|Sr. Alicia Cuaron, history of program|
Centro San Juan Diego is especially proud and honored to have Sister Alicia Cuaron as part of our team. After being raised in El Paso, Texas and moving to Denver in 1972, Sister Alicia made history in Colorado, specifically in the Hispanic Community. Some of Sister Alicia’s ground work included the development and implementation of the first bilingual Head Start program in Colorado (Denver Head Start). Later, she continued her hard-work and dedication to both the public and private sectors including the first Latina Executive Director for the Colorado Economic Development Agency; the first Latina Colorado State Fair Commissioner; and the Latina Administrator of National Hispanic Association of Construction Enterprises.
One of the many goals that Sister Alicia has focused and accomplished is on empowerment, specifically of Latinas. Sister Cuaron founded various programs that promoted education and leadership development, which she feels is the necessary backbone for women to succeed. These programs include founder of Adelante Mujer, which promotes the education and training of multigenerational Latinas; chairing the Colorado Council on Working Women; implementing a leadership program, EXITO, to provide assistance for women in professional and personal development; and founding the Circle of Latina Leadership, created to develop the women leaders of the future.
In her later years, continuing her deep passion for helping others and adding to her spiritual and personal mission, she entered the Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity. She continued her spiritual growth by founding Familia Franciscan AIDS Ministry and establishing Centro Bienestar. Centro San Juan Diego of the Archdiocese of Denver, is privileged to announce that Bienestar serves more than 10,000 families per year, Sister Alicia serves as Director of Bienestar Family Services offering citizenship, GED, computer and English classes, leadership programs and supportive social services.
Her service has extended to various community organizations including the American Red Cross, Woman’s Forum of Colorado, and Mile High United Way. In 2008, Sister Alicia was inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame for her contributions as a business and civic leader and human rights activist. To add to this honor, she was presented with the Athena Award by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce for demonstrating her professional achievement, devotion to her community and her generous spirit toward helping other women succeed. Recently, in celebration of Denver’s 150th birthday, the city and county selected 150 of its citizens as “unsung heroes”- ordinary people who have done extraordinary things to help make the city a better one for this and future generations of which Sister Alicia was nominated and chosen.
Centro San Juan Diego and its community are blessed to have such a profound and dedicated individual contribute her love and passion to the people of our society.