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2011 Latino Heritage Local Heroes

Local Heroes

Erick Arguello

Erick Arguello
Co-Founder, Lower 24th Street Merchants and Neighbors

Erick Arguello is a native of Managua, Nicaragua and was raised in San Francisco's Mission district and continues to live there. Born into a working class family and youngest of five he was influenced at a young age by his parent's involvement in community events and activities. His was raised around several small businesses that his parents operated over the years in the Mission. He graduated from Mission High School and studied Psychology at San Francisco State.

Erick is Co-Founder and currently the President of the Lower 24th St. Merchant and Neighbors Association, a coalition of merchants, residents, and non-profits working together to improve the quality of life in the neighborhood. Since 1999, they have been committed to improving and preserving the character of the neighborhood.

Vero Majano

Vero Majano
Community Programs Coordinator, Mission Neighborhood Resource Center

Vero Majano is an artist and cultural worker who was born and raised in San Francisco's Mission district. She was a resident at the Djerassi Resident Artist program and has received grants from the Rockefeller Foundation Media Fellowship, the Puffin Foundation, and the Free History Project. Vero is a cofounder of Mission Media Archives, which collects and preserves audio and films shot in the Mission during the 1970s and '80s. She has served San Francisco's homeless community for the last 17 years, and is currently manager of Community Programs at the Mission Neighborhood Resource Center, a drop-in center for homeless individuals in the Mission.

Joel Ruiz Herrera, Ed.D.

Joel Ruiz Herrera, Ed.D.
Assistant Superintendent Human Resources, Gilroy Unified School District

Joel Herrera serves the Gilroy Unified School District as Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources. Joel is passionate about public education and serving others and enjoys, and takes very seriously, his place as a role model for all students who come from humble beginnings. Early on, Joel learned the meaning of "Si se puede!", and has encouraged and supported Latino students to fight against negative media stereotypes. He continues to mentor the next generation of leaders to inspire them to serve others.

Joel has served on the State Board of Directors for the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA). He has also served as President for ACSA Santa Clara County. ACSA's mission is to Champion Public Education, a mission dear to Joel's heart. Joel is a long time subscriber and former Board member to Teatro Vision, a Chicano teatro company now in its 27th year. He also gives back to the community through his involvement with the American GI Forum, a Latino-based veteran's organization. He is the former Commander and Vice-Commander of the San Jose East Valley Chapter. Joel takes to heart what Cesar Chavez said: "For the end of all education should surely be service to others." Joel has three university degrees and is the first one in the family to earn the title of "Dr."

Maximiliano Cuevas, MD

Maximiliano Cuevas, MD
Chief Executive Officer, Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas

Dr. Max Cuevas was born into a farm worker family in the San Joaquin Valley and has worked to provide comprehensive health care to those of limited means through a network of medical and dental clinics. A graduate of the University of California San Francisco medical school and Bakersfield/UCLA in gynecology and obstetrics, he also studied community health centers. This background led Dr. Cuevas to help shape the Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas system. The clinic system is accredited by the Joint Commission, and now serves 35,000 residents of Monterey County, including students in the many public school districts.

 

Also on KQED.org this week ...

POV: When I Walk
Disability Culture Month

Each October, KQED hosts a Celebration of Disability Culture, airing special programs that explore the complex web of experiences and issues faced by people with disabilities.

voting booths
California Election Watch 2014: The Voter Guide

Don't have time to sort out all the statewide propositions and races for the upcoming November 5 election? Get help from KQED's Voter Guide!

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