Five Latino Leaders' Thoughts On Leadership and Education

We kick off Hispanic Heritage Month with words of wisdom from Latino leaders.
Monday, September 16, 2013

This week kicks off Hispanic Heritage Month! We are embarking on a month-long celebration of the Latino community – our líderes, our culture, our language, and our diversity – as well as an exploration of our community’s relationship with education.

The following inspiring Latin@ leaders represent the incredible progress we’ve made as a community, and inspire us to overcome the challenges that remain by fueling the líder we all carry inside.

¡Que comience la celebración!


A middle-aged woman with short curly gray hair, wearing gold earrings a gold necklace with charms, and a black blazer with a white embroidered plant motif, with arms bent up at the elbows.


Juana Bordas –  Author - "The Power of Latino Leadership"

“Latinos are diversity—they are a cultural and ethnic group, not a race. Latinos are Brown, Black, White, Yellow, and all the beautiful hues in between. Some Latinos have ancestors who were here before this country was the United States. Others have recently immigrated. Our extended families are composed of multiple generations. These differences drive an inclusive leadership form rooted in the culture’s expansive diversity. Latino leadership is one of coalition building, bringing people together, working across sectors, and embracing a consciousness of partnership. Latino leaders leverage the power of inclusion.”


A middle-aged man with slicked hair smiles from a podium, wearing a blue blazer, white shirt, and red tie, with an American flag and another flag in the background.


Marty Castro – Chair, Co-Founder, New Futuro

Education is one of the most important civil rights. When you give someone an education, it changes them irreversibly; it transforms their life and it changes their community forever. Once you have an education you can’t be oppressed, you can’t be led astray. It is crucially important to me that I help young Latinos reach the American dream; education is its foundation.”


A young woman in a green dress and a young woman in a blue dress smiling in a park with their arms around each other.


Vanessa Lugo – International Studies Coordinator and Community Relations Coordinator, Denver Center for International Studies at Fairmont

Our children yearn for educators who will not only provide them with a quality education but an educator who will communicate to them that their culture, language, and backgrounds are valuable assets that will help them achieve success."


A young teacher with short black hair, black framed glasses and a black blazer smiling in the middle of a room full of students.


Curtis Acosta – Founder, Acosta Latino Learning Partnership

“It is my vision to help teachers, schools, and educational organizations empower youth tofind their own voice and academic identity through culturally responsive and engaging academic experiences.”


A middle-aged woman with long curly brown hair sitting at a desk and smiling, wearing a blue blazer, a gold necklace, and a white shirt.


Ana Ponce – CEO, Camino Nuevo Charter Academy

“I am the daughter of immigrant parents, I am an immigrant myself. I’m the youngest of seven, and the first one in my family to go to high school and the first one to graduate from college... I came back to the community because I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to give something back to the community where I grew up. I really wanted to have an impact in public education. As a teacher I could have direct impact and I could make a difference in the lives of the children that I was teaching and as a school leader I could have an impact in the lives of the families that were part of my school.”


Join our diverse force of leaders shaping the course of our nation.