Since 1982, Future Leaders of America (FLA) has transformed the lives of youth and their families.

FLA History Pic

The organization was first founded as a grassroots response to concerns about the high incidence of destructive behaviors in Latino youth including high school dropouts, gang activity, substance abuse, lack of parent involvement and limited civic engagement, amongst other high-risk behaviors. The founder, Gil Cuevas, also saw a void of Latino/a leaders and role model for youth. Unfortunately, not much has changed since 1982. Oxnard and Santa Barbara still face high incidence of high risk activities among Latino/a youth.

Year round programming is provided to participants that continue to engage them in leadership, education and advocacy through University Seminars, Youth groups, Facilitator training and Family Leadership camps. With this program, FLA has opened doors to new realities to over 8,000 unduplicated youth throughout the state of California. With the support of FLA, Latino/a youth have attended prestigious universities around the nation including Columbia, Berkeley, Stanford, Harvard, UCSB, UCLA, and Duke to name a few. FLA youth have gone on to become successful lawyers, educators, non-profit leaders and elected officials! Because of FLA, youth succeed!

Today, Future Leaders embraces its rich and longstanding history by renewing its commitment to helping youth achieve their full potential in school, their career choices, and in life. Our peer to peer model continues to provide youth opportunities to succeed in leadership and in school.

Meet the FLA Founder

FLA Founder

Future Leaders of America was founded by educator Gil Cuevas in 1982. Our community owes a debt of gratitude for his vision and commitment of empowering Latino youth. We honor and salute his legacy by strengthening FLA youth programs for future generations.

FLA Over the Years


FLA East Bay’s Founder

Ruben Rosalez
Ruben Rosalez

In 1991 Ruben Rosalez, who participated in the 1982 inaugural conference in Southern California, came back home to Pittsburg, California and established the East Bay Area Affiliate of FLA. Ruben currently works for the United States Federal Department of Labor. Ruben knows the role that FLA has played in his own success and is now sharing that with others. Ruben is now leading a new group of FLA alumni with the resurrection of FLA East Bay Area. Those trained to lead are now leading.

FLA East Bay Area


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