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Chuy Quintero in the classroom

Throughout middle school and high school, Jesus “Chuy” Quintero was often labeled “at-risk.” It was a label that only served to further alienate him from other students.

“I had already been placed outside of the margins by linguistic, economic and racial segregation,” said Quintero. "Latinos were implicitly labeled culturally backward in the schools I attended, which almost defeated me in my educational pursuits.”

But Quintero would not be defeated or marginalized. He earned bachelor’s degree and master’s degrees from San Francisco State University. He worked at Youth Uprising, a non-profit in East Oakland, and collaborated with Cal State East Bay to adapt conventional school models to meet the needs of historically oppressed youth. As the Outreach Coordinator for Youth Radio, Quintero worked with incarcerated youth to produce social and political commentaries. Through his work, Quintero gave a voice to groups that are often silent – or ignored.

“My pedagogy stems from a pressing desire to teach my students concepts that were never introduced to me as a student,” Quintero said. “Despite the obstacles we endure and the academic trauma left in its wake, there is still hope and potential.”

Quintero has been an English instructor at De Anza since 2007. He teaches many First Year Experience students and dedicates himself to helping them grow. Quintero knows from experience how school failures can manifest in destructive ways, and he is determined to undo the damage that can be inflicted on other “at-risk” students.

“There’s so much at stake beyond what happens in the classroom,” Quintero added. “It is very much worth the price to push for change, peace and opportunity.”





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Last Updated: 12/19/14