Alpha: Cindy Avitia High School is a small, safe and tuition-free community school that opened its doors to its first class of 9th graders in the summer of 2015. Led by Principal Will Eden and a team of dedicated and skilled teachers, Alpha: Cindy Avitia prepares all students for college with the knowledge, skills, and self-discipline needed to succeed. Further, Alpha also supports families through every step of the college process to ensure students successfully apply to, enroll, and succeed throughout college. We are honored to name Alpha’s first high school in honor of Alpha’s first board president, Cindy Avitia. Born and raised in East San Jose, Cindy served her community as an activist across many issues, a social and civil rights advocate, and an immigration attorney. Alpha is honored to memorialize Cindy, her commitment to empowering her community, and the spirit of service she embodied. Remembering Cindy Remembering Cindy As many of you now know, on August 22 we received the tragic news of the passing of our founding Board President, Cindy Avitia. Cindy was returning from a two month vacation with her family in Mexico when she was lost in a car accident on a highway in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico. Cindy’s legacy is her deep commitment to and passionate advocacy for the families of east San Jose. As Alpha’s founding Board President, Cindy inspired those who struggled to find hope, lent her voice to those who wanted to be heard, and fought to disrupt an educational system that had failed the children in her community for generations. She helped launch Alpha and to shape its mission and vision. No task was too great or too small; Cindy did whatever she could to ensure that every child had the opportunity for a better future. We miss you, Cindy. We feel blessed to have known you, and we will honor you, each day, by continuing your work. She left behind two beautiful toddlers, Dahlia, 4 and Carlos, 2. As our community mourns this great loss, a fund has been established to help with the necessary expenses that will be incurred. The fund will also be used to support the future education of Dahlia and Carlos. You can submit your contribution via check or in person at any Wells Fargo Bank. Checks can be made payable to: Memorial Fund for Cindy Avitia Account Number: 6367336523 Checks can be mailed to: Paulo Hernandez 603 N. 16th Street San Jose, CA 95112 On behalf of Alpha Public Schools families, staff and community, we thank you for your thoughts and support of Cindy Avitia and her family. enroll at alpha Cindy Avitia, Community Activist more about cindy Cindy Avitia Community Activist Cindy Avitia was an early supporter of Alpha Public Schools and our founding board president who tragically passed away in 2013. Alpha’s first high school is named in honor of Cindy. A San José native, Cindy is the first person in her family to be born in the United States. Her parents and sister emigrated from Durango, Mexico and she credits her family with instilling in her a sense of responsibility to her community and for setting the example of how to use your abilities to help others. A graduate of Piedmont Hills High School in San Jose, she earned her Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University in 1993, with a B.A. in Political Science, and received her Juris Doctor degree in public interest and social justice law from Santa Clara University’s School of Law in 2006. Cindy was Congressional Assistant to United States Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren then Chair and now Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law. Cindy was assigned to the issue areas of immigration, labor, transportation, and homeland security. Cindy devoted 17 years of her life working on behalf of immigrants. Her experience includes being the chief paralegal for an attorney in private practice specializing in deportation defense and later working at the East San José Community Law Center as the immigration clinic coordinator/paralegal/community liaison. While at the Law Center, Cindy assisted in teaching law students how to work on real life immigration cases mostly focusing on the special immigration provisions for domestic violence survivors. This particular experience prompted her to attend law school in order to become a more powerful advocate for her community. While a law student, she was Vice President of the La Raza Law Student Association and Co-President of the Public Interest Social Justice Coalition. In those capacities she helped train and coordinate law student volunteers to assist legal immigrants apply for citizenship as part of the efforts of the Santa Clara County Citizenship Collaborative. In 2011, Cindy Received the ILRC’s Phillip Burton Policy Award, which is considered by some to be the “Oscars” of the immigrant advocacy community. Most recently, Cindy served on the board of SOMOS Mayfair, a neighborhood improvement non-profit that cultivates the dreams and power of the people of Mayfair through cultural activism, social services and community organizing. Mayfair was the community in which Cindy lived for over 13 years and was raising her family along with her husband. Cindy lived with passion, love, and commitment for helping those that had the least resources. She accomplished a lot in her short life and helped improved the lives of many immigrants in Santa Clara County. Her most important role was being a mother to Dahlia and Carlos Joaquin, her two children.