10 Things About Leslie Garcia &
Chicano Federation


“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

The Chicano Federation is comprised of volunteers, employees, partners, donors, and friends who believe in one thing… opportunity for all San Diegans. The Chicano Federation builds resiliency and promotes self-sufficiency through their programs for child development and nutrition, housing, workforce and business development, and the San Diego Latino Health Coalition. More than 7,000 children are served healthy meals every day through the Chicano Federation’s network of 850+ licensed daycare homes. The Chicano Federation manages 9 apartment complexes with more than 300 units with rents below market rate. Homebased programs offer guidance in parenting and child development education, community resources, services for children with disabilities, and transportation. These programs, as well as Leslie Garcia’s work at the San Diego Latino Health Coalition, have had such a positive impact in our community that the Chicano Federation was named the 2020 California Nonprofit of the Year.

10 Things About Leslie Garcia & Chicano Federation


#1 I grew up in San Diego but at the top of my bucket list is to live somewhere where it snows.


#2 A quality that everyone should have is empathy.


#3 My favorite travel destination has been Prague; it is a fun city. I do hope to travel to Japan one day!


#4 I have two dogs who like to follow me around the house, which means they must like me, because I am not even the one who feeds them.


#5 When I am having a challenging day, I try to stay positive by putting music on and reminding myself that everything is temporary. It also helps to call a friend.


#6 What has surprised me the most in life is this global pandemic.


#7 We never know when it will be the last time we see somebody we love and that the moments spent together are what keeps them alive in our memories.


#8 This pandemic was so scary when it started, and all the uncertainty felt so negative. I was furloughed from my job but being with my family and sticking together was a positive experience. I focused on developing skills and on where to go next and ended up landing my job at the Chicano Federation, which I love!


#9 The Chicano Federation has a variety of programs. It is very gratifying to be a part of the team and to be leading the important work of the San Diego Latino Health Coalition.


#10 Twenty-eight years ago, the Chicano Federation’s “Women’s Small Business Development Program” helped a woman set up a licensed child care business. Working hand in hand with the Chicano Federation, her business has significantly expanded over the years and continues to thrive.

Non profit



author avatar
Esteban Villanueva