Inform, Protect & Defend: Our role as Immigrant Allies Forum

 

On Saturday, November 18th, Silicon Valley Latino and San Jose City College (SJCC) hosted a highly engaging, informative and stimulating forum related to the post-DACA landscape and the topic of immigration reform. This timely event was hosted by Jorge Escobar, Vice President at San Jose City College at the new SJCC Milpitas Extension.

The event was called “Inform, Protect & Defend: Our role as Immigrant Allies” and the convening featured a panel of immigration experts who discussed the current immigration landscape, what we could do to protect the rights of our vulnerable immigrant communities and ways to engage, advocate and support these efforts. The panel also offered the audience detailed facts and examples on what is happening on local, state and federal levels around immigration policy, ICE activities and so much more.

The forum was moderated by Zulma Maciel, Director of The City of San Jose’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. The panel featured Nikki Marquez from The Immigration Legal Resource Center, Mariela Garcia from Sacred Heart Community Service and from the Santa Clara County, Deputy District Attorney, Josue Fuentes.

All three panelists provided a unique and insightful perspective of what is happening and what we can do to help defend misinformation and assist in keeping those at-risk safe. First, they helped de-mystifying some of the rumors and fears that are circulating in our communities. They also talked about how ICE agents have been using questionable tactics in creating an atmosphere of fear and intimidation throughout specific communities. When in fact, ICE agents need to follow proper law enforcement tactics and procedures to detain anyone. That includes having a warrant. They also informed the audience that anyone living in this country has the right to an attorney as well as the right to remain silent.

The most critical lesson any person can learn is that immigrants living in this country have just the same rights when it comes to law enforcement. A witness to a crime, a person volunteering at civic events, peaceful protestors and traffic violations are all protected from illegal and unnecessary investigation of a person’s citizenship.

The issue is indeed a complicated legal one. That’s why Sacred Hearts Community Services has provided a 24 hour Rapid Response Hotline. The Rapid Response Network in Santa Clara County (RRN) is a community defense project developed to protect immigrant families from deportation threats from the federal administration, and to provide moral and accompaniment support during and after immigration operations in our community. It is a 24/7 hotline that community members can call to report any ICE operations in our county and receive help in real life time.

Any concerned community member that witnesses immigration enforcement activity in Santa Clara County can call the hotline number 24/7. Please note this is not a general information line, if you need general immigration services contact a community based organization in your area.

When you call the RRN line the dispatcher that received the call will support the community member in asserting their rights, and will dispatch trained Rapid Responders to the impacted site.

If immigration enforcement is confirmed, the Rapid Responders will conduct legal observation, collect evidence that may support the immigration case of the impacted family, and provide moral support and accompaniment to the impacted family. If a community member is detained, they will be connected to immigration attorneys for legal counsel and provide additional support. They want to make sure no community member has to go through this on their own.

This is a collaborative project led by Sacred Heart Community Service, PACT, Pangea Legal Services, LUNA, SIREN, CARAS, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, the South Bay Labor Council, the City of San Jose Office of Immigrant Affairs and the Santa Clara County Office of Immigrant Relations.

The most prominent and encouraging defense here in Santa Clara County has been the establishment of The Rapid Response Hotline. This is a direct number to a bank of trained responders who can instantly aid and provide legal help and protocol instantly.

Indeed, many questions persist on the immigration front. Fear runs deep as our at-risk community members are so uncertain about their status in this country and what the future holds.

There are many things we can do as immigrant allies in the community. Saturday’s panel provided 10 action items we can do as immigrant allies to help protect and defend our neighbors.

 

JOIN THE RAPID RESPONSE NETWORK: Protect our undocumented community when they face ICE action. Rapid Responders will record the action of ICE agents and provide support to individuals and families. For more information or to register for a Rapid Response Training visit: http://sacredheartcs.org/rrn/. For questions, contact Rosa DeLeon at ROSAD@sacredheartcs.org.

SPREAD THE WORD: Distribute Know Your Rights (KYR) red cards and Hotline cards to friends, family, places of worship, schools, businesses patronized by Limited-English speakers, etc. For more information on red cards, visit https://www.ilrc.org/red-cards. If you would like to pick up cards from the San Jose Office of Immigrant Affairs, please email ImmigrantAffaris@sanjoseca.gov

ENCOURAGE CITIZENSHIP:

– Support family members and friends who are legal permanent residents to    naturalize.          Visit the New Americans Campaign to learn about citizenship workshops in your event as        well      as information on how you can volunteer: http://newamericanscampaign.org/citizenship-events/.

– Encourage your employer to host a free citizenship workshop for its employees. Contact Monisha Merchant at the New American Workforce: mmerchant@immigrationforum.org

SUPPORT CENSUS 2020 WORK: Volunteer to reach hard-to-count individuals so that everyone is counted. The first opportunity is during Spring 2018, email Zulma Maciel for more information: Zulma.maciel@sanjosca.gov.

JOIN PRO-BONO RESPONSE NETWORK: To help meet the demand for legal services, attorneys and law students are encouraged to sign-up for the statewide Immigration Pro Bono Response network at https://onejustice.org/ourprograms/immigration/.

ATTEND AN EVENT: Show your support for local immigrant and refugee communities. To find an event near you visit http://www.immigrantinfo.org/

STAY INFORMED: LIKE San Jose Office of Immigrant Affairs on Facebook   www.Facebook.com/ImmigrantAffairs.

CALL OR TWEET CONGRESS: Members of Congress need to hear from you. Please urge representatives to act swiftly to pass a clean Dream Act – a permanent legislative solution that provides a pathway toward citizenship for DACA recipients and Dreamers. Visit the ACLU’s Clean Dream Act website for a sample script and to be connected to your Senator:   https://goo.gl/b1ndws.

DISPLAY A WELCOMING SIGN: Show your neighbors that you’re a “WELCOMER.” Pick up a lawn sign from the OIA, email ImmigrantAffaris@sanjoseca.gov.

REPORT NOTARIO FRAUD: Unfortunately, there are people taking advantage of the immigrant community by charging for immigration services that they never provide. Visit United We Dreams’ website for more information on how you can report these activities: https://unitedwedream.org/action/help-stop-fraud/.

 

Silicon Valley Latino appreciates the support of all who attended this convening and their interest to be informed as well as their desire to act as immigrant allies. We were also delighted to have the support and attendance of community and education leaders like City of Milpitas Councilmember, Bob Nuñez, Milpitas Unified School District Superintendent, Cheryl Jordan and education champion and The Center for Latino Education and Innovation and The Maestros Accelerator Program, Executive Director, Dr. David Lopez. We were also pleased to see many local high school students in attendance with interest in becoming advocates to this important issue.  All were truly encouraged to hear real action is being done to protect hard working families, students and those who hold that dream of a better life here in America. We at Silicon Valley Latino were also proud to participate in an afternoon of hope, change and ACTION.

 

Jorge Escobar recognized at HITEC 100 Awards Ceremony

 

Silicon Valley Latino is delighted to announce, SVL Cultura Ambassador and education champion Jorge Escobar, Vice President for San Jose City College, was recently recognized as one of the HITEC 100 Corporate Award Honorees.

For many years now, Silicon Valley Latino has enjoyed covering this special annual awards presentation where many of our Cultura Ambassadors are regularly recognized. Current and past recipients include Guillermo Diaz Jr. -CIO at Cisco, Jorge Titinger – Founder & CEO of Titinger Consulting, Diana Albarran-Chicas – GEO Product Line Manager at Spac Systems Loral to name a few.

Jorge Escobar currently serves as Vice President of Administrative Services at San Jose City College (SJCC). As a member of the Presidential cabinet, his portfolio includes the following strategic areas: bond program for facilities development and operations; campus buildings and grounds management; financial services; business services; technology; campus police and safety; and operational performance of the 55-acre campus.

Before SJCC, he served as Vice President of Campus Operations and as Executive Director of Operations at Laureate International Universities (LIU), at the National Hispanic University (NHU) in San Jose, CA, and St. Augustine Universities, respectively.   At different times during his trajectory, he was responsible for multiple teams at the campus and functional expert in areas of Bursar, Financial Aid, Operations, AP, Facilities, Real Estate, Risk Management, and Information Technology. As a Sr. Leader in the organization, he supported the attainment of University goals and objectives in accordance with the institutional mission and strategic vision.

Prior to joining LIU, Jorge worked for Princeton University, where he served as senior associate director of planning and operations for the Office of Development creating a resource request to launch the Aspire capital campaign. The $1.75 billion campaign required the development of strategies relating to the allocation of resources in support of strategic plans (short and long-term).

Throughout his career, Escobar, a certified Six Sigma Black Belt, has applied his broad expertise in operations and technology at large institutions worldwide. For almost 10 years at Merrill Lynch, he performed global business reviews in Toronto, Tokyo, and London and became Vice President of Global Business Strategies and Solutions managing initiatives in data strategy, systems integration, performance metrics, and cost savings.

Escobar is an advisor to the International Commission of Science and Technology in the Dominican Republic and works with SENACYT (Secretaría Nacional de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación) evaluating research and development projects funded by the Panama government and the Inter-American Development Bank.

Escobar has led the National Hispanic Employee Network at Merrill Lynch and volunteered for AARP, Habitat for Humanity, and other community-focused organizations. In addition, he is a board member for HISPA (Hispanics Inspiring Student’s Performance Achievement) a non-profit organization providing role models to students in middle school. Finally, Jorge spearheaded Latino Princetonians, an employee resource group at Princeton University.

Educationally, Jorge has achieved a Master of Education with a concentration in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment from Walden University; Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, Thomas Edison State College; Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Rider University, New Jersey.

Additionally, Escobar is bilingual in Spanish-English, he is highly trained and proficient in multiple technology applications and has completed relevant professional seminars and conferences including the Looking Glass Experience, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Enterprise Architecture Modeling, Financial Reporting, Conflict Resolution, Advancement Services, Leadership Through People Skills, Results-Oriented Communication, and Market Data Management.

Jorge has also received numerous awards and commendations including a Special Recognition Award from Princeton University (2011), the Donald Griffin ’23 Management Award, Princeton University (2010), and the Special Achievement Award, Merrill Lynch (1997).

We would like to congratulate Jorge once again for being recognized as one of the HITEC 100.

 

 

Latino Leaders Fireside Chat Series Launch with Tony Quintero

 

Silicon Valley Latino and San Jose City College had the distinct pleasure of bringing together the community to become part of our inaugural Latino Leaders Fireside Chat Series featuring Tony Quintero at the new Milpitas Extension campus.

We were challenged with the task of condensing this man’s amazing accomplishments and adventures in the two hour talk. We could have gone all afternoon. Certainly those in attendance wanted more.

Tony awed and inspired the participants with his unique life story. Starting out as a humble transfer student at San Jose State University to leading The La Raza National Law Students Association, to teaching at different universities statewide.  He also became a commercial real estate all-star, the first Latino to own a chain of regional malls to now becoming a Latino industry champion. All with a focus to support and inspire Latinas/Latinos, never losing site of the rage burning inside of him. As a child, Tony witnessed first hand how our community was treated back in the 1960’s. Refusing to come to grips with the question haunting him from an early childhood experience. “Why does God let us be second class citizens?”

What attendees learned was that Tony was able to harness that independent spirit and align himself with those values early on. Tony has always worked as an independent agent.

When posed the question of why he never sought to run for office Tony, answers, “because he did not want to participate in the money in politics bureaucracy or red tape.” This has allowed him to make the kind of changes and have the impact he has had in his career.

A child of a WWII veteran and a warm, nurturing mother, growing up in Redwood City, Tony experienced poverty at a young age as his father struggled to find work in the post WWII bay area. After serving and becoming citizens after the war, many families struggled and often questioned what they were fighting for. Tony’s experience was a lot like many Latinos in that era, trying to find identity, while facing racial injustice and lack of opportunities in school and in the workplace. Even to the point, as Tony recalls, of Mexican children segregated in schools and forced to share classrooms in horse stables. Until in 1947 the case of Mendez v. Westminster in which the Federal Court ruled this type of segregation as unconstitutional. Tony knew early on that college was his path. He found refuge in books, became a book worm. Bullied more for this, Tony focused even more, and fueled by the discrimination and misunderstandings around him, fought to make a difference.

Those battles percolate in every turn of Tony’s career. Fighting for justice through earning a law degree from Cal Berkeley, starting the first EOP Program at San Jose State University and being Elected First National President of La Raza Law Students Association in 1970.

Tony’s ascent was rapid and clear. He wanted to give Latinos a voice. He wanted to organize and lead. Being the maverick that he is, Tony did not seek to align with red tape, he aligned with action.

The next chapter in Tony’s career lead to an interest in Commercial Real Estate. Seeking to breathe life into a downtown San Jose area that had become run down and stagnant. He saw the future of this high tech mecca. He’s quoted in the early 90’s as predicting a major corporation would call San Jose home within 5 years. His foresight was dead on, to say the least. He moved on to the buying and developing of shopping malls, and was instrumental in allowing small, minority owned businesses to share the stage with major retail players.

Tony’s latest endeavor is developing and producing films which portray Latinos in a more positive light. Latinos represent over 25% of box office ticket sales, yet are grossly under represented on film. With well under 4% of roles going to Latinos. Not only that, but often cultural biographies representing Latino figures are often cast to Anglos. Tony points out numerous examples. The audience nods in recognition.

Those who were fortunate enough to sit down with Tony at our fireside chat were allowed a glimpse of a compassionate and determined individual, who so eloquently reminded us that revolution, comes from within.

We are certainly grateful for allowing Tony to share his story and inspire so many.

 

 

 

 

College Declaration Day 2017!

 

Once again Silicon Valley Latino is proud to shine the spotlight on stellar Latinos leading the way, this time however, it’s done through a strategic partnership with San Jose City College and the focus is on the next generation of emerging leaders.

On August 23rd, San Jose City College and Silicon Valley Latino collaborated in producing the inaugural “College Declaration Day” where eight honorees were featured and celebrated for their academic achievements. Our community, which included parents, students, family members, educators and Cultura Ambassadors, gathered at the new San Jose City College Milpitas Extension to pay tribute to eight exceptional high school seniors as they took their first steps into pursuing a college degree.

The festivities commenced with welcome and opening remarks by Alex Ontiveros, founder of Silicon Valley Latino.  He then introduced Jorge Escobar, Vice President of San Jose City College, who delivered passionate and encouraging remarks to our College Declaration Day inaugural cohort.  The enthusiasm continued as Adam Mendoza, Vice President of Marketing for Silicon Valley Latino introduced the evening’s master of ceremonies, Cultura Ambassador and serial entrepreneur, Nancy Rosales. Nancy introduced each honoree by reading their inspiring bios and announcing which school they are attending this fall. After each introduction, each honoree delivered heartwarming remarks of gratitude and appreciation for all who helped along their academic journey. They also declared that they give their best effort as they start the collegiate journeys and that they will find a way to give back to their community upon their graduations. The event was also streamed via Facebook Live in an effort to reach audiences beyond Silicon Valley, in fact, the live-stream reached over 6,300 people and had just under 2,000 views.  The other goal in streaming the event was to share these stories of commitment and perseverance in an effort to inspire others in our communities, especially young girls and boys so they could also see themselves as successful scholars entering the college of their choice. We are also optimistic that this will be the first of many College Declaration Day events and that the number of academic honorees will grow each year.

The inaugural College Declaration Day cohort includes:

  • Krista Arellano – Yale University
  • Daniela Cervantes – University of California at Berkeley
  • Gissel Neri Corcoles – Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
  • Apolinar De Jesus – University of California at Santa Barbara
  • Evelyn Lazaro-Ruiz – Vassar College
  • Yulissa Martin-Covarrubias – University of California at Berkeley
  • Anthony Bernard Tapiz – California State University at Monterey Bay
  • Josalyne Torres-Baez – University of California at Davis

We wish them all the best as they enter their freshmen year and look forward to providing our audiences with updates throughout their first year.

Lastly, we would like to give special thanks to Cultura Ambassador and education champion, Jorge Escobar, for seeing the vision of College Declaration Day and partnering with Silicon Valley Latino in producing this special event. We also want to offer a special acknowledgment to, Cultura Ambassador, Ileana Ortega Brunetti of Ceiba Public Schools for her assistance with the nomination process. Additionally, we want to thank San Jose City College and the Milpitas Extension Team including Michael Mooney, Director of the Milpitas Extension along with all our families, educators and Cultura Ambassadors that came out to support this special event.

 

Adelante!

 

Inspire Higher Panel at SJCC Milpitas Extension

 

On the evening of August 30th, Silicon Valley Latino and San Jose City College were delighted to present the first Inspire Higher Panel presentation to an open audience. Typically, the Inspire Higher program has been a tour involving select high schools in the South Bay. These schools have included the Luis Valdez Leadership Academy, Latino College Preparatory Academy, Cristo Rey, Milpitas High School and ACE Charter High School as well as ACE Middle School and Sacred Heart Nativity Schools. Through the Inspire Higher Tour, Silicon Valley Latino features four Latinos from the STEAM fields. Although STEAM is typically the acronym that represents Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math, through our definition the “E” also represents Entrepreneurship and Entertainment and the “M” also represents Media, Marketing and Management. We typically feature two Latinas and two Latinos from these fields through a one-hour moderated panel discussion. During this hour the panelists share their journeys in a very open, honest and authentic manner, they share the good, the bad and the ugly.  The panelists share in such an inspiring way that even though the students did not know them prior to the panel presentation they rush at them at the conclusion of the Q & A segment like groupies to rock stars, it’s such a beautiful thing to watch.

One of the challenges that Silicon Valley Latino has faced in the past years while presenting the Inspire Higher Tour is that these presentations have been rather exclusive to students of the select high schools participating. However, now through an established partnership with San Jose City College, these panel presentations will be offered to the general public (students, parents, professionals, etc) on a regular basis at the new San Jose City College Milpitas Extension. Both Silicon Valley Latino and San Jose City College are excited about this partnership and prospect of offering a variety of similar type activities for our community.

On August 30th, the first Inspire Higher Panel presentation at the San Jose City College Milpitas Extension featured a stellar line-up of Latino Cultura Ambassadors which included Diana Albarrán Chicas (GEO Product Line Manager at SSL and co-founder of Latinas in STEM), Rich Garcia (co-founder of Blyve.com), Nancy Rosales (Serial Entrepreneur and media & business consultant), and Ivan Reyes (Serial Entrepreneur and Executive Director for the Police Activities League in Redwood City).  As usual, these panelists shared their journeys in a truly inspiring manner and passed on lessons learned as well as what inspires them these days. We encourage you to watch our Inspire Higher recap video below.

Also, stay tuned to the next Inspire Higher Panel presentation at the new San Jose City College Milpitas Extension!

 

SJZ Summer Fest 2017

 

 

SJZ Summer Fest Recap Video featuring photos from the festival and song (Somos El Son De La Calle by Braulio Barrera).

The only thing greater than experiencing the joy of a great live performance is doing so amongst an appreciative audience composed of other great music lovers. And it’s in that moment you realize festivals like the San Jose Summer Jazz Fest are really about music fans. Fans treated to so much hidden and diverse talents. Fans who get it.

This year’s Fest featured such an eclectic mix of old school favorites, world music, traditional genres like bebop and salsa, as well as a host of fresh new talent from around the world.
Silicon Valley Latino was thrilled to participate in this musical whirlwind and truly enjoyed seeing so many cultura ambassadors doing the same.

The music was rich, the food was wonderful and the weekend weather was perfect as thousands of attendees strolled the streets of downtown San Jose this past weekend.
SJZ is more than a jazz festival, it’s a cultural experience. Produced by jazz fans, for jazz fans. The love for music was prevalent and palatable on all stages. The experience of not just the music, but the stories behind the music. The rich history behind the artist’s interpretation of what we pool together and call jazz. Most settings had an element of intimacy and allowed the artist to talk and share their tales in such a refreshing format. These are the things that make San Jose Jazz Fest so unique and inviting. The artists were giving of their talents and the audience was receptive.

This widely diverse and engaging mix of musicians and audience couldn’t help but remind us how blessed we are to live in a place that champions the talent without judgments of race or background or political differences. The world could learn great lessons taught in the hearts and minds of these talented musicians. Voices that cut through division and sound the rhythm of unity and passion. Festivals like this cut through the thing that make us different, and celebrates those differences in the most artistic way. The voice and expression of love…for all.

It’s impossible to catch all the acts over the three day event, but SVL was in full force catching the sparks flying off stages all over downtown San Jo. The first Friday Night I was awestruck by the tightest band I think I’ve ever seen in my life. No not George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic. Although they were a different brand indeed, loose, funky and fun. It gave the audience an opportunity to shake off the sillys and just vibe to that crazy three ring circus they bring to the stage. No, the real magic came from opener Orgóne. A soulful, bad ass group of young LA funksters that brought a joy and energy to opening night that was just right. Cool but accessible. Sexy and inviting and delivered to perfection. Look out for this band. They were absolutely amazing.

Late night Friday we hung out with our favorite crazy soul sister Ginetta Minichielio from New York who had us in stitches at The Jade Leaf. She is a super spirited and talented pocket trumpet player. Just a joy. Imagine Miles Davis meets Amy Winehouse. Beautiful stuff.

The warm Saturday sun saw a massive crowd dancing through the maze of music and energy bouncing from the Salsa stage to cool little jams at the blues/big easy stage and down at Café Stritch. The evening was capped off on the main stage with Chris Botti who brought an entire orchestra and by finale had pared down to a single piano. And at every turn lent his unique voice to each movement. A dazzling and moving production.

Sunday stand outs included Cyrille Aimée and Daymé Arocena. Both bringing unbelievable vocal stylings to the very charming Hammer Theatre.
Overall, the weekend left our souls stirred and our feet on fire. But we are so grateful to have this amazing festival as part of our wonderfully diverse Silicon Valley. It’s truly refreshing to know that we live in a part of the world that enjoys the various flavors and textures of our diversity, it all starts with an inclination towards an inclusive frame of mind. We’re optimistic about seeing this rich tradition continue to thrive and grow in our beautiful and transcending downtown.

28th Annual Summer Jazz Fest & A Farewell to Mr. Latin Jazz

 

For the past 28 years, the San José Jazz Summer Fest has brought a vibrant and exciting music festival to the San José community. What started out as a small party with a rather limited budget and mostly conventional jazz acts has now evolved into one of the most anticipated and comprehensive three-day jazz festivals going. One of the principal collaborators in shepherding the growth of the festival over the past thirteen years has been Board Chair Emeritus Arturo Riera, also known as Mr. Latin Jazz.

Riera is and has been a champion in the Latin Jazz movement for what seems to be a life time and that is what attracted him to San José Jazz over thirteen years ago. During his tenure with SJZ, he has been the Latin Curator of the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest. Through this role, he has spearheaded the growth of the number of Latin acts to twenty throughout the festival. You’ll be hard pressed to find another festival that offers close to twenty diverse and exciting acts in a three-day span. Maestro Riera has been active in cultivating key relationships for SJZ as well as securing key grants with the Packard and Castellano Family Foundations. His reach and influence have been an integral part of San José Jazz. So, if you see Mr. Latin Jazz this weekend at Summer Fest you may want to say “thanks” for his contributions the festival as this appears to be his last year with SJZ.

As for the Latin acts we are anticipating at this year’s festival, they include our friend Oscar Hernandez and Alma Libre, Bay Area Salsa All-Stars featuring Jimmy Bosch: A Tribute to “El Timbalero” Louie Romero, Angelique Kidjo’s Tribute to Salsa with Pedrito Martinez, Lily Hernandez Orquestra featuring Calixto Oviedo, Eddie Gomez & Jimmy Cobb and of course the Pacific Mambo Orchestra.

Silicon Valley Latino and our community also appreciates the tireless work the San José Jazz family (SJZ Board, staff and volunteers) dedicates to this exceptional festival each year. Additionally, we would also like to thank and acknowledge the contributions from our Silicon Valley Latino Cultura Ambassadors and SVL Honorees such as Tommy Aguilar, Mia Perez and of course the Castellano Family Foundation. We look forward to seeing you this weekend!

If you attend the festival go ahead and tag us (twitter @SVLatino/Instagram#SVLatino) to have your photos highlighted #SVLatino

 

SVL presents Declaration Day August 23rd

 

 

In partnership with San Jose City College, Silicon Valley Latino is proud to present its inaugural “Declaration Day” on August 23rd at the San Jose City College Milpitas Extension. Declaration Day is a unique and special event where local Latino scholars will be recognized for their academic excellence surrounded by their family and community.

This event was inspired by observing the manner high school senior athletes hold press conferences to declare which university and football program they have selected. In a similar fashion, Silicon Valley Latino will feature scholars who will also declare the universities that they have selected. The principal difference is that Silicon Valley Latino will feature these young women and men based on their academic achievements as opposed to those on a football field.

In addition to declaring their university selection, they will also declare that they will give their best academic effort earning their degrees and that upon graduation they will find a way to give back to their community. Silicon Valley Latino will make the commitment of stay engaged with these scholars and keep our community posted on their progress.

Silicon Valley Latino and San Jose City College invite the community to come out and celebrate these young women and men as they prepare to leave their homes and venture on their higher education journeys.  You may RSVP via Eventbrite link.

We look forward to seeing you then!

2017 College Declaration Day – Call for Nominations

 

Silicon Valley Latino is delighted to announce its First Annual Declaration Day.

Declaration Day will be a special event where we will pay tribute to select high school graduates that will be entering top tier schools the fall of 2017.

At this time, we ask our community to submit nominations for this special and inaugural event that will recognize some of our special local graduates.

In order to submit a nomination fill out the following google form: Submission Form

• Name of Student
• Contact Information (phone number and email address)
• Nominees Compelling Story  (Essay 350-500 words)
• GPA (weighted and unweighted)
• University accepted and entering in the fall of 2017

We look forward to receiving your nominations!

Daniela Cervantes: HHF Ignite Program Fellow & SVL Intern

 

 

Daniela Cervantes is a 17-year-old incoming freshman at the University of California, Berkeley. She was born in Salinas, California and grew up in Greenfield, California where she attended Greenfield High School and graduated at the top of her class. Growing up in an underserved, low-income community, Daniela was fueled by her parents’ experiences as blue collar workers and Oaxacan heritage in order to strive for academic success.

Daniela distinguished herself as a leader in her school and agricultural hometown by serving as President of her student body during her 8th grade, freshman, and sophomore years, and then serving as Associated Student Body President as a senior. Through these roles Daniela ensured that organizing, planning, and executing activities such as Homecoming Week, rallies, and Prom met her class and school’s needs. Additionally, she co-founded her school’s first Gay-Straight Alliance to advocate for LGBTQ+ inclusion in a generally intolerant community. Daniela is especially proud to have impacted her community as founder and President of her class’ French Club which fundraised, planned, and executed a trip to France for herself and eight other low-income classmates who had been rigorously studying the language for four years.

Through her extensive leadership positions and dedication to volunteering with her local outreach organizations, Daniela’s senior year of high school was filled with college acceptances to New York University, UCLA, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, and early admission to UC Berkeley, along with Berkeley’s most prestigious merit-based Regents and Chancellor’s scholarship.

Furthermore, Daniela was awarded the Coca Cola Scholarship of $20,000, which went to only 150 students in the United States out of 86,000 applicants, as well as the Youth Award in Community Service from the Hispanic Heritage Foundation.

Daniela is truly passionate about activism and advocacy for the representation and success of under-served and underrepresented groups such as communities of color, women’s and LGBT rights. She’s currently at a stage in her life where she can see herself as a politician, cinematographer, marketing executive, film producer, or a non-profit CEO. Daniela is looking forward to taking advantage of all the opportunities at UC Berkeley and beyond to fulfill her goals and create a meaningful impact in the world.

We are delighted that Daniela’s passion, vision and goals align so well with those of Silicon Valley Latino. We also believe her future is full of promise and are optimistic that she will not only accomplish her goals but exceed expectations. Silicon Valley Latino is happy to have her as an intern through the Hispanic Heritage Foundation’s Ignite Program and we’ll do everything to support her success. Adelante!