The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) wants you to learn more about our amazing staff, the individuals behind the work of our programs including the Hispanic Heritage Awards, Latinos on Fast Track (LOFT), Youth Awards, Code as a Second Language and other initiatives.
HHF is a team of 18 individuals working out of our Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles offices, among others. We introduce you to Jose Duran, Community Coordinator at HHF.
Jose was born and raised in Compton, California. His family, originally from El Salvador, migrated to the United States in the 1980’s during the Salvadoran Civil War. Growing up, Jose has always had a love for sports and bonded with family by frequenting Galaxy and Dodger games. He was the Head Soccer Coach at Coast 2 Coast Soccer, the after-school soccer program and played Varsity soccer at South East High School before being accepted to UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) and majoring in International/ Global Studies. He was active in the Union Salvadorena de Estudiantes Universitarios (Salvadoran University Student Organization) and found his second passion–sports broadcasting. He was a play-by-play sports broadcaster for UC Santa Barbara men’s/ women’s soccer, basketball, baseball and softball. Conducting on-air player interviews, hosting weekly “on-air” discussions and review shows and editing past broadcasts kept him busy!
While attending UCSB, Jose worked at the local Goodwill where he learned the importance of hard work and always being prepared to take on any task. In 2015, Jose turned in his last final excited to celebrate graduating college, when Alberto Avalos, Innovation and Technology Manager at HHF, presented him with an opportunity to work at HHF. Not having walked across that stage yet, Jose took that opportunity with open arms.
Starting a new job can be nerve-racking for anyone and every job has obstacles –Jose’s biggest obstacle was his fear of public speaking. Shortly after starting at HHF, Jose traveled with the HHF team to lead a Code as a Second (CSL) Bootcamp in the Bay area and was awed at the impact the program had on the students. With last-minute changes, Jose filled in as MC for the program and broke through his fear.
Today, as Community Coordinator, Jose connects young Latinos, leaders and professionals with each other. He manages the LOFT online and offline community of +100,000, he maintains and updates the LOFT Network website and pushes out different opportunities, such as jobs, internships, fellowships, grants and scholarships! He is constantly communicating with those in our network and exposing them to life–changing opportunities.
Jose oversees the planning and execution of special events for HHF and the LOFT Network, while communicating with partner and sponsors to gain community supports for all programs. Jose is also the lead for our LOFT Charlas, which are local, self-organized discussions led by community leaders across the country. He brings together a crowd of over 50 leaders in a given city, where meaningful conversations are sparked and people are connected about topics that are affecting Latinos day to day.
Jose also works closely with our President and CEO, Antonio Tijerino, and Board Chair, Emanuel Pleitez. “They are both leaders who take action, and their work ethic is admirable. They are actionable leaders who make an impact in our community.”
Where does Jose see HHF moving forward? “We have over 150 events throughout the year and we always get the work done. I see HHF continuing to have insightful, thoughtful leaders who are making their impact. I see HHF continue in a positive and successful direction to keep putting actionable leaders in positions that they have to be in to lead the Latino community.”
What does Jose want you to know about him? He has a strong passion for sports play by play, and dreams of becoming a sports broadcaster. Known as the go-to sports person at the office, Jose is definitely known for his love of sports!
Jose’s work at HHF does not go unnoticed, thank you for your commitment Jose, HHF is lucky to have you! Stay tuned to learn more about our HHF staff in the weeks to come.