Shawn Herrera’s passion for education runs deep because he knows firsthand the profound effect a quality education can have on individuals.
“Education definitely changed my life drastically,” said Herrera, who is the founder of the Shawn P. Herrera Foundation and has served as a board member of the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley. “Like many Latinos, I was definitely not raised with a silver spoon in my mouth, but education opened a door for much greener pastures. The responsibility I took on with my education and never slacking on it has given me the opportunity to do very well in business and the opportunity to give out donations and scholarships to deserving students.”
Herrera plans on taking the experience he’s gained from starting a foundation to a higher level, and that’s why he’s running for the San Benito County Board of Education District 1 seat. His top priorities include school safety and nutrition, knowing the latter helps students remain energized and focused throughout the day. Herrera sees a need to reverse obesity rates, which affect people mentally and physically.
“How do we figure out how to get kids a nutritious meal—not junk food—when many of them have both parents working is a hot topic,” he said.
Determining how to safely get kids back to in-person classes is also at the top of Herrera’s priority list. As Herrera develops a greater understanding of how the board runs and the key issues facing the district, he’s excited to bring his knowledge and business acumen to the table.
“Having that business-type knowledge and experience and bringing that to the board to give it that urgency to run things and get results quickly is something I can contribute,” Herrera said.
Herrera’s foundation has a STEM approach, focusing on students willing to take the academic responsibility to a high level. Through donations to academic, music and athletic programs along with scholarships, the foundation provides students with more possibilities for their future.