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Chavez, Enriqueta | Special Collections & University Archives

Name: Chavez, Enriqueta
Variant Name: Enriqueta Valenzuela

Historical Note:

Enriqueta Chavez (neé Valenzuela), also known as Henri, grew up in Imperial Valley, California.  During her childhood, her family went to Fresno every summer to work as grape pickers.  After graduating high school in 1968, Chavez attended San Diego State University.  She received a Bachelor of Science in Community Health and Chicano Studies in 1973, followed by a Master of Science in Counselor Education one year later.  While a student at SDSU, Chavez helped to found the SDSU chapters of the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA) and Las Chicanas.  She attended the first National Chicano Youth Conference in Denver, Colorado, and became very active in the Chicano movement.  In 1974, Chavez began lecturing in the Mexican-American Studies Department at SDSU (now named the Chicana and Chicano Studies Department).  As a lecturer, Chavez helped to develop the curriculum of the department.  Her classes generally centered on Chicana issues.

In 1975, Chavez began working as a high school counselor for the Sweetwater School District while continuing to lecture at SDSU.  She later served as co-chair of the Chicano Council for Higher Education (CCHE) and president of the Association of Mexican-American Educators.  Besides promoting higher education for Mexican-Americans, Chavez also advocated bilingual education for primary and secondary school students. In addition, Chavez has won numerous awards for her work counseling and teaching, including Counselor of the Year (1992), Educator of the Year (1997), and the WHO Award (2005) sponsored by the San Diego County Service Center Council.  Today, Chavez continues to work as a high school counselor and as a Professor in Counselor Education at National University.

Note Author: Amanda Lanthorne

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