Erica Ruvalcaba-Heredia has over 10 years of experience in the non-profit sector, working as a Program Director. Her main focus has been overseeing multiple projects that provide a variety of services directly to the Latinx community. Through her experience, Erica has learned about the multiple barriers that inhibit the Latino Community from accessing resources. Therefore, she has participated along with other organizations to mitigate these barriers.
For over a decade Erica was a First 5 School Readiness Site Coordinator in Oceano. During this time, she assisted families with finding to meet basic needs, obtaining health services, and navigating the school system. Erica was part of the pilot program for Promotores that started in Oceano Ca. She has been a fundamental part of the strategic planning, organizing, and development of the Promotores educational trainings. Her own personal experience and knowledge of Latino culture helps to bridge gaps, create effective outreach opportunities, and empower the community.
Erica currently serves as a First 5 Commissioner. She is devoted to advocating for the community’s needs. Additionally, she is one of the founders of the program UndocuSupport, their mission is to provide resources for the undocumented and other immigrant families. Today, Erica works in collaboration with other agencies to ensure children and parents are receiving equal access to healthcare and services/resources needed to live a healthy life.
Erica is a University of California Santa Barbara graduate. During her time at UCSB, she earned her Master’s Degree in Spanish and BA in Spanish and Latino and Iberian Studies. She has over 15 years of experience translating books, articles, and other resources in a culturally appropriated way. She keeps in mind who the audience will be before translating work. Erica has also taught Spanish classes at Allan Hancock College for more than 17 years.
She holds an Educational Doctorate in Organizational Leadership from the University of Laverne. Within her doctoral studies, Erica learned about Executive Leadership, Decision Making, Organizational Theory, Communication Theory, and Conflict management, among other important topics. Her dissertation title is Barriers that Inhibit the Latino Families to be involved in their Children’s Education. She currently is attending Escuela Humanista from Spain with the focus on receiving a certification on Integral Leadership. Erica’s passion is to make a positive difference in people’s lives and her authentic leadership is exemplified in this John C. Maxwell quote, “Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.”