Celebrate Hispanic and Latinx VL Alumni

September 2, 2021
Alumni Stories and Updates

September 15 marks the start of Hispanic Heritage Month. With going back-to-school in mind for us at VL this month, we want to celebrate some VL alums who are making an impact on the education landscape in Arizona.

Lorenzo Chavez (VL Institute Class 40) has been leading our Impact Maker Education Team’s work to increase post-secondary access. As an associate vice president of community engagement with Arizona State University, he knows it takes the full support of the community to get more students to and through postsecondary education opportunities, which is why the team is focused on engaging the business community in supporting the goals of their future workforce.

Soilo Felix (VL Institute Class 39), the chief program officer for Be A Leader Foundation, has been an incredible connector and collaborator as part of the Impact Maker Education Team and its work to raise awareness about the importance of completing FAFSA (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid). His invitation to the team to join a collaborative of higher education organizations led to the launch of two major awareness campaigns around FAFSA to help raise completion rates among the classes of 2020 and 2021.

Stephanie Parra (VL Institute Class 36) helms ALL In Education, which aims to ensure that the communities most impacted by education inequities are the ones making decisions for all students. ALL In Education aims to increase the number of Latino members on education boards that directly impact policy. In addition to being a great partner working to improve education outcomes for Arizona students, Stephanie is a governing board member of the Phoenix Union High School District and has been a great partner to VL as we have evolved our own leadership development opportunities.

Karla Robles (VL Institute Class 30) launched our Impact Maker work on increasing postsecondary access – no easy feat while also serving as chief strategy officer for Be A Leader Foundation. While Karla has turned over the reins to Lorenzo, the strategies she launched with the team, particularly around engaging the business community in students’ education, continue on and we thank her for continuing to share her expertise with us.

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