Javier Gonzalez joined ECMHSP motivated by his desire to serve farmworker families in the most impactful way. As a former migrant farmworker, he knows how important education is in promoting academic and life success. Read our interview with him in celebration of National Farmworker Awareness Week 2021.
What significance does National Farmworker Awareness Week have to you?
National Farmworker Awareness week signifies an overdue recognition of the hard plight and hard work that farmworkers endure to feed this country and the world. It means that for at least this week, we are on the national conscience to educate the world about the difficulty we endure to bring food to their table. Personally, it validates the sacrifice my parents made in choosing that occupation in order to provide for our family and teach us the core values that shaped us.
How did you start your career with ECMHSP?
I became involved with ECMHSP as the Chief Operating Officer in 2016 after having served on its Board of Directors and Policy Council for six years. I was, and continue to be, drawn to its mission of advocacy and excellent educational services to farmworker children and families. That mission aligns perfectly with my passion to serve our families.
In your current role, what have been your main contributions to the farmworker community?
As Chief Operating Officer of the organization, I have advocated and secured additional resources and funding for centers to meet the educational needs of children and families. This includes classroom equipment, additional staff, and vehicles. I have also led the efforts to develop protocols to safely re-open centers across our service areas and establish partnerships to provide COVID-19 testing and information to our communities. Lastly, I continue to be an advocate and role model to my farmworker community always but especially during the challenging times we face.