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.

#CreoEnTi Featured Entrepreneur Evelyn Brito

 

What inspired you to come up with this idea? What problem are you trying to solve?

A lot has changed in the Latino community from the old to the new generations. I’ve also noticed that these changes are causing health issues due to lack of affordable produce. The Bodega Makeover Project’s idea came to me when I visited a corner store back in 2013 to buy vegetables for my daughter. My options the n were stored boxed produce that was rotten. I remember feeling so fed up with the limited choices of fresh produce in the Latino community; yet I couldn’t find anything to change the situation. The most frustrating thing about it was the fact that it was the third bodega I had visited that day. Instead of remaining frustrated, I decided to reach out to the bodega owners to hear their side of the story and provide me some enlightenment. Their explanation was the same as what I had been hearing ever since my childhood from family members who had worked in bodegas: many of these bodegas lack of financial resources.

 

What’s your business model and how do you plan to monetize?

Keep It Simple Productions (KISP) connects sponsors with qualified bodegas to participate in the Bodega Makeover Project. We play the liaison role because we are in a better positioned to advocate for Latino communities seeking healthier food choices for themselves and loved ones.

 

How are you different from your competition?

KISP is based in Massachusetts, and currently we’re the only production company that focuses in bringing fresh produce into communities that heavily rely on bodegas.

 

Where do you see your business in one (to three) year(s)?

People of color are misrepresented in the entertainment industry. KISP would like to use its platform for these communities to highlight their stories through documentaries, web series, featured films, etc.

 

Who are your socios (business partners, co-founders, etc.)?

Under the Bodega Makeover Project we partnered with Alex Cuevas who’s the co-executive producer. In Lynn, Massachusetts, the mayor, city councils and local organizations, all are exclusively supportive of KISP and the Bodega Makeover Project.

 

Have you received any investments?

KISP has received in-kind and financial support for the bodega makeover project

 

What is your biggest challenge?

The challenge for any creator/entrepreneur is being able to delegate. With time I’m learning to delegate tasks and organize my schedule better in order to be more effective.

 

What advice would you provide to other emerging Latino tech entrepreneurs?

The Latino community needs more entrepreneurs and I strongly encourage and welcome it. We often think because we have a great idea things will automatically workout. That’s not the case. Being an entrepreneur requires a lot of hard work, sacrifices and dedications. Hence I would like the Latino tech entrepreneurs not to let failures stop them from reaching their dreams. Contrary they should accept, welcome and learn from them. When self- doubt arises, invest that energy on your objectives and the end results instead of nurturing the negative feelings.

#CreoEnTi

#defendDACA video project

 

We are delighted to post our first #defendDACA video featuring Manuel Romero’s “Alza La Mano” song as well as some photos from some of our Cultura Ambassadors, City of San Jose Council Members and community advocates.

We would also ask you to save the date for our “Moving beyond DACA” Fireside Chat. We are producing this special event in partnership with San Jose City College at their new Milpitas Extension the morning of November 4th from 10AM – noon. We look forward to engaging you all in a conversation and identifying actionable steps towards ensuring fair policies for our immigrant communities.

Luis Villa – SVL Cultura Ambassador

 

Silicon Valley Latino is proud to feature our newest Cultura Ambassador, Luis Villa from San Luis Potosí in Mexico. Luis is driven by his latest entrepreneurial endeavor Villa C. Luis and his wife Marisol recently visited with us here in Silicon Valley and we were thrilled to visit with him at Stanford University along with some iconic Silicon Valley institutions such as the Facebook and Google campuses. While pitching potential investors for Villa C, Luis was able to visit the Bay Area and not only meet with potential investors; he was also able to meet with other Cultura Ambassadors who offered him encouragement and support. Luis was able to be inspired first hand at one of Silicon Valley’s Inspire Higher Panel Discussions.

Bringing craftsmanship and unique designs from talent around the world and giving them a global stage in the marketplace is what Villa C is all about. The idea was hatched when Luis shared software design courses with fashion designers at The Universidad Interamericana para el Desarrollo. Luis quickly realized that the genius that toiled in the classroom needed a marketing and sales platform to feature such young amazing talent. He quickly started putting together Villa C. A marketplace for International, young designers.

The idea is to take the necessary steps in finding quality, locally made garments and presenting them through their e-commerce website in a way that’s fair to market and in a way that gives merchandise a sophisticated brand look. The Villa C website coordinates taylor-made solutions for custom garments direct to customers.

Through Villa C, designers will have access to key distribution, manufacturing and collaboration tools and services normally available only in more sophisticated supply chain solutions.

Luis Villa and his start up Villa C are dedicated to offering unique designs from custom designers around the world. This revolutionary idea helps them reach an audience looking for locally made and hard to find goods in a new global market place. His venture is well underway and he certainly has bright horizons ahead as Villa C is expected to officially be launching soon, including the possibility of participating in the next Boot Camp at Manos Accelerator. Manos Accelerator is a mentorship-driven accelerator program that provides “hands-on” education, business resources, infrastructure, capital, and guidance for promising Latino led startup companies, moving them towards a fast track to success.

We are excited to share this journey with all our Cultura Ambassadors. Stay tuned for more exciting news on Luis Villa and Villa C.

 

 

HITEC Making Great Strides – Pushing Up and Pulling Up

 

HITEC is the Hispanic IT Executive Council and one of the most relevant and impactful organizations in the country as they Push Up and Pull Up their members and the communities they engage in. It was founded to increase Hispanic representation in the diversity-challenged IT industry.  HITEC is also a premier global executive leadership organization of senior business and IT executives who have built outstanding careers in information technology.  Its premiere network spans the Americas and is focused on building stronger technology and executive leaders, leadership teams, corporations, and role models in a rapidly changing, flatter, and information technology centric world. These global leaders include executives leading Global 1000 corporations while others lead some of the largest Hispanic-owned IT firms across the Americas.  HITEC enables business and professional growth for its members and fills the executive pipeline with the next generation of Hispanic IT leaders.

This has all been made primarily possible through the vision and leadership of Andre Arbalaez (President) and Alberto Yepez (Chairman) as well as through the dedication and support from numerous distinguished Board of Directors many of which work for Silicon Valley High Tech companies. In addition to having excellent leadership awards and recognition events in markets like New York, DC, Miami and Silicon Valley (soon also in Dallas and Guadalajara, Mexico) they also offer their members a comprehensive emerging executive program. Most recently they’ve launched the HITEC Foundation that will provide scholarships to Latino students who are interested in pursing a STEM degree.

Silicon Valley Latino salutes the great work this organization has accomplished and continues to lead. We are also proud to note that many of our Silicon Valley Latino Cultura Ambassadors (Guillermo Diaz Jr, Ileana Rivera, Ramon Baez, Juan Carlos Gutierrez) have taken an active part in propelling HITEC to new heights while others (Pepe Gomez, Anne-Marie Olholm-Azzi, Jorge Titinger to name a few)  have been behind the scenes.

Once again, we congratulate and salute HITEC and look forward to collaborating with this great organization again in the future.

Adelante!

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!

 

Latinx Leader Laura Gomez lands 2MM for Startup!

Since landing an investment of $2MM in her startup, Cultura Ambassador & Advisory Board member of SVLatino Laura I. Gómez has been interviewed by many but this interview with CNN is her most entertaining in a while.

Share your thoughts on this success story here or via our social media platforms

 

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.

 

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 feel 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.

IMG_5010

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.

IMG_5050

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.