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Staff Spotlight: Meet Felipe Perez

felipe perez perez


Felipe Perez joined the OCED team in 2013. He is currently the Project Coordinator responsible for OCED's Fresno State Parent University program, which provides classes throughout the region in digital literacy, parenting skills and English language comprehension. He has several years of experience in teaching, leadership and program development. His passion for educating, and his desire for developing sustainable communities and implementing new community development projects make him ideal for his position at OCED and his various roles in the community. In addition to overseeing OCED’s Fresno State Parent University, Felipe is the current mayor for the City of Firebaugh.

What kinds of ways are you involved in your community? 

I am involved in my local Catholic church as a reader and Eucharistic Minister. I am also the Mayor of the City of Firebaugh, where I help make my community a better place to live. Another one of my roles in my community is as a Community Garden Coordinator, where I assist residents who want to grow their own fresh produce.

What are you passionate about? 

I am passionate about gardening. I enjoy teaching others about the nature that surrounds us. Whenever I am gardening, I am relaxed. In my backyard, I have a garden where I grow organic tomatoes, kale, spinach, beets and beans, among other crops.

What’s your favorite thing about living in the rural community of Firebaugh? 

My favorite thing about living in Firebaugh is that it is very peaceful. There is less traffic and lower crime rates than urban areas, which makes it the perfect environment to raise my family. Everyone is friendly and knows one another. Firebaugh reminds me of the town I was born and raised in, a small town near Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico, called Villa Adolfo Mateos El Tamarindo.

Tell us about your professional background.

I studied Apiology, the study of bees, for two years. I received my GED. I also studied to be an auto mechanic technician and I enjoy working on cars when I have time. Fixing cars is a lot like building a puzzle and is always an interesting challenge. I’ve also worked as a computer technician, and use these skills in my work with Fresno State Parent University as I teach parents how to use computers.

Where have you worked? 

I have worked since I was five years old, working and studying at the same time. In the United States, I started in the fields. First in irrigation, then operating field machinnery, also as a field mechanic fixing tomato trailers, welding, and using the torch. I’ve worked repairing cars on my own time and as a volunteer in my community.

What's your favorite local meal? 

My favorite local meal is one my wife cooks for me. I consider myself a pescatarian, so anything that has to do with seafood is my favorite. I prefer a shrimp and octopus cocktail made by my wife.