The students, teachers and principals at our Chavez Clubs schools know Ana Yeli Ruiz as a strong, quiet young woman who cares deeply about the work she has done teaching our Chavista students about the leadership values of Cesar Chavez. Ana is a true role model for her students. In her life, she has struggled to find her own path to make a difference in our world as a mentor and teacher of young students and as a passionate advocate for social justice causes.
In June, Euclid Elementary Principal Mr. Jose Valdez learned that his graduation keynote speaker canceled at the last minute. Ana came to his mind right away as a replacement speaker and he knew that she could step in and deliver an inspiring message to his young graduates as they head off to middle school. Ana delivered a keynote speech encouraging the students to become involved in their coming middle school years and letting them know that it is ok to struggle and ask for help.
Ana knows what struggles are in life. She grew up in a suburb of Chicago and after graduating from high school she joined the Marines. As we all know, you have to be tough to make it as a Marine and its even tougher for a young Latina woman right out of high school. Ana served our country with distinction for four years, including one year in Iraq in 2008/9.
When she was finishing her commitment, she was stationed in San Diego at Miramar MCAS. From her experiences in the Marines, she knew that she could accomplish anything and decided to stay in San Diego and go to college. She enrolled at the University of San Diego and received her degree in Sociology in 2014.
After graduation, Ana knew that she wanted to work in San Diego's inner city neighborhoods and help disadvantaged children rise up through education to become community leaders. She found her opportunity to do that as a club manager with the Cesar Chavez Clubs.
Ana will be leaving the Clubs in September to take the next step in her life when she begins her studies for a Masters in Public Policy Degree at UC Riverside. Ana wants to use what she has learned at the Chavez Clubs and her new degree in Public Policy to work as a policy analyst at the state or local level. She eventually wants to work for a progressive elected official or with a non-profit where she can have an impact on inner city communities and improving the lives of disadvantaged children.
In her four years with the Clubs, Ana has touched the lives of hundreds of Chavistas giving them the confidence and skills they will need to be successful and to change their world for the better. Here she is with one of our Chavistas at the Euclid Graduation. Those smiles tell the story!
Even though she will be busy with her new life studying at UC Riverside, Ana will be continuing to work part-time for the Chavez Clubs to help us develop new curriculum and club activities.
The Cesar Chavez Service Clubs would like to thank Ana Ruiz for her contributions and wish her the best of luck in her future. We are proud of you Ana and we look forward to seeing what the future holds for you! Si Se Puede Ana!