El Centrito Family Learning Centers was founded by two social workers, Jesus and Luann Rocha, in February of 1992. The Rochas are trained social workers and community advocates who share a combined commitment of giving back to their community.
Jesus Rocha was born and raised in Duramgo, Mex. and came to live in the neighborhood of La Colonia in Oxnard, Ca. at the age of ten. He went on to obtain a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Chicano Studies and Sociology from California State Northridge and a Master’s in Social Welfare from University of California, Los Angeles. Jesus Rocha returned to Oxnard at age 35 as a trained social worker to do something about the poverty and oppression in his community. The main reasons Jesus co-founded El Centrito were due to his beliefs in grass roots community based agencies, the desire to contribute to the community, and the high need for culturally relevant services for the Chicano/Latino community.
El Centrito Family Learning Centers will always be in the mind and heart of Jesus “Chuy” Rocha. Jesus Rocha is now serving as a Chicano Studies and Sociology Instructor at Ventura Community College and continues practicing social work related activities. As co-founder, Jesus has served most of his time, since inception in a volunteer leadership capacity. Jesus was a full-time paid employee of El Centrito for only a few years. He has primarily served in the role of outreach and recruitment of participants, and parent educator. Jesus currently serves as a parent education facilitator and outreach consultant.
|Luann Rocha was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. Ms. Rocha obtained a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Social Work and Spanish from Marquette University, and a Master’s in Social Welfare from University of California, Berkeley. Luann Rocha relocated to Oxnard at age 35. Ms. Rocha became inspired to share the dream with her husband of opening an organization in La Colonia, after completing a local needs assessment. She conducted many interviews, talked with parents and youth, and experienced first hand the need for quality social services in La Colonia community. Ms. Rocha has a strong passion for community justice, and education. She believes all individuals merit equal opportunities, and believes El Centrito is a vehicle to help youth and families achieve their educational dreams. Ms. Rocha serves as executive director of El Centrito Family Learning Centers, since its inception in 1992.|