Santa Maria City Councilwoman Gloria Soto will continue her work in the local nonprofit sector as the new executive director of Latinx youth empowerment organization Future Leaders of America.
After first being introduced to Future Leaders at the age of 14, Soto has served as an organization volunteer, annual youth leadership conference director and board member. She will begin her role this month after 10 years spent working with Planned Parenthood Central Coast.
In addition to supporting Future Leaders' mission of promoting youth resiliency, Soto is eager to continue expanding the organization's focus on educational equity across the region.
"My goal as executive director is to amplify the work of the organization across the Central Coast," she said. "I'm really excited to get to join such an impressive team at FLA, and am looking forward to working with youth, families and stakeholders."
Following the departure announcement of Future Leaders' current executive director, Eder Gaona-Macedo, the board of directors began its search for a new person to step into the role, and determined that Soto fit the bill.
“The board of directors is thrilled to have Ms. Soto lead FLA into its next chapter,” said Future Leaders of America Board Chair Teresa Alvarez. “After an extensive interview process, it was clear that her experience in the nonprofit sector and her roots in our community make her the ideal candidate. We look forward to working alongside Ms. Soto to continue supporting our local Latinx youth.”
Future Leaders of America serves high school youth in the areas of Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, Oxnard and Port Hueneme. The organization's 2021 Youth Leadership Conference is taking place from now through Friday.