Leading by Example

Cecilia and Frank Herrera: Committed to Education and Advancing Opportunities for Latinos

Born and raised in the San Antonio area, longtime UnidosUS supporters Cecilia Elizondo Herrera and Frank Herrera, Jr. were thrilled to be part of this year’s Annual Conference held in their city.  As members of the 2022 Conference Host Committee, “We were so honored to have the [event] in our hometown of San Antonio. We have such a strong commitment to what UnidosUS stands for,” explained Cecilia.

In particular, UnidosUS’s work around education, and empowering the next generation of leaders, resonates deeply with the Herreras and has inspired them to become President’s Council donors. According to Cecilia, “Frank attended segregated schools. That made him very cognizant of the importance of education and breaking down barriers. He’s dedicated his life to that and to advancing Mexican American civil rights.”

Cecilia credits their respective parents and upbringing for their perspective on giving back to the community. Both sets of parents were very involved in their communities. Cecilia took that example with her around the world, over her 25 years as a Senior Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State. Now, among many volunteer roles, she serves as Chair of the National Advisory Council of the Mexican American Civil Rights Institute and is part of the steering committee for the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber’s Latina Leadership Program.

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Neither of Frank’s parents finished grade school. But “my parents worked hard to help me realize my dream of becoming a lawyer,” Frank says, refinancing their home to help him open his law firm in 1969, where now, both of his sons are attorneys. Frank dedicates time, financial resources, and legal expertise to causes that focus on increasing Latino access to and control of capital, improving educational achievement, and developing future Hispanic leaders.

Cecilia and Frank’s shared faith plays a part in their commitment to the community as well: “We’re all put here to be the best we can be, but also to help others be the best they can be … that’s our mission here for our life,” Cecilia says.

In addition to their extensive community work, the couple enjoys spending time with their six grandchildren, who range in age from six to thirteen years old.

As donors, Frank and Cecilia take deep pride in the work UnidosUS is doing, across the board. “We sincerely hope that current supporters continue to contribute, and that potential supporters will look at UnidosUS’s track record and donate to help advance opportunities for Latinos,” says Cecilia.