself with supportive people. Maria accomplished her A.A. in business administration and transferred to San Jose State University Fall 2013.

 

From Fall 2013 to Spring 2016, Maria still had other challenges but as her past record to overcome them, she did full of optimism and faith. On May 24, 2016 Maria walked the 2016 EOP Spring Graduation Ceremony. Her three sons, Damian who is 14, James who is 11 and Armani who is 3, her mother Maria, and many other friends and family, surrounded her. Maria will officially graduate this summer with a B.S. in business, concentration in marketing. She is extremely eager to see what more challenges await, and what her future will bring.

 

Maria’s achievements at SJSU winning a $2,000 AAUW-San Jose local college scholarship, both in Spring 2014 and Spring 2015. Since then AAUW members sponsored her membership and today she is blessed and honored to pay it forward. Maria has volunteered at the AAUW holiday boutique fundraiser event, where proceeds go towards the local college scholarship. This year she translated an entire PowerPoint presentation from English to Spanish and was a panel speaker for the AAUW-Strong Girls, Strong Women Conference. Maria is passionate in empowering others for them to recognize their potential. Maria wants to be that person that planted a seed in someone’s mind and heart and tapped into their own ability to conquer fears, stereotypes and negative people. She looks forward as a member in helping AAUW with their numerous organizations in ways that she can to make a positive difference.

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Maria is a warrior! She continues to fight for what is fair and right. She is also a very spiritual person, who always prays and believes in something bigger than her. Faith has kept her focus and positive. Maria is a proud first generation Latina, mother of three, oldest sister of five and daughter to a strong and empowering Mexican mother. Maybe it took her a while to learn why her mother viewed things differently, but she has come to realize that no matter what, her mother fought for her and her four siblings in her own way. Her mother and children continue to motivate her.

 

Other things she looks forward to are obtaining a full time marketing position in a tech, corporate, or a growing small business. Maria is looking to expand her professional development skills. Maria wants to grow in a company and find a place that she can call her extended home and family.

Jesse Martinez to speak at CGI 2016!

 

Cultura Ambassador & Silicon Valley Latino Advisory Board Member, Jesse Martinez, has been invited to present at this year’s CGI 2016 in Atlanta along with several dignitaries, Corporate & Non Profit Executives and past Presidents of the United States.  We congratulate him and all of the work he leads!

See article here ==> https://www.clintonfoundation.org/clinton-global-initiative/meetings/cgi-america/2016/speakers

Jose Armando Perez Vega – SVL Collegiate Cultura Ambassador

 

Jose grew up in Northern California in a small town called Windsor where he along with his parents and two older brothers emigrated from Mexico in 1994. He is a first generation college student and thanks his parents and both brothers for his success; if it weren’t for them he wouldn’t be where he is today. He strives to one day repay them for all of the sacrifice they have done for him.

Jose Armando Perez Vega - SVL Cultura AmbassadorHe enjoys playing soccer on his down time, as he used to play competitively before college, also a four-year varsity soccer player in high school. He enjoys running and staying in shape and enjoys spending time with his family, watching sports like soccer and basketball, and exploring San Francisco and the cities surrounding it.

He is an active member of two organizations Hermanos Unidos de SFSU and ALPFA at SF State. However, he is currently studying abroad in Madrid, Spain taking Business Administration classes.

Hermanos Unidos – a non-profit organization that engages in events like community service, academic, and social networking with the intention to break social Latino stereotypes. He took the leadership role of Community Service Chair during the academic year 2014-2015 where he planned community service events benefitting the Latino community in San Francisco.

ALPFA – a non-profit organization where he participates in workshops that improve skills in public speaking, networking, resume building and professionalism. He has taken various leadership roles, Director of Social Affairs Fall 2015, and currently the Director of Corporate Partnership.

action 1With the help of ALPFA he interviewed and was offered an internship with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for summer 2015 to join their Start Internship program. After completion he was offered and accepted an extension for this upcoming summer of 2016 where he will join the Start Master Internship. He also served as an informal liaison to PwC in bringing new talent from San Francisco State to join the firm. Two of his ALPFA referrals who are now members will be joining him at PwC in the summer.

He aspires to become a CPA (Certified Public Accounting) after graduation and towards the end of his career payback by first obtaining a master or PhD in education and teach High Schools students in his hometown of Windsor, CA.

 

Carlos Barraza – SVL Cultura Ambassador

 

Silicon Valley Latino is delighted to present our latest Collegiate Cultura Ambassador, Carlos Barraza. Carlos is a dynamic, vibrant and focused young man who is currently a third-year student at San Jose State University. He is pursuing his Bachelors Degree in Business Management. He lived in El Salvador for seven years where he was immersed in the Latino culture and learned to perfect his Spanish.

Carlos Barraza - SVL Cultura Ambassador

Residing in a different country inspired his travels to various countries and to study the intersection of business and culture, specifically to investigate how culture impacts business practices, strategies and approaches. Carlos has been able to apply these unique insights in his classes on business and human behavior. Throughout the past couple of years he has also held various jobs that have allowed him to experiment and apply different project management skills in roles such as a high school substitute teacher, marketing intern (at a startup) and a street team member for a Major League Soccer (MLS) team.

 

These experiences coupled with his initiative and drive to be an effective contributor, have allowed him to be a productive and valuable team member. He has certainly been team oriented in his approach both in school and at work, which has helped him work well with others in projects and allowed him to adapt quickly to shifting situations. In one of his classes, he was on a team that was assigned a project on how to solve for,  “How can companies better attract and retain millennial talent?”  Carlos was able to inspire his team to work collaboratively and develop an effective presentation for Google employees that received very positive feedback. His positive attitude allows him to work well with others and even inspire others to elevate their game. His focus and perseverance are other very valuable traits that others around him appreciate and have come to count on.

Carlos Barraza - SVL Cultura Ambassador

Carlos is also an active member of the San Jose State University Latino Student Business Association where he participates in engaging discussion on how to enhance offerings as well as in their corporate tours where they visit various Silicon Valley companies. Additionally, Carlos is also an active member of Delta Upsilon Fraternity at San Jose State University. There he is also an active member of the Judicial Committee where he helps oversee the administrative justice of other fraternity members who have not up-held appropriate behavior according to the Delta Upsilon bylaws.

 

When Carlos isn’t studying he enjoys living in Downtown San Jose and also loves heading up to San Francisco and experiencing the many dining options the city has to offer. He also enjoys playing basketball and challenging himself in the gym as well as salsa dancing. Currently Carlos is looking for exciting internship opportunities so if your company is looking for a great intern, Carlos is your man!

 

We look forward to following Carlos’s collegiate endeavors and introducing him to the rest of the Silicon Valley Latino familia!