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Santa Rosa’s Elsie Allen High School Foundation hires executive director

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Manuel Baldenegro Jr. has been hired as the executive director of the Elsie Allen High School Foundation in Santa Rosa.

“Manny brings community relations experience, terrific energy, great leadership and knowledge of Sonoma County," says Willie Tamayo, EAHSF board president. “We feel he will be a strong force in advancing the mission of our foundation.”

The announcement stated that Baldenegro has an extensive background in government and community relations, having spent the previous 20+ years leading his alma mater, UCLA in its office of government and community relations, most recently as director of advocacy programs.

Raised in Sonoma County, Baldenegro is a fifth-generation Mexican American and the first in his family to attend a four-year university, the foundation stated.

He is a graduate of UCLA with a degree in political science and a past participant of the Ford Foundation’s Latino Leadership Opportunity Program which analyzes local, state and national public policy issues.

“The foundation has grown significantly in the six years since its inception and we felt it was time to hire a professional to unite and guide our efforts,” says Tamayo, founder of EAHSF.

In an October 2016 story, Tamayo said the inspiration for the foundation came from a visit to the school and a decision to help students succeed.

“I was able to share this vision with several community leaders, many who were first in their families to attend college, many with similar social-economic challenges, who believed that as a foundation we could bring hope and opportunity to those students in South West Santa Rosa. We started with a handful of committed members raising $5,000 our first year to support the school. “

In March 2016, a single event raised more than $200,000.

Baldenegro will assume all responsibilities associated with the executive director role overseeing all programs and fundraising efforts for the EAHSF.

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