Marcos Valdez

MarcosI come from a small farming town in Tolleson, Arizona and am the youngest of five children. I became a first-­‐generation college graduate in May 2010, and aner graduating, I began working full-­‐time in Washington, D.C. with a nonprofit that I started volunteering with two years prior. The Hispanic College Fund is a nonprofit organization whose focus is to develop the next generation of Hispanic professionals. This experience ultimately shaped my perspectives and furthered my understanding about the issues inherent in the U.S. public education system along with concretizing the real and perceived barriers that Latinos (and other minorities) are facing regarding college access and persistence. Additionally, HCF opened another door and allowed me to follow my (unrealized at that time) passion of working directly with and motivating Latino high school students coming from under-­‐privileged backgrounds to go to college – a challenge has been rather difficult. My intention is to develop a nonprofit that furthers this work in the field of education for underserved and underprivileged backgrounds. Apart from school, I’m a big of the outdoors – running, kayaking, camping – and love to head out salsa dancing.