Aracely Canchola, Social Worker, Evanston Township High School

Aracely has spent the past 10 years volunteering on the board of the Evanston Coalition for Latino Resources, which she also helped to found.

At the same time, she was working full-time as a beloved social worker for ETHS, earning two graduate degrees and starting her own family.

“Evanston doesn’t know enough about its Latino community,” the passionate and pretty Aracely declares.

She understands this well, because she grew up in Evanston as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. “My parents really weren’t connected with the city, except for the schools,” she explains, “and there were not a lot of Latino mentors in the community.”

Evanston has a growing Latino population. Aracely believes that the coalition will connect the overall Evanston community, as well as address the Latino community’s needs.

Aracely stayed close to home after graduating from ETHS in 1995 and while earning degrees at nearby schools, including the University of Chicago. When she was 21, she started working with Evanston’s Youth Organizations Outreach (Y.O.U.), and then worked for the City of Evanston. While there, her boss recommended she join the Evanston Community Foundation’s leadership program, where she developed organizational skills and confidence.

Aracely met her future husband, Jose Marta Garcia, while working for the city. Their daughter, Eliana, was born 19 months ago, shortly after the Coalition became a nonprofit.

“It’s taken 10 years. But we are very motivated to make this come true!” Aracely says with a smile. She hopes the coalition will serve as a resource for Evanston’s Latino population and be a vibrant part of the community.

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