Winner: Luis Falcon, Downtown College Prep, Alum Rock Middle School

Positive Cultural Identity: Given to an individual, family, or organization that is helping young people feel comfortable and proud of their cultural identity

Luis Falcon is a 6th grade social studies teacher at Downtown College Prep Alum Rock Middle School (DCP), a small charter school in the Eastside of San Jose. Mr. Falcon has been teaching at DCP for the past six-years. Mr. Falcon is also a graduate of Downtown College Prep High School and a first-generation college graduate himself. Mr. Falcon returned to teach at Downtown College Prep because he is deeply tied to DCP’s mission of preparing first-generation college students for college success and beyond and because he wants to provide the same opportunities for the students that he teaches that were provided for him.

Before returning to DCP as a teacher, Mr. Falcon attended and graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Mr. Falcon is also an alum of Teach for America, a non-profit organization whose main goal is to help strengthen the movement for educational equity by providing high quality teachers. Mr. Falcon believes that being a teacher is a privilege that grants him the opportunity to give back to his community.

See presentation of the Asset Champions award plaque here

See Mr. Falcon's video story below

“Mr. Falcon is a role model to all students. By sharing his own story and personal life journey, he forges intentional, deep, and meaningful connections with students, creating opportunities for student-led conversations so they can learn to build an awareness, understanding, appreciation of all facets of their background. This positive, personal, and cultural identity contributes to a healthy sense of themselves.” – Leticia Villa, Principal, Downtown College Prep