New Friendly House President and CEO

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Friendly House, which helps Arizona communities through human services and education, has a new leader. Meet new Friendly House president and CEO Martin Quintana and hear his vision for the organization.

Jose Cardenas: Good evening. I'm Jose Cardenas. We'll talk to the new president and chief executive officer of one of the oldest nonprofit organizations in Arizona. Plus, new data shows millennials make up almost half of Latino eligible voters in 2016. We'll talk about the impact of young Latinos on the elections. And in sounds of cultura SOC, an exhibition exploring the issues of labor, displacement, and migration. All this straight ahead on "Horizonte."

Video: "Horizonte" is made possible by contributions from the friends of Arizona PBS, members of your PBS station. Thank you.

Jose Cardenas: Friendly house was founded in 1920. The organization provides social services to struggling families, new immigrants, and Arizona residents. They now have a new president and CEO. In tonight's "get to know" joining me now is Martin Quintana. Martin, welcome back to "Horizonte." Last time you were here you were wearing a different hat. You were the CFO of another very important social services organization. Congratulations on your new position.

Martin Quintana: Thank you. Thank you for having me. Appreciate it.

Jose Cardenas: How long have you been there?

Martin Quintana: Only been there two months. It has been a great ride so far. A lot of things to do obviously. And really proud to be joining the organization and you know to have the new leadership and to be involved in the organization and it's a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to great things that we can do together with our employees and our board, and, you know, and in the future.

Jose Cardenas: As we noted, it is probably the oldest social service organization in Arizona, certainly has a grand history. Some recent turmoil that you stepped into. And I know you can't talk too much about it. But it involved your predecessor. I imagine -- what are you going to do with that and kind of get things back on course?

Martin Quintana: One of the things -- coming in, I think I would have done this regardless of what was going on, I went around and met all of the employees, talked to all of the employees about me coming in and what my vision was for the organization, and just getting to know them and the culture of friendly house. And I think that turned out very well. I think the employees really appreciated the fact that I was going around and meeting everyone. So, once I did that, then I started to get to know the programs well. And that's something that has been a lot of fun as well. I knew they had strong programs before I came in there. And after talking to the employees, talking to some of the funders, you know, it is very exciting to know the programs are solid, strong, a lot of passionate there from the employees and the community. Those are things that are exciting that I dealt with in the last couple of months.

Jose Cardenas: I want to talk about the programs and I want to come back to your vision of the organization. We have got pictures that we will put up on the screen that illustrate the different kinds of things that -- is involved in. Of course, you have a chart -- I'm sorry, friendly house -- you have a charter school. We got some of the kids up on the screen here. And tell us about what is going on there?

Martin Quintana: With the school, elementary education, worker development, and adult education as well as other Human Services. With the school, we have a charter school that serves K-8 grade, south central Phoenix area. Right now we are serving about 450 kids and families. We also provide pre-K and child care services for the families there. And it is -- it's a great school. We basically bus the kids in within the -- of where we're at on central and the I-17 freeway. And because of the area that we're in, we serve most Latino kids and now we have about 90% of Latinos served in the area there.

Jose Cardenas: A lot of Immigrant kids?

Martin Quintana: A lot of immigrant kids as well. That is one thing that we do with friendly house. We have pretty good integrated programs that we are able to provide other services that the families need when it comes to maybe finding a job or getting training on ESL for example.

Jose Cardenas: We have pictures of the other programs we will put up and keep going through them while we're talking of the other things that you do. I assume that this is one of the training --

Martin Quintana: Yeah, yeah, this would be our worker development adult education program. We do a few things here. First of all, we try to find people a job. We also basic training, resume writing, interview skills. Particular training for ESL or maybe financial literacy programs. We have a program that we provide services in and we also try to work with them on if they get for example credits at a college and we actually have grants to give them to get additional education aside from what we provide at friendly house.

Jose Cardenas: What does this picture represent?

Martin Quintana: One thing we are proud of, we work with youth in career and college readiness programs. What it would do as part of the program, we try to teach leadership and community service. In this particular one, individual and kids in a summer program that they are getting involved in serving the community. In this case, I'm pretty sure that is St. Vincent DePaul's, volunteering as part of the program and services that we provide. It is a way to get young kids, high school aged kids, know the community and how to serve the community and carry forward in the way they do things in the future.

Jose Cardenas: Here is an interesting photograph. What are these people doing?

Martin Quintana: Another program - this is also related to college and career readiness. We work with different industries, in this case, energy and utility industries where we try to educate the college kids -- sorry, high school kids, also the parents on how to gear their kids and to get into a particular industry. Energy industry - or in some cases health care…

Jose Cardenas: Sponsored by APS or…?

Martin Quintana: We have families and kids that go through programs, sponsored by APS, SRP, and the power plant as well.

Jose Cardenas: I think we have one or two more that we want to put up on the screen to talk about. Actually I am incorrect. We don't. One of the things that you guys do is voter empowerment. Talk to us about that.

Martin Quintana: I mentioned we have several different services. They all work around elementary education, worker development, adult education, as well as Human Services but also part of that is voter engagement and trying to educate, especially kids that are getting ready to get to the point where they are able to vote, educate them on the process of voting and the politics of what goes on with that area, and trying to get them engaged in the process. We all know it is very important that the kids learn and are engaged in the future.

Jose Cardenas: So, as we noted, organization 1920, and in four years, it will be its 100th anniversary. What is your vision for friendly house in 2020?

Martin Quintana: You know, right now as I mentioned coming in the first couple of months, you know, we have such great programs are that all comprehensive, intertwined with each other and we are able to provide solid wrap-around services in the community. What I want to do is basically take these services and strategically grow the organization. Right now we serve roughly 10,000 individuals and families and I feel with the program that they have there and the services that we have, we can grow and the number of people we are serving. We can grow, in the funds coming in to support the services, and also I want to be able to diversify funding for the organization. It is something that I feel is going to help us grow and provide more services in the community and also expand geographically. We have been serving the south central, south Phoenix area, and expanded into a lot of high schools around the west side of the valley. I feel that we can provide these different services across the valley and eventually Arizona. And, so, for me, it is about growth. It is about strategically growing programs in the community and what the needs are where there are gaps in we can fill the gap and provide the service.

Jose Cardenas: It sounds like you have a lot on your plate. Good luck and thank you for joining us and congratulations again.

Martin Quintana: Thank you, Jose.

Martin Quintana:Friendly House President and CEO

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