El Centrito Family Learning Centers’ Board
of Directors has announced the departure of founder and long-time
executive director, Luann Rocha. For nearly 22 years, Luann guided
the agency’s growth and passionately communicated the agency’s
mission and vision. However, following her recent sabbatical, Luann
made the decision to explore new career opportunities. The board
is grateful for Luann’s pioneering vision and years of dedicated
service. The El Centrito family wishes her the best as she explores
these new opportunities and continues her path of service to the
community. El Centrito’s board and staff remain wholly committed
to continue the agency’s mission and are humbled by the opportunity
and inspired by the responsibility to carry out this important work.
Together, El Centrito’s Board of Directors and staff have
built innovative programs that respond to the needs of the community.
During the transition, El Centrito will continue offering bilingual
and bicultural educational services including effective preschool
programs, unique after school enrichment programs, and highly regarded
parent education and leadership projects. Our agency motto, “Where
families learn together” has guided El Centrito’s programs,
which have served 23,055 people, including 14,986 children and 8,069
Board President Nancy Switzler and the members of the board have
appointed Joseph Castañeda to continue serving as El Centrito’s
executive director during the interim period. Joseph has been with
El Centrito for over six years and has served as executive director
during the sabbatical. The board is eager to begin the search for
a permanent executive director who will lead the agency into the
future. As we look forward, the board and staff are committed to
continue building a strong learning community that offers high quality
educational programs and works collaboratively throughout Ventura
El Centrito’s Board of Directors and management team are enthusiastic
about utilizing this transition period to strategically expand the
agency’s impact and deepen its commitment to serve the community.
The transition in leadership follows several years of succession
planning and extensive preparation. El Centrito’s board and
staff are well equipped to continue the tradition of providing exceptional
services to our community.
El Centrito is grateful to the community and to its collaborative
partners and funders for their ongoing support. El Centrito is committed
to ensuring a smooth transition and asks for renewed commitments
to see El Centrito as an integral partner in working with youth
and families to meet the future. If any questions arise during this
transition, please feel free to contact Joseph Castañeda
(805) 483-8685 (email@example.com).
October 8, 2013
Dear El Centrito Family and Friends,
After 21 incredible years of serving the children and families of
El Centrito Family Learning Centers, I’ve decided that it
is time to depart as Executive Director. I am entering a new phase
in my journey through life, and it is time for me to open myself
to new opportunities, and venture into different directions. I have
just completed a four month sabbatical which provided me with some
quiet time to reflect on where I would like to go. This sabbatical
journey has encouraged me to seek new challenges and be open to
exploring different ways that I can deliver community service, and
use my skills and talents to lead and build communities.
My husband Jesus and I, as fellow social workers, co-founded El
Centrito because we wanted to give back to the community and create
a grass roots organization that operated high quality programs and
respected the culture and language of the community we served. In
1992, after two years of planning, we opened El Centrito with three
volunteers, a $2,000 budget, and operated out of one classroom.
Today, in 2013, El Centrito operates with a one million dollar budget,
has 21 employees, serves over 1,000 children and families each year,
and runs four service sites located throughout Oxnard. El Centrito’s
programs have been recognized for their high quality and innovation
by public and private funders and community partners.
I recognize that it is time to give El Centrito back to the community.
All good social workers strive to work themselves out of a job.
It is my turn to work myself out of a job, and leave this strong
and sustainable organization in the hands of the community. It is
now time for the community to hold the torch, and ensure that El
Centrito’s mission is carried on.
Thank you for all your support and kindness over the past 21 years,
and supporting the mission of El Centrito Family Learning Centers.
I will enjoy watching El Centrito continue to grow and evolve.
||Founded in 1992, El Centrito Family Learning Centers
is a community based non-profit organization located in Oxnard, California.
We offer bilingual educational services for low income children and
families and promote the educational success English language learning
families, by delivering early education, family literacy, after school,
and parent leadership services.