Jeff Camarillo – SVL Cultura Ambassador

 

Camarillo is currently the founding Director/Principal of the Luis Valdez Leadership Academy, a new college-prep charter high school in East San Jose, managed by the Foundation for Hispanic Education. Through education, Camarillo’s father and hero, Professor Al Camarillo, was able to break the cycle of poverty in his family and open countless doors for students and faculty at Stanford University and beyond to explore the history and identity of Mexican-Americans and other ethnic Americans. His example inspired Camarillo to work tirelessly for the past 14 years to enhance the educational opportunities for young people from disadvantaged urban communities throughout California.

LVLA_DSC0023BAfter graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Camarillo entered the classroom as an 8th grade U.S. History teacher at Vanguard Learning Center in Compton Unified School District. He also coached boy’s basketball, football and baseball. After three of the most amazing years of his life, Camarillo realized that it was time to advance his teacher repertoire and pedagogical understanding and returned to the San Francisco Bay Area to attend Stanford University’s Teacher Education Program (STEP) for his Master’s degree and teaching credential.  While at Stanford, Camarillo was introduced to a progressive non-profit organization called the Mural, Music and Arts Project (MMAP), an economic and education empowerment program that seeks to inspire teens in East Palo Alto, CA through the arts.  After serving as an education specialist for MMAP, he began in 2005 as the director of MMAP’s Teen Mural Program, a position he held every summer through 2009.  During and immediately after his time at STEP, Camarillo taught 9th and 10th grade Humanities and served as the founding Athletic Director at the June Jordan School for Equity in San Francisco. In 2006, Camarillo returned to Compton and continued teaching 7th/8th grade history at the school where he began his career, where he taught and coached from 2006-2010. In 2006, Camarillo, along with his younger brother Greg, a former NFL wide receiver, founded a non-profit program called Charging Forward, a mentoring program that sought to reward student-athletes in Compton for their accomplishments in the classroom and respective athletic endeavors.

 

In 2010, Camarillo began his career as a school leader at the East Palo Alto Academy (EPAA). As the school’s Asst. Principal, Camarillo helped reduce school suspensions by over 40% and created a positive, college going climate for the students and families of the EPAA community. During his first year at EPAA, Camarillo served as a Teaching Ambassador Fellow for the United States Department of Education, where he sought to help bridge the disconnect between the formulation of federal educational policy and on the ground practice in urban schools. In 2012, Camarillo began the Educational Leadership Program at San Jose State University, where he graduated with a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and an administrative credential in 2014.

In 2014, Camarillo was provided the once in a lifetime opportunity to become the Founding Director/Principal of the Luis Valdez Leadership Academy (LVLA), a position he currently holds. Under Camarillo’s leadership, LVLA has enjoyed a suspension free school year, and the creation a college-going, culturally vibrant climate. The school’s mission promotes culturally sustaining pedagogy, a focus on bi-literacy and preparation for four-year colleges and universities for 1st generation college students. In addition to giving birth to a new school, Camarillo and his life partner, Josephine, gave birth to their first-born child, a baby boy named Jaxson Albert. Camarillo is also a proud son of Al and Susan Camarillo, a Stanford professor and retired school counselor. He is a big brother to Greg, a retired NFL wide receiver and Lauren, a Spanish teacher at Willow Glen High School.

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.

alex@svlatino.com

 

 

 

 

Luis Valdez Leadership Academy Photos

 

Silicon Valley Latino joined the Luis Valdez Leadership Academy as they celebrated SIX months of school without a single fight, suspension or expulsion!

The students were rewarded with a BBQ of carne asada and links, the students danced & listened to music of all types as well as enjoyed the special community that they have created.

It truly was a beautiful and inspiring sight to see and a beautiful cause to celebrate!

Luis Valdez Leadership Academy

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.

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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!

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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:

MISSION:
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.
 
VISION:
Silicon Valley Latino is committed to CELEBRATE the stories of successful Latinas and Latinos, to CHALLENGE perceptions and INSPIRE new generations of Latino heroes.