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FLA-Board-Bios

OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Heliodoro Moreno, Jr., Esq.
President

FLA-Board-Bios-004I was born and raised in the East Bay Area to a Mexican immigrant family.  I was a FLA delegate in 1997, and in 1998, I attended the FLA Encuentro in Washington, DC.  I was also a facilitator at our Youth Leadership Conference in 2001.  I honorably served on active duty in the United States Marine Corps for five years, serving a tour in Iraq and Afghanistan in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. I received a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Northern Iowa in 2007.  In 2011, I received a juris doctor from California Western School of Law in San Diego.  I am currently an immigration attorney in the Bay Area.  I believe strongly in the difference that FLA can make in an adolescent’s life because being part of FLA showed me to believe in myself and taught me to strive for success in all that I do.


Jessica Rojas
Vice President

Jessica I was born and raised in Pittsburg, CA. Three of my four grandparents were born in Mexico and after coming to the U.S., they worked many years in the fields with my parents occasionally working alongside them to help make ends meet. My family instilled in me the importance of education, having a strong work ethic as well the value of giving back to the community. My godparents also played a major role in my life by encouraging my parents to send me to a Latino youth leadership conference (FLA) in 1994. I was surrounded by Latino/a professionals and college students telling me that I mattered, that I should speak up, not only for myself, but for my community. Between my family and FLA I learned and embraced that I could achieve my dreams and make a difference. Over the years I held many roles in FLA – A-Team, Peer Facilitator, Facilitator, Director Intern, Director, Staff Trainer, Presenter and Board Member. With encouragement and support from my family as well as my FLA Familia, I became the first person in my family to graduate college. I received my AA in 2000 from LMC, my BSW in 2002 and my MSW in 2005 both from SFSU. As of April 2019, I achieved my career goal of becoming an LCSW. In my career, I have worked all over the Bay Area with youth and am grateful to have the opportunity to provide mental health services to youth in my hometown of Pittsburg, CA since 2006 with Lincoln Families! I am currently the Program Director of School Based Services in Contra Costa County and in 2019 I was promoted to be a part of the Senior Management Team. FLA has played a major role in my successes over the years and I am eternally grateful for all the role models and now friends that I have made through this organization. It is an honor to give back to FLA and help youth aspire to achieve their dreams and make a difference in their community!


Joel Moreno
CFO

Joel I am from a first-generation low income immigrant family. I am a Fire Life Safety Operations Manager in the San Francisco Bay Area with 11 years of project management experience and in leading organizational growth. I served 8 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, where I developed leadership skills and a tactful sense of urgency to achieve goals and target attainment. In 2006, I earned an associate’s degree in Electronics, and I am a certified Project Management Professional. I am a Lifelong Greater East Bay Area resident (Pittsburg, CA) and I dedicate my time to family, active living and community youth engagement.

 


Rosario Cortés
Secretary

Rosario I was born in Michoacán, Mexico and migrated to the United States at the age of 11 years old to be reunited with my parents and siblings. I am the oldest of 6 children, first generation college student, and a DREAMER. I have always been determined to be a role model for my siblings and future generations and to show them the importance of obtaining a higher education. This was instilled in me at a very young age by my mother, an immigrant with less than a first-grade education who has always pushed me to reach my dreams no matter what the obstacles there are. It was her encouragement, her teaching and support that pushed me to obtained two bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and Chicano/a Studies from the University of California Davis. It is this same encouragement and support that I want to continue to provide to our future Latino students.

 


Hermilo Monroy, Jr.

Hermilo Monroy I was born and raised in the Bay area (Berkeley!!!) to a Mexican immigrant family. I first attended FLA as a delegate in 1996 and returned as an A-Team member and Peer Facilitator in 1997 and 1998, respectively. FLA helped me find and foster leadership skills that have helped me throughout my scholastic and professional careers. It is because of my family and programs like FLA that I could earn a degree in Mechanical Engineering. I currently work in Automatons Engineering and have had the pleasure of working for companies that help people get better. “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars” – 1996 FLA staff but it was really Norman Vincent Peale.


 

Christina Solórzano

Christina I was born to Nicaraguan parents and am the youngest of 5 siblings. I attended camp as a delegate in 2004, was an A-Team member in 2005 and became a member of the East Bay Affiliate Board of Directors in 2006. I also had the chance to be a Peer Facilitator in 2007 at the Oxnard camp, and a Peer Facilitator in the East Bay camp in 2008. I was the first person in my immediate family to go  to  a  4-year  university,  and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from San Jose State University. I am currently the Vice President of Production at Kukui Corporation in San Jose. I believe that if it weren't for FLA, I would not have pursued my goals and wouldn't have been the confident and outgoing person I is today. I attribute lots of my success to the skill-sets I learned from FLA.


Janitzia Rodriguez

Janitzia I was born and raised in the East Bay Area to a Mexican immigrant family. I was an FLA delegate in 1997, and participated all four years of high school in contribution to the peer-run YLC, as well as level 2 and 3 conferences. I graduated from Saint Mary’s College of California with a double major in Sociology and Spanish. I studied abroad in
Europe for a semester, and upon graduating, I moved across country for two years to Camden, New Jersey serving as a volunteer middle school educator for inner city boys at a Lasallian institution ran by Christian Brothers through Ameri-Corp. It was the opportunity of translating for the family therapy sessions at the school that I realized my calling to become a mental health therapist for the under-served population within my own community. I moved back home and worked as a residential counselor at a locked-down facility for foster youth and received my Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. I am a product of Future Leaders of America and have taken FLA along my journey through the skills I have acquired through it. It has been a lifelong dream of mine to return to FLA in support others in having the same opportunity.


Berny Garcia

BernyI was born to two hard working Salvadorian parents raised in Berkeley CA. I attended the leadership conference in 1996. I was on A-team in 1997, a peer facilitator in 1998 and 1999, facilitator in 2000 and 2008. I was a facilitator in 2001 at the Washington DC conference. I also attended many of the    university    conferences    between   1997-2000.

Throughout the years I have attended numerous board meetings and have been as active in the organization as I could. I have my associate’s degree in Business and certificate in baking and pastry from the California Culinary Academy. With two young kids, I now live everyday using skills that I learned at FLA. I am the advocate that I am for my children because of Future Leaders. Community awareness, leadership skills, ability to speak in public, and self-confidence are just some of the skills I use daily. Our youth is our future and as a mom and an alumnus I am very passionate to keep Future Leaders of America alive in the East Bay Area.



Mariana Sierra

Mariana I am originally from Guanajuato, Mexico and immigrated to Concord California when I was thirteen years old. I attended FLA’s Leadership camp in 1992. Because of FLA I became the first one from my family to graduate from high school. I attended Diablo Valley College, transferred to UC Berkeley and graduated in 2004 with a degree in Industrial Engineering & Operations Research. I have over twelve years of experience as a Project Manager in the energy industry and will be starting my MBA at UCLA in the fall of 2017. Since college I have returned to FLA as a Facilitator for various     conferences     including     New     Comers Conference in Stockton, Parent-Teen Conference in Southern California, was FLA UC Berkeley Conference organizer and Intern, Camp Director at Santa Maria in 2004, and Camp Co-Director at UC Davis in 2008. Thanks to FLA I learned as a young Latina to set goals for myself and to believe in myself. I credit FLA for my success and I want to see other Latino youth succeed.


Maria Yip

MariaI am Mexican-American, born and raised in the East Bay Area. I am the first in my family to attend college. I graduated from the University of California, Riverside in 2006 with a Bachelors in Economicswitha concentration in Marketing. I attended the FLA leadership conference as a delegate in the summer of 1998 and returned every year thereafter through 2005. I came back as A- Team, Peer Facilitator, Facilitator, and my last summer as an intern. I also attended the Washington DC Leadership Conference in the summer of 2001. I am a strong believer in the positive changes that FLA can make in an adolescent's life and I hope to help to continue the legacy that is FLA, so that one day, my kids can also learn from the experiences that I had as an adolescent. It's important to mold our youth into strong, charismatic, and courageous individuals and that's something that FLA absolutely does for our youth.


Selena Rosalez

Selena I was raised in Pittsburg, CA with the values of Future Leaders instilled in my upbringing. I graduated from Pittsburg High School where I volunteered as a Veteran Facilitator for Four Corners Youth Organization, a non-profit for at risk youth. I achieved an Associates of Arts in Psychology from Diablo Valley College and a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from California State University, Monterey Bay. Over the years, I have continued to serve non-profit college and youth lead organizations in the Monterey and East Bay Areas. I have worked as an Intervention Specialist with Lincoln Families, providing mental health intervention rehabilitation support services and advocacy to Pittsburg youth and their families. As an Investigator with The Children's Law Center, I provided legal support and advocacy to foster youth and families within Sacramento County. I have served FLA as an Observer, Presenter, Youth Facilitator and East Bay Area Board Member. Because of the values FLA has instilled in my lifetime, I aspire to give back, serve youth and pass down the abundance of knowledge and skill that FLA has given me to succeed both academically and professionally.


Ruben Rosalez

Ruben A native of Pittsburg, California, I graduated from the University of the Pacific in 1987 with a B.S. in Public Administration. I then started with the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division that same year in Los Angeles as an investigator. I went on to serve as an investigator in Sacramento, Oakland,  San  Francisco,  and
Fresno. In February 1997, I was promoted to the Assistant District Director position in the San Francisco District Office. In March 2007, I was promoted to the position of Regional Director of Enforcement and advised all the offices on enforcement issues. In May 2009, I was promoted to Deputy Regional Administrator for the Western Region. In June of 2012, I was appointed to my current position as Regional Administrator for the Western Region. My territory for supervision now includes California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Saipan and American Samoa. In 1982 FLA was formed to ensure that Latino youth, from throughout the state, become leaders and strive for higher education. That was an incredible experience for me. In the late 70s and early 1980s there were very few avenues to see Latino role models. With FLA, they were right in front of us and really cared about our future. I was hooked from day one and truly saw firsthand the benefits of investing in our future through our youth!


Vince Ferrante

Vince I am a lifelong resident of Pittsburg and have served my community for over 30 years on various youth basednon-profit organization boards and positions. I have also served as an elected public official for three terms spanning 12 years on the local Board of Education inclusive of three stints as Board President. I am currently in my 32nd year as a proud, certificated and state licensed union electrician with over 20 years of Field Supervision experience supplemented with training certifications in leadership, safety and productivity. I have previously served Future Leaders of America, East Bay Area Affiliate from 1992 -2004. The various capacities in which I served were inclusive of Chaperone, Facilitator, Board Member, Scholarship Benefactor and five years as Executive Director. In the Executive Director position, I was tasked with conducting the day to day operations of the affiliate inclusive of grant writing in addition to managing the pre-event logistics of the week-long Level I Leadership Conference, Level II University Workshop and Level III Washington D.C. Congressional Seminar. I am looking forward to passing on my knowledge and experience in an advisory capacity to the next generation of bright, talented and energetic FLA Alumni that are now integral members of our community and leaders in their own right.


Dr. Elizabeth Gonzalez-Sidrian

I was born and raised in Southern California to Mexican- American parents who instilled the importance of culture, education and giving back to the community. I had the privilege of first attending Future Leaders in 1982 when the dream of Gil Cuevas came alive in Sacramento, CA. The following year I was a Peer Counselor at the leadership conference. The next year, Mr. Cuevas started FLA for ninth and tenth grade students from Ventura County and the surrounding communities. Since that time, I have returned to FLA in various roles including: Peer Facilitator, Facilitator, Camp Intern, Camp Director, Presenter, Staff Trainer, Level Two Leadership Trainer, and FLA East Bay Board Member. With the support of my family and FLA I earned my B.S. from the University of Southern California (USC), an M.A. from the University of California at Davis (UCD), and a Pupil Personnel Services Credential as well as a School Psychology Credential from UCD. After graduation, I worked as a School Psychologist for the Pajaro Valley Unified School District (PVUSD). Shortly after, I decided to return to school and completed a second M.A as well as a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP). After completing my Ph.D., I worked as a clinical psychologist with the University of California, Davis - Child Protection Center (CPC). I quickly learned that I missed the work I was doing with at-risk students and returned to the school setting. Since 2001, I have been employed as a psychologist with the Pittsburg Unified School District (PUSD). Throughout my education and career, the messages that FLA as well as my family instilled in me continue to date, including those of familia, leadership, and giving to others. One of the many lessons I learned from FLA over the years is that leaders are represented in a variety of roles and we must cherish one another as well as work together for our youth.


Paul Ramirez

Paul I was born in Brentwood,  CA 66 years ago when it was totally an agricultural community to a familia of 5 brothers and 5 sisters. My father and mother were my first teachers and inspiration. My father was a World War II decorated veteran and my mother was a community organizer and activist. They both taught me to always stand up to bullies and remember that we are all equal even while the “system” needs fixing. My brothers and sisters all worked in the fields of Brentwood to help the family. I attended Liberty High School, Diablo Valley College and San Jose State College. I worked at UC Davis as the Coordinator of Early Academic Outreach Program for 10 years. Then, at the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage Hour Division as a Federal Investigator for 21 years. I am proud to have 43 years of serving our Chicano-Latino Community, including as a co-founder and board member of FLA Bay Area, helping our youth, parents and community to receive all their rights including human dignity, labor rights, immigration rights, youth rights, educational rights and protecting our Mother Earth. FLA is a Familia that serves our youth and parents, I am proud to serve with and see our younger FLA Alumni Warriors step up with their positive energy, Alma y Ganas to continue our Legacy!! I feel as excited and energized as I did 43 years ago; volunteering and activism keeps you young!!

 

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