Founded in 2004 in Washington, DC as a national not-for-profit organization, Excelencia in Education has become a trusted information source on the status of Latino educational achievement. We have become a major resource for influencing policy at the institutional, state, and national levels, and a widely recognized advocate for expanding evidence-based practices to accelerate Latino student success in higher education.
On January 21, 2004, co-founders Sarita Brown and Deborah Santiago took the first step to create Excelencia in Education as a national, independent, not-for-profit organization with the mission of accelerating Latino student success in higher education.
In 2014, Excelencia in Education celebrated its 10 year anniversary through a series meetings throughout the country to engage community, academic and business leaders to build momentum for our mission of accelerating Latino student success in higher education. Below are recuerdos from special events held in Miami, Los Angeles, San Antonio, Atlanta, and Washington, DC.



Celebrating Latino Student Success

Washington, DC - November 20, 2014

Comcast Corporate Offices
Giselle Fernandez, award winning journalist, businesswoman and Excelencia in Education Board member moderated a frank discussion about the progress and challenges to increasing Latino college completion and meeting America’s human capital needs with Representative Xavier Becerra California; Sarita E. Brown, President, Excelencia in Education; Representative Joaquin Castro, Texas; William F. L. Moses, Managing Director, Education, The Kresge Foundation; Cheryl Oldham, Vice President, US Chamber of Commerce Foundation and Felix Ortiz III, President and CEO, Viridis Learning.



The capstone event of our 10 year anniversary brought together leaders from higher education, Latino advocacy, business and government for a celebration of our shared commitment to accelerating Latino student success. The evening included a preview of the new video produced by Giselle Fernandez showcasing the hopes and dreams of our students.



Celebrating Latino Student Success

San Antonio - August 3, 2014

We were pleased in San Antonio, Texas to gather in the beautiful home of Jose and Maria Villarreal for a very special gathering. Excelencia honorary board member Henry Cisneros and Excelencia Vice Chair Norma V. Cantu acknowledged supporters and introduced Excelencia co-founders Sarita Brown and Deborah Santiago to their friends and colleagues from the great state of Texas. Significant veteranos to the cause of Latino student success mingled with bright new talents to recognize the impact Excelencia in Education has made in its first decade of service. Scan the slides and discover the exciting and effective fundraising technique Jose Villarreal introduced at our San Antonio stop.



Celebrating Latino Student Success

Atlanta - July 30, 2014

Excelencia traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, where Excelencia board member Belle Wheelan and President Sarita Brown thanked supporters at the Savannah College of Art and Design for hosting a 10 year anniversary event. Regional community and academic leaders were on hand to recognize Excelencia’s great collaborations with Georgia educators and policymakers. Speakers included Beth Concepcion, the Dean School of Liberal Arts, SCAD, John Schwenn, the President of Dalton State College and Jerry Gonzalez, Executive Director of the Georgia Association of Elected Officials (GALEO).



Celebrating Latino Student Success

Los Angeles - May 6, 2014

We celebrated in Los Angeles, California hosted by Herbalife at their corporate headquarters. California boasts the largest Latino population in the country. Board members Giselle Fernandez and Joe Aguerrebere welcomed Excelencia president Sarita Brown to their state. Eloy Ortiz, Oakley President, Long Beach City College and member of Excelencia’s new Presidents for Latino Student Success network and Luis Dominguez, Class of 2014 California State, each spoke about their role in accelerating Latino student success in higher education.



Celebrating Latino Student Success

Miami - March 25, 2014

We began our tour in Miami, Florida on the campus of Florida International University (FIU), where Excelencia president Sarita Brown and board member Belle Wheelan received a warm welcome from participants and speakers including Mark Rosenberg, FIU President and Elizabeth M. Bejar, FIU Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. FIU business major Kyrsten Alvarez-Basulto who received an Associates Degree from Miami Dade College, spoke about what college means to her. Representing the many Excelencia partners who attended was María M. Vallejo, Palm Beach State College, Lake Worth Provost.