after-school program with the regular school day,
incorporating a variety of educational enrichment
activities in STEM, visual and performing arts,
leadership development, community service, and
physical activities. One of the hallmarks of her
vision for after-school is the active participation
of parents in their children's education, and she
has worked tirelessly to build strong relationships
with the parents.
Yordan graduated from the University of Puerto
Rico, with a bachelor’s degree in Social Studies
and Psychology. She also studied art, one of her
passions that inspires her to be an educator that
“transforms the classroom into a celebration”.
Sylvia R. Garcia Heading to Congress
Senator Sylvia R. Garcia, a native
of Palito Blanco, a South Texas
farming community, won her House
primaries in heavily Democratic
and Latino districts.
The eighth of 10 children,
Senator Garcia saw her parents
struggle to raise her and her
siblings. Senator Garcia's parents
taught her that with hard work
and a good education she could
As a result of these lessons,
Senator Garcia dedicated herself
to success at school. She earned
a scholarship to Texas Woman's
University in Denton, where she
graduated with a degree in social
work and political science.
Senator Garcia then received
her Doctor of Jurisprudence
from Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University in
Houston, working several jobs to pay for her tuition.
Senator Garcia has dedicated her life to her community and to public
service. As a social worker and legal aid lawyer early in her professional
career, she protected the community's most vulnerable, old and young, and
ensured no one was forgotten.
Senator Garcia continued her public service career by serving as
Director and Presiding Judge of the Houston Municipal System for an
unprecedented five terms under two mayors. In 1998, she was elected City
Controller, the second highest elected official in Houston city government
and its chief financial officer
After two terms as Controller, Senator Garcia was elected to the Harris
County Commissioner's Court.
Senator Garcia was sworn in to the Texas State Senate on March 11,
2013, representing Senate District 6. She became the seventh woman and
the third Hispanic woman to serve in the upper chambers after winning a
special runoff election for the seat of the late Senator Mario Gallegos.
Former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez
resigned her position as sheriff and declared
her candidacy for Governor of Texas in the
2018 gubernatorial election. In 2004, Valdez
shook the political establishment in Dallas
County, becoming one of the first Democrats
elected countywide in many years. She was
elected to four terms as Sheriff of Dallas
County and served from 2005-2017. She was
the only Latina Sheriff in the United States
and one of very few LGBTQ Americans
serving in public office.
Prior to becoming Sheriff, she worked to
protect the lives and property of American
citizens at home and abroad as a captain in
the U.S. Army and as a federal agent. The
daughter of migrant farmworkers and the
youngest child in a family of 10, Valdez put
herself through college to earn a Bachelor’s
Degree in Business Administration from
Southern Nazarene University, sometimes
working two jobs to pay for her education.
Later, while working as a federal agent, she
completed her Master’s in Criminology from
UT-Arlington. As a federal agent and sometimes
undercover, she investigated fraud and abuse
in the United States and money laundering
from criminal organizations in South America.
Helena Yordan, Program Director of
PS/MS 279, joined the Committee for the
Hispanic Children and Families in 2000,
managing the after-school program at Bronx
PS/MS 279 and overseeing 11 staff members.
For nearly two decades, Yordan has
encouraged the youth participants to look
out into the world beyond their neighborhoods,
using innovative strategies and curriculum
to introduce her students to global cultures
while still engaging in them their local
communities. She has integrated the
6 www. lat inastyle.com LATINAStyle Vol. 24, No. 2, 2018