Alumni Changemaker: Ana Cubas
Building Leadership and Community for all
To honor our 40 years, we're celebrating our most valuable resource - our alumni - through 40 profiles highlighting their leadership. Alumna Ana Cubas completed the 1992 Junior Summer Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.
Ana Cubas embodies the values of courage, dedication, and service.
Ana was 10 years old when her family left El Salvadore to come to the US and escape a civil war. Watching her family work hard to make ends meet and also serve the needs of the community left a great impact on her. When her grandmother died and all 3000 people in the town came to honor her life, Ana knew she would continue the legacy and serve the public.
With the support of PPIA's intensive 7-week Junior Summer Institute, Ana was able to leave graduate school without debt which afforded her the ability to take on public sector jobs and gather experience serving the greater whole of her community.
Her public service experience ranges from federal to state to local levels and although she feels she may someday seek to serve in Congress, she found her efforts most impactful at the local level.
Ana's devotion to the field of education began with working to implement statewide standards at the US Department of Education and encompasses all that she gained working as a Legislative Analyst at the California State Legislative’s Office analyzing the Governor’s budget. As Deputy Director of Youth Policy Institute (YPI), she created two charter schools that provide a legacy for future students to grow and learn.
“I believe in that model that schools are the centers of the community.”
With less than 1% of elected offices held by Latinas, and being devoted to female empowerment Ana Cubas also founded The Latina Public Service Academy, a 3-day workshop, meant to provide inspiration and leadership skills to 11th and 12th-grade Latinas from low-income areas who are drawn to public service.
Her role as both lecturer at California State University and professor at East LA College grants her the opportunity to teach young people about political science and citizenship. Having had numerous teachers that influenced her success, she realizes the importance of education in providing a way out of poverty, and as the first in her family to attend college she understands the challenges of low-income families.
“My teachers have been my saving grace.”
We celebrate you, Ana, for the vast experience you have gained and the impact you are having on the young people in your community! Your courage to bring about change and your devotion to young emerging leaders is beyond measure.