Last weekend our Latino community suffered a significant loss with the passing of Carmen Castellano of the Castellano Family Foundation. Most in our community are familiar with Carmen’s many contributions made possible by her, and her husband, Alcario. Leaders like Carmen aren’t born, they learn through their life lessons about the importance of dedicating oneself to improving the quality of life for others.
The Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley has been a beneficiary of this generosity for many years. Under Carmen’s leadership, the Castellano Family Foundation provided seed funding for the Latino Board Leadership Academy, now in its 10th year. This is a testimony of their commitment to Latino led and managed nonprofits, and the importance of Latino leadership in the nonprofit sector.
We also fondly remember Carmen and Alcario attending the Hispanic Foundation Ball pretty much every year for the last 30 years. They were often the first to arrive! In 2009 the Castellano’s were honored with the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley ‘La Famila’ Award in recognition of a familia that is inspirational to others, in community volunteerism and engagement.
Carmen’s upbringing is a perfect example of that quality. Carmen Castellano was born in Watsonville, California, where her father owned a trucking company, and her mother was his business partner. Later in life, her mother owned a store in Pajaro called Mexico Meat Market. Carmen graduated from Moreland Notre Dame High School in Watsonville. She then attended Heald Business College in San Jose and completed the Executive Secretary program. Before retiring in 2001, Carmen worked as an Administrative Secretary and Office Manager at San Jose City College for 33 years, where in addition to organizing several Latino organizations, she mentored many students at both San Jose City and Evergreen colleges.
Our entire Board of Directors and Team at the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley especially want to thank Carmen and the Castellano Foundation for her long-time support as an original and generous supporter of our Foundation.
The Hispanic Foundation Familia extends our deepest sympathies and condolences to Carmen’s husband Alcario Castellano, her children Carmela, Armando, and Maria and the entire extended family.