The Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley would like to introduce Karla Mondragon as our newest member of the HFSV Familia. As the Education Programs Coordinator, Karla will be responsible for cultivating relationships amongst partners, parents, and students while managing the STEM programs and coordinating activities offered by the Hispanic Foundation College Success Center.
Previously, Karla worked at the Division of Equity and Social Justice with the County of Santa Clara. She brings plenty of experience having coordinated and conducted research on topics around education reform, immigrant communities, intersectional feminism, voter suppression, and supporting first gen low-income students in navigating the pursuit of higher education.Here is a bit more about Karla.
Where did you attend school?
Karla: UC Santa Cruz, Go Slugs! I miss living next to the beach, and being surrounded by nature. My daily walks to class through the forest were my favorite thing.
Favorite show to binge?
Karla: The Real Housewives Franchise. I can’t lie, I live for the drama. It’s the type of show that I can just put on as background noise, or when I just need to turn off my brain and watch something entertaining.
Are you a cat or dog person?
Karla: Dogs, I think I’m actually allergic to cats. But honestly, since I’ve had my crazy, energetic puppy I would probably really like a cat. From what I’ve heard, they’re pretty chill and like to do their own thing. For now though, my dog runs our house so that’s enough for a good while.
Warning, if you ever see me in person and ask for a picture of my dog, I will spend at least 5 minutes showing you all the pictures I have of him, he takes up at least 80% of my camera roll.
What’s your dog’s name and why?
Karla: His name is Canelo! (and no he’s not named after the boxer) We wanted to choose a name that was easy for my parents to pronounce in Spanish, and he has a really warm, yellow/ gold coat so it fits him.
Does your dog know Spanish?
Karla: Yes! He is a bilingual Mexican dog. My dad spoils him too much with food, so Canelo loves tortillas and frijoles, and all that.
Karla: I’m a Taurus, so my love for food is unmatched. It’s the best way to bond with me and if we weren’t in a pandemic, I would be trying out new restaurants and foods.
It’s hard for me to choose one dish but the first dish that comes to mind are uchepos. My family is from Michoacan, so it’s a very popular dish in that state. It’s basically a corn tamal, a little sweeter than your typical one, and you serve it with crema, queso, and chile verde. I love the comfort of good food and learning more about my own culture through different dishes. It really is my kryptonite.
Last question Karla, what do you look forward to as you begin your journey with the Hispanic Foundation?
Karla: I’m really excited to work with the families and students! I am committed to serving my community and I want to do the best I can to ensure that families get the programs they need to address the inequities in the education system.
I want to learn as much as I can in this role and ultimately become a mentor to other students. Everything I have learned, and the guidance and empowerment that I have found which have helped me get to where I am today, are all because of the women of color who I’ve crossed paths with. Whether they were a family member, a teacher, a manager they have mentored me and I hope that I can do the same.