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Hugo Torres ’17 added another level of school service to his résumé this year. 

In March, Torres was appointed to the San Mateo County Board of Education, representing several communities south of the San Francisco Bay Area. His term will last through December 2024. 

“The community I serve is a predominately Latinx community from low-income families and the unincorporated parts of the county. Their needs tend to go unnoticed,” Torres said. “After looking at the current board and thinking about the other possible applicants, I knew there was going to be no diversity or representation of the community, which gave me the motivation to apply.” 

Torres, a first-generation college student who earned a bachelor’s degree in American Studies and a K-9 teaching certification from Dominican University, is the assistant principal of Holy Family School in Redwood City, California and the manager of programs for the local Siena Youth Center. The school and center are extensions of the St. Francis Center, an organization assisting the working poor of the community and providing educational opportunities for them and their children. 

The work is a natural progression for Torres, who as a teen and young adult served as a volunteer, supervisor and director of programs for the Cicero Youth Commission, and, while a student at Dominican, helped other students become engaged in community service projects. 

“I always took my education seriously and school was a safe space for me, which is one of the reasons I decided to go into education,” he said. “All my work has centered around Latinx youth, low-income families, and education because I see myself in the students’ parents.”