2014 Latino Heritage Local Heroes
Diana Albarrán Chicas
Diana Albarrán Chicas is the co-founder and Financial Director of Latinas in STEM. She was born in Mexico and came to the United States under her parents' vision of a better life for their children. She was the first one in her family to graduate from high school and attend college. She grew up undocumented until she was a junior in high school and remembers accompanying her parents to the strawberry fields as a child.
Ms. Albarrán Chicas graduated from MIT with a degree in Electrical Engineering and is currently the Near Field Range Test Section Manager at SSL, where she is responsible for the company's unique antenna subsystem test facility. She is the first Latina in the history of SSL to hold this position.
Ms. Albarrán Chicas has been awarded the Estrella Award by the SHPE-Silicon Valley Professional Chapter, the Science & Technology Emerging Leader Award by Silicon Valley Latino, the Rising Star Award by HITEC, named a Latina Leader by NBCLatino and Latino Leaders Magazine, featured on "25 Latinas Who Shine in Tech" by Latina Magazine, and interviewed by CNET en Español. She is Co-Founder of Empower Educational Services, the Latinas in STEM Foundation, and LISTAS.
Paul S. Flores
Paul S. Flores is a writer/performer whose work explores the intersection of urban culture, Hip-Hop and transnational identity. Flores' is the author of the PEN Award winning novel ALONG THE BORDER LIES, and the solo theater performance YOU'RE GONNA CRY directed by Brian Freeman. YOU'RE GONNA CRY helped earn Flores the 2011 San Francisco Weekly Best Politically Active Hip-Hop Performance Artist. His play REPRESENTA! was directed by Danny Hoch, and co-starred Cuban rapper Julio Cardenas. Flores' performance projects have taken him from HBO's Def Poetry to Cuba, Mexico and El Salvador. His newest play PLACAS: The Most Dangerous Tattoo just completed a six city national tour and was produced at the Los Angeles Theater Center, and Off Broadway at the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater in New York City. PLACAS was directed by Michael John Garcés, starring Ric Salinas of Culture Clash and is Flores' sixth full length stage production. Flores has three times received the National Performance Network Creation Fund, multiple NEA Theater grants, Creative Work Fund, CCI Investing in Artists Grant, and NALAC Fund for the Arts. An original co-founder of Youth Speaks, Flores now teaches Hip-Hop Theater and Spoken Word at the University of San Francisco, and also manages The Latino Men & Boys program at The Unity Council in Oakland.
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