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 Daisy Madrigal, CSL Programs Manager.
Daisy was born in Sylmar part of the San Fernando Valley in California. Her parents are from Michoacán, Mexico, and she is an only child. Growing up, Daisy was really involved in soccer, and has always been really close with her family. Up until college, Daisy would make a few trips to Mexico every year, always learning more about the culture and appreciating every bit of her background. Daisy has always been aware of the issues that our community is faced with, which was a key reason why she grew up wanting to be an immigration attorney.
She attended San Fernando High School, and played soccer all four years, and was Varsity captain her last two years. Daisy was also part of the Debate club, Junior ASB club, and ASB Treasurer, where she helped put on Prom and Grad Night. Her friends dared her to run for Prom Queen her senior year, and won! Daisy’s first job was working at the Swapmeet with her mom during high school.
After high school, Daisy attended UC Santa Barbara, double majoring in Political Science and Spanish. When Daisy first started college, she saw herself going to Law School after obtaining her Bachelors. Daisy joined the academic sorority Lambda Theta Alpha (LTA), Delta Theta Chapter. All of the girls who joined the sorority were as focused on their education as she was. The sorority focused on three main pillars, unity, love and respect.
“Being part of a sorority was never in my plans, I never really felt like I needed something like that. However, once I began my journey at UCSB I was given the opportunity to witness Greek life first hand for the first time. LTA was a sorority that stood out tome for a few reasons but mainly because of the way the women cared for each other and themselves as well as the importance they placed on education. Being part of LTA has given me so much more than I could ever give it back, not only did I meet some of the most amazing women and gain some incredible mentors, but I also learned something very important about myself, and that is that my limitations are only boundaries that I have set for myself. LTA helped me see that with enough passion and determination I can conquer anything.”
Through her connection to her sorority, one of her sisters presented her with the opportunity to work at HHF. After a few interviews with Alberto Avalos, Innovation and Technology Manager at HHF, Daisy was hired on her birthday as a Code as a Second Language (CSL) Coordinator. The same week she started with HHF, she joined both LA and Washington, DC. teams for the Annual Staff Retreat in Washington, DC.
“The staff retreat really set precedent to my work, because I was able to meet the entire team. I had the chance to hear about the programs that we put on, and hearing the team talk about their work, I was able to feed off their energy and I had the chance to also meet Antonio from the start. Hearing about the passion he had for the organization and for our work and it was amazing to experience that,” said Daisy.
At HHF, it is an incredible opportunity to work closely with our President and CEO, Antonio Tijerino. “It is great to be able to work directly with Antonio because he has amazing energy and passion for what we do. His great leadership definitely trickles down to everyone on our team and it is truly an honor to be able to work with him directly and feed off of that passion to work our hardest to bring the best possible programs to youth around the nation.”
Daisy has worked at the Foundation going on two years, and has learned so much in her time here.“The amount of programs that I worked on my first year with the foundation has been one of the greatest obstacles. I directed and put together over 27 CSL programs across the US, so I think just staying on top of that and being able to ensure that everything was going smoothly was an obstacle. It has definitely been a great learning experience to work in a diligent manner and manage my time really well.”
Sponsors that Daisy works with includes the Adobe Foundation, Best Buy, Infosys, Direct Auto Insurance, Target, General Motors and Verizon. “My main goal when I first started at HHF was being able to enhance and expanding the CSL program and help in making it grow, which we have succeeded to date.”
Moving forward, Daisy wants CSL to become self-sustainable. “My goal is to have CSL become a required CS curriculum, and expanding it all school districts. Ultimately, I do want this opportunity to be offered to other schools, and thousands of other students. It is always beautiful to see the change in the students from the beginning of the programs, to the end of the programs. I see the students light up when it comes to understanding the concepts that are new to them.”
What does Daisy want you to know about her? “I love reading poetry because it’s ever changing, you could read the same poem thousands of times but always feel something different at the end. You will always learn something new or see things in a different light.”
When Daisy isn’t working, she loves to spend time with her family, including her dog, and explores new places with them. She is a foodie and loves to try new and different foods. “I’m a strong believer that culture can be very much appreciated through a groups cuisines and that you can learn a lot about people through their cooking, which is likely why Yelp is one of the most commonly used apps on my phone.”
Daisy’s work at HHF does not go unnoticed, thank you for your commitment Dasiy, HHF is lucky to have you! Stay tuned to learn more about our staff in the weeks to come.