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Some 12 years ago, Alcario and Carmen Castellano experienced a windfall of money which today, looking back, has benefitted the local Hispanic/Latino community of the County of Santa Clara in ways that will amount to a unique legacy of altruism and ‘service to others’.  The California Lotto prize won was the largest ever, at the time it was realized. Carmen and Alcario Castellano are to be respected, honored, appreciated and held in high esteem for what they have accomplished so far with the proceeds of that invested fortune. They have taken their time to assess their core values, evaluate, plan and act accordingly with very high levels of integrity.

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Since organizing The Castellano Family Foundation, Inc. in December 2001, Alcario and Carmen, with the assistance of Special Assistant to the President, Sandra Gonzalez Murillo, have evaluated all requests for support submitted to them during the past 11 years. Realizing that they needed to become more organized and effective, they engaged two qualified and respected consultants whose counsel has led to significant changes in their mode of operations and the granting of supportive awards.

Beginning immediately, Alcario retires from active involvement in evaluation and granting of awards. Carmen Castellano continues as the President of the Castellano Family Foundation, inc. whose new official board members are their three adult children: Mrs. Maria C. West, Carmela C. Garcia, and Armando Castello. Ms. Angie Briones, Director of Programs and Operations, and Sandra G. Murillo, Special Assistant to the President are the supportive staff.  They have effectively invested the endowment funds and will be distributing an estimated $350,000 per year to the non-profit community based groups which are addressing the needs of the local Latino community. The awards to be made will be in the $5,000 to $10,000 range for programs which meet the new guidelines. No longer will supportive awards be made for parades, events, and organizational operations or deficits. Their considered decision resulted in the following mission statement:

“The Castellano Family Foundation’s deep appreciation and love for the vitality, and diversity of the Santa Clara County community inspires our work. Thus, we support organizations that are in, or serve, Santa Clara County. Guided by the values of our community, family, social change, empathy, and integrity, we are dedicated to: Promoting Latino Arts and Culture; Enabling Latino youth and youth of color to achieve their education goals; Investing in the leadership of Latinos and our nonprofit partners.

VALUES: COMMUNITY: Valuing, celebrating and supporting a more just and caring local community; FAMILY: supporting the important role families play in caring communities; SOCIAL CHANGE: creating opportunities and access for those most in need; EMPATHY: Approaching our work with an open heart and open mind; INTEGRITY: Being honest and doing what we say.

GOAL: Enabling Latino and youth of color to achieve their education goals.

–STRATEGIES FOR LOW INCOME YOUTH: Improve college readiness; improve college enrollment and retention rates; increase community college transfer rates; encourage family support for their children’s higher education goals.

–STRATEGIES FOR AT-RISK AND INCARCERATED YOUTH: Support access to our out-of-school programs that improve their reading, writing and math skills; Support tutoring and mentoring programs for these youth; Support programs that encourage learning, address the education deficits of these youth, and provide social service support for their families.

GOAL: PROMOTE LATINO ARTS AND CULTURE.

–STRATEGIES: Expand access to arts programs in the community for low-income Latino youth and youth of color.; Increase the capacity and capabilities of local Latino arts organizations.

GOAL: INVEST IN THE LEADERSHIP OF LATINOS AND OUR NONPROFIT PARTNERS.

–STRATEGIES: Expand leadership opportunities and internships for Latinos particularly women and youth.; Strengthen Latino leadership and board diversity of our nonprofit partners.

Latino nonprofit community based organizations may begin an inquiry as to being qualified to merit support by sending an email to Ms. Angie Briones, Director of Programs and Operations (EMAIL: angie@Castellano-ff.org). No letter of intent is required. Prepare for a phone conversation wherein your proposal is described and understood. If your proposal qualifies, a set of Castellano Family Foundation forms will be mailed to you for submittal.

These forms are designed to assist your community based organization to assess its own state of being and operations. The current plan is being implemented by setting August 5, 2013 as this foundation’s first deadline. Proposals received on Castellon Family Foundation forms (those sent to you) will be evaluated and assessed by staff; forwarded to the Board, Castellano Family Foundation at its August meeting and all awards are to be approved by them. Checks will be issued by staff as authorized during September 2013. A similar process will be scheduled for November 2013, January 2014 and April 2014.

Publisher note:

EL OBSERVADOR congratulates the Castellano Family for ‘doing what they say’ in full integrity and honesty. It is very refreshing to deal with an altruistic organization that ‘walks its talk’ along with being culturally sensitive. We admire and hold in high esteem the legacy which has been formed and which addresses the most critical needs of the local Hispanic-Latino community. EO looks forward to being a partner.

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