Women of Persistence


On March 27, I awarded Rosemary Baez the League of California Women’s Caucus Woman of Persistence award. When she started the Young Engineers Program in 2007, this program aims at introducing first generation Latino youth to careers in engineering. When this program first started, it had less than 5% girl participation. Today, it is just shy of reaching the 50% mark of girls participating.

She employed creative means to overcome cultural barriers and gender stereotypes to achieve equity in this program in 10 short years.

These accolades are timely because the Third Street Community Center is celebrating 20 years of existence in an event at the Tech Museum of Innovation on April 7th. As the person who launch, Third Street’s technology programs, I’m especially proud of the agency’s and Rosemary’s work in the area of providing STEM education opportunities for underserved children in San Jose.

Rosemary Baez joined the Third Street Community Center in June of 2006 as the Executive Director. She has over 19 years of experience in the nonprofit sector including 14 years at the executive level. Her experience includes serving as the Assistant Director for a $2.4 nonprofit agency that served families in crisis. She has experience spearheading collaborative efforts to better serve communities of color and high risk communities. She also has extensive experience working with multicultural communities in Santa Clara County.

At Third Street, Rosemary spearheaded efforts to remodel and upgrade the children’s classrooms, transforming them to inspiring learning environments. Recently, she brought together the business partners and people needed to renovate the entire office area creating a more open and welcoming environment for employees and guests.

In addition to her role as Executive Director, Rosemary has served her community in other ways. Past service includes: Commissioner and past chair, Social Services Advisory Commission; Leadership Team, Early Childhood Feeding Practices Collaborative; and Advisory Board Member, CSU Community-Based Research Conference, to name a few. Currently, she is a member of the St. James Park Advisory Committee (City of San Jose) charged with providing vision and direction for the renovation and future of St. James Park in downtown San Jose.

In her spare time, she works with two rescue organizations to save kittens & cats, she enjoys traveling, good coffee, and she likes to take quick getaways to local vineyards in California to do some wine tasting. Rosemary is the mom of a very defiant Chihuahua mix named Vlad.

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