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Magazine Recognizes Alfredo Figueroa


Inland Hispanic Magazine Recognizes Alfredo Figueroa For Work With Youth

Hispanic Lifestyle Magazine has Named the longtime UC Riverside staff member Influential Latino of the Year

(October 21, 2002)

Alfredo Figueroa

Alfredo Figueroa

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Oct. 21, 2002 — Alfredo Figueroa, director of Chicano Student Programs at the University of California, Riverside, received the Influential Latino of the Year award at the 5th Annual Inland Empire Hispanic Image Awards, organized by “Hispanic Lifestyle Magazine.”

The award was presented at a black-tie gala reception at the Mission Inn Hotel Oct. 4. The awards were determined through a survey of the magazine’s readers and included nine other recipients. The award celebrates those who work toward the betterment of the community.

“I feel honored to be in Martha’s company and in the company of a lot of peers and people I admire so much,” he said. Sharing top honors with Figueroa was Rosa Martha Zarate-Macias, co-founder and director of Librería del Pueblo in San Bernardino, a nonprofit organization that serves immigrants. She received the Influential Latina of the Year award.

Figueroa encourages students to pursue higher education in the Youth Educational Motivational Program and he is the chair of the Latino Network.

He is a member of the Greater Riverside Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Riverside Unified School District Latino Advisory Council and the Concilio for Spanish Speaking of the Inland Empire. He also involves himself with Alternatives to Domestic Violence.

Most of his activities focus on encouraging young people to pursue higher education and promoting the value of education to the Latino community.

“It’s the work I do on a daily basis and it’s work that has to be done,” Figueroa said. “I’m involved with the chamber mostly to help develop scholarship opportunities for young people. With the Concilio, I’m interested in the work they do on child care and getting the children ready to go to school.”

At UC Riverside, Figueroa helps Chicano and Latino student groups plan and carry out events, raise money for scholarships and provide support services for students.

To Figueroa, his activities and involvement both on the job and in the community at large, are part of his way of paying back those who’ve helped him in the past. Raised in Blythe, he was the first in his family to go to college, graduating with honors from UC Riverside in 1975 with a bachelors degree in Chicano Studies and Political Science.

“I’ve had a lot of role models and assistance in reaching this point in my life,” he said. “It’s only right that I pass that along and, hopefully, the people I’ve been able to help will turn around and help others.”

His community activism has generated praise from other groups as well. In July 2000, Riverside County Community Action honored Figueroa for his work with children. He has helped obtain new playground equipment for youngsters and more computers for schools.

In 1999, Figueroa received the Esperanza Award from the Inland Chapter of the California Chicano News Media Association in recognition of his campus and community service, such as mentoring Chicano/Latino youth and being a member of the Riverside mayor’s citizens’ commission on the study of police force.

The Urban League of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties also has honored him for his work at focusing Chicano/Latino youth on higher education, job training and childcare.

In 1989, Figueroa, then a student recruiter, became director of Chicano Student Programs at UC Riverside after rising to the top of national search list of possible successors to Robert Nava, who had been assigned to head the office of Governmental and Community Relations.

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