Greg Valdovino

2004 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll

Greg Valdovino Portrait

Wyandotte High School, 1988

In 1976, Greg Valdovino left his native homeland of Mexico with his mother, a migrant worker, and seven siblings. They came to Kansas City, Kansas in search of a better life. He was only six years old, spoke no English and had little education.

That same year, El Centro, a bilingual and bicultural organization that creates educational, social, and economic opportunities for families, opened its doors. The support provided by El Centro and the Kansas City, Kansas community is something that Valdovino has never forgotten. That’s why today he is working to help others in similar situations.

Valdovino is the Director of Youth Development for El Centro. In this position, he leads the organization’s migrant education program, developing resources that help children of migrant workers build self-esteem, identify with the community and get academic support. He also oversees the Students as Teachers program that provides tutoring services for students in the community.

Patience, understanding, and encouragement by his teachers and family got Valdovino through school. He graduated from Wyandotte High School in 1988.

“I believe in Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools because they gave me the opportunity to be where I am today,” Valdovino said.

With scholarship aid, he attended Donnelly College and the University of Missouri-Kansas City earning a bachelor’s degree in economics.

His community involvement includes serving on the Big Brothers Big Sisters Latino Initiative Committee and Youth Opportunities Unlimited. In 2001, he received an Honorary Father Award by the National Center for Fathering.

He wants today’s students to know that this country provides so many opportunities to “make your dreams come true. If you believe it, it will happen.”