Profiles: Excelencia Latina

Excelencia Latina LAM Network and MundoFOX38 are proud to present La Excelencia Latina in the Bay Area. These are four exemplary Latinas who have made important contributions to our community and are leaders who merit special recognition. Tune in to MundoFox38 (Comcast Channel 21) everyday during July 17th to August 10th from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. to catch the Excelencia Latina vignettes on the air. Each week, LAM will release a new profile vignette – until all four Excelencias have been showcased. Jennifer Caban, Raising a Reader

Jennifer Cabán brings strong strategic leadership and executional experience amassed over 19 years of dedicated service to creating access and equity in education for youth and families in high-need communities.   She is the co-founder of the Cypress Hills Collegiate Preparatory High School in Brooklyn, NY; has mentored and assisted several hundred youth to get into college and she’s not done yet.  Jennifer is a passionate advocate for youth.  Believing education to be the civil rights issue of our time, Ms. Caban seeks to be the change she wants to see in this world, one city at a time.

Martha Rodriguez-Salazar, Music Community Center

Recognized as a “Luminary” in 2011 by the Mexican Consulate in SF and most recently as “Excelencia Latina” by LAM and Mundo Fox, singer, flutist, conductor and producer Martha Rodríguez-Salazar has been bringing Latin American folk, classical and contemporary music to the Bay Area for more than 15 years. As a core member of the Bernal Hill Players, she has been involved in the commissioning and performing vibrant, rhythmic, energetic new work by Bay Area and Mexican composers that challenge commonly-held assumptions about new music. Born in Mexico and classically-trained at Mills College as a concert flutist and opera singer, she is active curating and directing musical and theater productions and choirs which celebrate Latin American culture. She currently works with the San Francisco Symphony as the curator for its annual Día de los Muertos celebration; and with the Community Music Center producing the annual Mexican musical “La Posarela”. Stay tuned to meet the next Excelencia Latina!

America Jimenez de Lara, Artist and Community Influencer

Born in Mexico, America grew up on different farms in Guanajuato, Michoacan and Jalisco.  She learned to appreciate the beauty of nature at an early age. The villages and farms she lived in did not have electricity and other modern commodities. She grew up without television and little connection or knowledge of the outer world. This formative environment cultivated America’s imagination and inspired her to seek knowledge and pursue an education. America’s mother taught her to read. The gift of books helped her discover what could be possible.  she then read every book available at her local library.  At 17 years of age, she moved to Guadalajara to attend high school in the city. There, she participated in chess, poetry, essay writing, and was active in student government. By her senior year, she was the student chair of cultural activities.  In high school, she started a singing group, joined the folkloric group of dancers and created a ‘cultural week’.  Using the student activities as a platform, she featured art exhibits unifying local high school artists and young people in the community.  America worked full time while writing for the local city newspaper and magazine and  participated in local cultural activities within the city and county. After high school near Guadalajara, America moved to the US where she attended a Community College. She then learned English and pursued higher education in the arts. She transferred to the University of California Berkeley and graduated with a BA in Arts, with a major in the Practice of Fine Arts. Her emphasis are different medias such as sculpture with ceramics,  oil painting, watercolor and acrylics.  While at UC Berkeley, America co-designed a class with Jennifer Chan,  under the tutelage of professor Richard Shaw, titled “Art for the non-Art majors”.  The purpose of the class was to prove that all people are creative.  The class proved to be a great success which then inspired her to establish an Art Group called “The Creative Minds”.  The group provided a bridge for students, faculty, and alumni to learn from each other and form a community.  America was also an active member in other organizations on campus and dedicated much of her time to the Hispanic Scholarship Fund scholar chapter. She accepted the role of Chapter Vice President and was able to reach Latino parents and students at local schools to inform them of the opportunities for scholarships in pursuit of higher education.  She designed the banner that won a University Wide contest to represent her Graduation Class of 2006.  After graduation, America went to work in the corporate world while acquiring a degree in Child Development. America has recently decided to leave the corporate world and pursue her passion as an artist and continue her advocacy for education and culture.  She belongs to different Latino organizations in the Bay Area, including the Community Liaison Board Member of the UC Berkeley Chicano Latino Alumni Association, Hispanic Scholarship Fund, Alumni Mentor Program, Cultural Developer at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Alameda County and LAM, and ALPFA member.


Maia Mosse, Be A Good Doctor, SCOPE

As a senior undergraduate at Stanford University, Maia Mossé is currently working as Executive Director of Be A Good Doctor, a non-profit incubator that is growing the next generation of social entrepreneurs. Within Be A Good Doctor, she also leads SCOPE (Student Clinical Opportunities for Premedical Experience), a volunteer interpreter and intern program at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center’s Emergency Department. She is Co-Founder and Director of Happiness Science, a nonprofit student group that creates a central online resource for research concerning the pursuit of happiness including neuroscience, practices, and perspective. In the past, she has lead the QuestBridge Medical Vertical, a medically-focused facet of QuestBridge which pairs low-income students with top colleges, and Premedical Career Pathway Research (PCPR), a group of students that refines a central online resource to inform premedical students about the premedical process. Though Maia has majored in Human Biology, she has always enjoyed writing. Ever since she volunteered as a Spanish translator in a local clinic in Mexico at age eighteen, she became interested in pursuing medicine, while using her writing to enroll resources and give voice to the hopes of those served. Through SCOPE mentorship and Side by Side, a singing group that focuses on visiting nursing homes, she was inspired to pursue geriatrics as a specialty. She looks forward to continuing to build relationships with the elderly and learning how to age gracefully, as she assists them in living out happy, healthy lives.