tv Comunidad del Valle NBC October 18, 2015 9:30am-10:01am PDT
and welcome to "comunidad del valle." i am damian trujillo. and today, one of the best shows of the year is today, "la familia." the recipients of the annual "la familia" award, they're here on your "comunidad del valle." [music] male announcer: nbc bay area presents "comunidad del valle," with damian trujillo. damian: we begin today with the ceo of the hispanic foundation of silicon valley, which is in charge of issuing the "la familia" award, former san jose mayor, ron gonzales. welcome back to the show. ron gonzales: well, thank you. it's always a pleasure to be here with you, damian. damian: thank you, mayor. you do a lot more than issue the "la familia" award. we'll talk about that in a bit. but you just announced some very, very huge news this past week. tell us what you announced. ron: we did. we announced a very exciting partnership with the intel
corporation, who is the first major investor in a very new initiative that we're calling "the latinos in technology initiative." it's a scholarship initiative where we're hoping to support 100 students per year for an initial 5-year period of time. so 500 students over 5 years. but these students that we're gonna select for these scholarships are college students who have chosen a major in either engineering, or computer science, or one of the kinds of degrees that we need to have, to help them get employed in the local high-tech industry. you know, we know that latinos comprise about 28% of the general population of silicon valley, but we comprise less than 3% of the high-tech workforce. so our foundation is about identifying issues, and designing solutions, and then implementing those solutions with partners. and we're delighted that our partnership with the silicon valley leadership group, and the 400 members they represent in local businesses. with them, we were able to, you know, get intel as our first
corporate major investor. although, there have been several others. so intel's commitment over the 5-year period of time amounts to $3.7 million. it is the largest investment ever made in our foundation, so we're very excited about it. and mostly excited for the students, who, hopefully, we can get graduated from college in a couple years and into these high-tech jobs where we need them. damian: we keep hearing about stem, stem, stem. but i don't know that a lot is done about it. you are one of the few who's actually doing something about it. ron: you know, we've been in that space for some time now. particularly with our after-school programming and summer programming for middle school students. we want to try to get as many latino students to complete algebra 1 successfully by the end of their 8th grade. because then the agreement we have with the high school that they'll matriculate to is that they will be enrolled in geometry as a freshman. and then they'll be on a very nice track throughout their high school education career to complete the math courses, and probably science and all the other things that they'll do, to be eligible to apply for either the uc system or
the csu system here in california. damian: you speak a lot with the ceos in silicon valley. what do they tell you as far as the crop that we're bringing up, the students who we're raising here in silicon valley, to keep them from importing tech workers? ron: well, their preference is always to hire locally. but you know, as a region we've not done a very effective job. the entire region, not just the latino community, but education in general, and all the other communities that make up these region. we've not a good enough job in convincing and educating our youth about the advantages of getting a stem-related college degree. i think that's changing over the last 10 to 15, 20 years now. and we're beginning to see more latinos than ever go into college, and more of them picking stem degrees. so now we just have to get them through the process, out the college graduation door with their cap and gown, and get that diploma in their hands so that they can walk down the street to intel, to google, to yahoo, to apple, all these other high-tech companies, who are waiting for them.
and i am convinced that if they have the educational qualifications, they'll go quickly into the workforce and be contributors to future products and ideas that will make up the us economy and the world economy. damian: absolutely. you're the ceo of the hispanic foundation of silicon valley. is this the role of foundations, or should it be the role of foundations, to delve into subjects like this and make sure that our community is well served? ron: well, as the only latino-led and managed foundation, regional foundation, we believe it's part of our responsibility to take on the big issues, and try to find the big solutions, and try to find the big partners. because our population is very large. and we, you know, we do that selectively. we focus on education excellence, leadership development, and what we call, "convening and engaging the hispanic community." so, you know, we have limited financial resources, so that means we have to limit our focus and try to have impact, have results. because that's what funders fund. they wanna see that the money they're giving our foundation
is having an impact on some of the issues we're trying to resolve. damian: great investment. well, we'll be celebrating at the hispanic foundation ball, coming up on october 24 at the san jose fairmont hotel. you'll be able to meet the recipients of the annual "la familia" award, a couple who are with us here today. we'll talk more about those recipients when we continue here on "comunidad del valle," stay with us. [music] it'll be here before you know it. hello, halloween. it's the one night when everybody dresses up. and that includes dinner. unleash the power of dough. give it a pop. that sound. like nails on a chalkboard. but listen to this: (family talking) that's a different kind of sound. the sound of the weekend. unleash the power of dough. give it a pop.
celebrating the recipients of the annual "la familia" award. with me again is the ceo of the hispanic foundation of silicon valley, former san jose mayor, ron gonzales. well, i mean, this is a, kinda, one of the highlights of the year, where we honor one family. tell us what you can about the guerrero family. ron: well, the guerrero family carries on a now 26-year tradition in our foundation, in our gala, the hispanic foundation ball, to recognize a family that has taken their experience in their professional career, and in
this case, extended it beyond that to volunteerism in the community. and generally, families that have been chosen in the past, and the guerreros are just another example of it, are families where the entire, you know, group of siblings is engaged in some type of volunteerism. with the guerreros, you know, they have incredible professional careers. former fire battalion chief for the city of san jose, current principal for mount pleasant high school, and other educators, and county worker. and yet, despite those demanding public jobs as public servants, they find time in their personal lives to give back to the communities in volunteering for youth sports, the arts, and other kinds of community services that help improve the quality of life for latinos here in silicon valley. damian: and here we're looking at video of the stem students that we had been talkin' about in the previous segment. why is it important, mayor, to recognize familia, and families and their contributions? ron: well, we know that family, of la familia, is a big part of the latino culture. you know, all of us, you know, come from very strong families.
and what we have found, whether it's former mayors, newspaper, you know, or news media professionals like yourself, or in this case, many different professions, is that we are in occupations and positions we currently occupy because people helped us along the way. and we, all of us, have someone, or many people, who have helped us along the way. and in many cases, what i have found with other latino leaders, is that it usually first came from their family. and it was those family members that encouraged them to do what was right, to pursue their personal dream, and not to listen to the naysayers, but to believe in yourself, to believe in the need that our community has for you to take up a leadership role in whatever career or occupation you decide to pursue. damian: and you don't take part in the selection process of the recipients? ron: no, no. damian: but you can imagine how hard it is for them to pick the one family who will-- ron: our la familia committee has done an excellent
job year in and year out. they did it again this year. and you know, as one of the things i learned as mayor, don't be involved in the selection process. and whether it's about public art, or in this case, la familia. we have an excellent committee. i never even see the nominations until after the committee has chosen the family. so i have no involvement at all. so in this case, when someone walks up to me to the ball and says, you know, "why were the guerreros chosen and not this family?" i send 'em to maria garcia, the chair of our la familia committee and let her explain it. damian: that's awesome. ron: by the way, i haven't told her that's part of her job yet, so-- damian: [laughing] it is now. ron: yep. damian: so tell us about this year's ball, and what can we expect? ron: so this year is gonna be a fantastic year. it'll be another sellout, no doubt, somewhere between 800 to 850 people. we have over 60 sponsors. delighted that intel corporation is our presenting sponsor. salesforce, another major contributor, has stepped up to sponsor both of the receptions, the regular general reception and the vip reception. netflix and its ceo, reed hastings, a major sponsor.
and then we have a whole range of sponsors, a lot of universities and colleges, other high-tech employers, banking industry. it's always a great time. it starts with the reception, very nice dinner at the san jose fairmont hotel, and followed by a great program that you will be emceeing again this year, and then followed with dancing, of course, until the wee hours of the morning. damian: that's great. finally, mayor, i mean, your work, your vision for the next 5 or 6 years at the hispanic foundation? because since you've arrived at the helm there, it seems like it's been nonstop. it's been one initiative after another to better serve the latino community. ron: well, we like to say that, "no matter what we've done, our work is still not done." you know, because we know that no matter how much focus we bring to the issues of the day for our community that there's many other issues that we can't address. and it's simply because of money. and so we're always trying to identify new funding resources, new initiatives that will be attractive to people who write
the checks and support these kinds of efforts. and i think that's one of the reasons that we pursued the latino scholarship program. and we've been rewarded with that because the major corporations are kind of leaping at the opportunity to be supportive of that initiative. so our work is never done. and what i see in the next 5 years in tremendous growth in our foundation and in our programs. and most importantly, hopefully in the impact on the quality of life for latinos here in silicon valley. damian: all right, well, if you believe in the cause and in the mission, you can attend the hispanic foundation ball, or you can also send your contributions. you can log on to their website. there it is hfsv.org. thank you, mayor, for your service. ron: always a pleasure, my friend. damian: all right, thank you very much. and up next on "comunidad del valle," we'll meet "la familia." stay with us.
it's gotten squarer. over the years. brighter. bigger. it's gotten thinner. even curvier. but what's next? for all binge watchers. movie geeks. sports freaks. x1 from xfinity will change the way you experience tv. the annual "la familia" award. with me on "comunidad del valle," are martha guerrero, the principal at mount pleasant high school in san jose, and jose luis guerrero is a retired battalion chief for the city of san jose.
but he still keeps busy? jose luis guerrero: absolutely. damian: all right. welcome to the show. martha guerrero: thank you. damian: congratulations. martha: muchas gracias. damian: your thoughts--we've spoken before, when we did our news story. but your thoughts on being named recipients of this prestigious award. martha: i think i speak for my brothers and my sister when i say that we were all surprised, and actually a little shocked. we tend to do to our jobs and our family, just do what we do on a day-to-day basis. so to be recognized, and so publicly, is a little humbling. and we're all proud, it's just still a little bit shocking. damian: you--i know that--you know, i lost my dad 6, 7 years ago. and most of what i do is in his memory. we have some beautiful images of your parents, who you also lost a long time ago. your thoughts when you see these images and what they represented for you. martha: [sighing] i think, you know, we're gonna be the ones receiving this award on the 24, but none of us would
have been able to do any of what we do, or receive the education that we have, or had the families that we do, if it weren't for them. i think they laid the foundation with a lot of love, a lot of discipline. they had us right here, made sure that we didn't get in trouble, and by example. they brought a group of young people, aged 12 or younger, from mexico and raised 'em in a new culture and a new country, speaking a different language. and somehow, we managed to come out more or less okay. damian: you had mentioned to me that they set you up to succeed. martha: they sure did. they made sure that we were in the right place at the right time, every single time that there was an opportunity that we were there to take it. they encouraged us. and even though they didn't know the system, the educational system, they didn't speak the language, they opened door for us, opened doors so that we were able to take advantage of them. i think they loved us all the same, but i think my dad took special care of my sister and me.
he once told us that a man can do any kind of a job. he can be a trash collector and do it with dignity to feed his family and there is no shame in any job a man can do. but a woman had to be a little bit more careful because you wanted to make sure that whatever job you did, it was appropriate. so he sent my sister and me to a private school. it was a little bit difficult, but he managed to give us one of the best educations he could afford. damian: i think he did okay. you're the principal at mount pleasant high school. so yeah, i think that's good. martha: i'm very proud of that. damian: jose, you shared a great anecdote with me a couple of weeks ago about when you were kickin' back with your friends and your dad. jose: oh, yeah, i think definitely my dad ruled with an iron fist. meaning that he made sure that we stayed on the straight and narrow. the story was that i came home from school, and then i decided to hang out with my friends at the corner. we lived on sunset, across from cesar chavez elementary. and i was just hangin' out on kammerer and sunset.
just, there was a wall there, and we were just hangin' out. and as my dad drives by, he stops and he looks, he looked down, he looked up, and he continued on home. and i told my friends, "i gotta go. i gotta go." so i went home. and my dad shared with us, with me specially at that day, was, "you cannot be hangin' out there. you need to be home with the family. you gotta be hitting the books." and what i didn't understand then was i felt like i wasn't doing anything wrong. and he says, "yes, but you're not doing anything productive. and you need to be home, hit the books." you know, he'd say some words, such as, "my blood will not run the streets." and he was very serious about it. and now, looking back, in retrospect, you know, growing up in difficult area.
there was a lot of crime, a lot of drugs. we've all been successful in staying away from that, and staying in school, and being able to succeed. and to not only that, but to give back to the community where we live, which i know was very important to them. because as we, you know, i shared with my siblings, my mom and dad recognized that strong family and strong family values is what carries us forward. and now we've discussed the fact that all these social-economic issues, we can overcome them with strong families. because we all recognize as adults, with my siblings, that strong families make strong communities. damian: and it seems like your parents realized that he did have a strong family, and so it's time to help others who might not have strong families. and that's where community volunteerism come in. how--? i'll ask you first, pepe, how important was community volunteerism to your folks? jose: you know what? it was extremely important.
i think it was also part of, not something that they did, but it's also part of their identity. because they recognized that they were also the recipients of help. and they wanted to make sure that they continue that. and i think we call that now, "pay it forward." they were livin' it and doing it before the word was, "pay it forward." and they continued doing it till the very end, both of 'em. very active in the community, very active in their church, you know, in giving back. damian: wow. the guerreros will be recognized on this coming saturday, the 24, at the san jose fairmont hotel for the annual hispanic foundation ball, along with other siblings veronica, and ignacio, and juan carlos. we'll be back with "la familia" when we continue here on "comunidad del valle." stay with us. [music]
recipients of the annual "la familia" award. your vision, martha, for your students there at mount pleasant high school, what do you want to see of them and from them? martha: i want my students, when they leave mount pleasant after being with us for 4 years, or after 12 years of schooling, to leave with options. i want them to be able to walk out the door with their diploma in hand and to be able to say, "this is what i'm choosing to do," as opposed to, "this is what i have to do 'cause all the other doors have been closed. and i didn't do this, or i didn't do that." so i think i see my job and the role of my staff as being that extra parent on campus, pushing them just like i would push my own kids, pushing my students as well, yeah. damian: and, jose, as a firefighter initially, and then retiring as a battalion chief, was that part of community service? i mean, obviously, you're--the old cliché, you're running in while we're all running out. jose: yeah, you know, i was very fortunate to be able to
have a career like a firefighter. in the fire service, we don't produce anything tangible, provide a service. so it's something that i took to heart. and i really applied myself as, you know, my siblings saw me growing up from just a, just pepe, you know, all the way up to a chief officer in the department, and then a senior chief officer. and being able to excel and do well, it's all part of a service. and people ask me, "what's next for you?" well, i can tell you is that i'm interested in continuing a high level of service. i have not identified exactly what organization, or what i'm gonna do, but i really am looking forward to giving back and continuing the legacy that our parents set forward. damian: i wish i could retire at 45. you're 45 now, or 46? jose: oh, no. damian: [laughing] i wish your siblings were here because, i mean, they're instrumental in this as well.
ignacio is a director of child support services for the county of santa clara. juan carlos is a competitor. he's a journalist in the bay area. veronica is very active in the homeschooling community, and her church, and community, and what not. but your siblings are just as deserving. martha: yes, they are. and you know, i'm proud of all my brothers and sisters. i'm particularly proud of nacho. he was 19 when our parents died. he was a college student. and he could have easily used that as an excuse not to do anything. my dad wasn't there. my mom wasn't there with la chancla. he could have done anything he wanted, and he chose to just walk the narrow, you know, just walk the path that he was chosen--that was chosen for us by our parents. so i'm very proud of his accomplishments. damian: and you all have stayed united, all 5 of you, even without your parents for 20 years. your traditions are there. you probably formed your traditions in those 20, 21 years. martha: yep, some are versions of the traditions we had with our parents. along the way, we've, you know, you change a little bit. you become more americanized. things happen.
we have our annual tree cutting, and everybody goes up to the mountains with the kids. the kids know it. even my kids, who are now adults, and pepe's kids, who are grown up, always come back. we try to stay together throughout the year and stay in touch. it's all we have left. at the end of the day, it's family. and that's all. damian: professionally, again, jose, you do your service, or you did your service as a firefighter by helping your community there. but it didn't stop there. 'cause i'd see you out at community events, and you were still volunteering and doing your thing. jose: yeah, i've worked 27 years in the department. and besides that, i also have been very active in the community, coaching of soccer for the north valley youth soccer for los bamberos, and los bamberos are very close to my heart. it's something that it's who i am. and i've been a product of the efforts of the latino recruitment of firefighters. and then also, a recipient and a beneficiary of promoting
within the department of qualified candidates to the officer rank. the toys for tots is something that is close to me also because we started that even before it was kinda hip to help out and participate in. and we started that at the fire station, and other people helped out. and so i contributed to that. and i'm still contributing to helping out. and also, you know, any other events that i can find that i think need some help, and i'm able to. and now, with my schedule, i think i'll be able to even more. damian: what do you do all day? all: [laughing] damian: ah, retired at a young age. you know, martha, you're getting this huge award, and it's called "la familia." even though your parents, again, haven't been here physically for 20 years, what do you think they're feeling right now knowing that you're getting "la familia" award, when they haven't been around physically for 20 years?
martha: you're gonna make me cry. damian: that's the intent. martha: that's the intent. well, you're gonna succeed. when we came to san jose, we had no family. it was just the five of us, my mom and my dad. it was difficult. especially, you know, being a mexican family. you expect tios, and grandpas, and grandmas, and everybody. every once in a while, somebody would come and visit and stay over. but we--it was it. it was the five of us and my mom and dad. so it was la familia. and the fact that we're still here, and we're all doing a job that we were trained for, that it was due to the fact that we got my parents' support, our parents' support to go to school. and that we're just moving along and growing our families. i think they'd be so proud. it's just i wish they were here. damian: any final thoughts, jose, just on receiving this award on your community service? jose: well, damian, i can tell you that we're--i know my family was more shocked than i was. but the one thing that we share, we're extremely humble.
there's so many other deserving families that do a lot of work in the community that we fell lucky to be selected as the family to be honored. in that, i think that our parents would be extremely proud of us. and success is an ongoing thing. it doesn't stop, and it will not stop for us. it's something that it'll be part of us, and hopefully, that our children see the example and continue in the same footsteps that we followed that our parents set forward. dami: al rit, congratulations. we'll see you at the hispanic foundation ball. throwing chanclasos ahí con los de más. martha: thank you. damian: the hispanic foundation ball on october 24. there is the web address for the hispanic foundation of silicon valley. now, here's what's happening in your comunidad, on "que pasa." [music]
[music] [music] damian: to all those who are celebrating a special day, felicidades. [music] damian: and here's our address for next week's saludes. you can also follow me on twitter. my handle is: @newsdamian. also, pick up a copy of "el observador" newspaper and support your bilingual weeklies all across the bay area. we thank you once again for sharing a part of your sunday with us on "comunidad del valle." we'll see you again next week. buenos días. cc by aberdeen captioning 1-800-688-6621 www.abercap.com it'll be here before you know it. hello, halloween. it's the one night