Fifteen Years of Excelencia


Excelencia in Education Fifteen Year Anniversary


Celebrating 15 years of Excelencia’s impact accelerating Latino student success


15 Year Anniversary Celebration - board and staff at event

As a Latina co-founded and led non-profit organization Excelencia in Education marked its 15th anniversary with a Quinceañera – a celebration in the Latino community of an important milestone and symbol of maturity.

Created in 2004 by two visionary leaders, Sarita Brown and Deborah Santiago, Excelencia in Education today is recognized as a trusted source on Latino student achievement; as a resource for influencing education policy at the institutional, state, and national levels; and, seen as an advocate for the use of evidence-based practices and strategies that accelerate success for all, leading with Latino students.

More than 300 guests – including college and university presidents, congressional staff, leaders in business, philanthropy, Latino advocacy and students – joined the Excelencia founders, board members and staff for a joyous Quinceañera in the nation’s capital on June 20, 2019, to honor Excelencia’s first 15 years of growth and accomplishments.

It was an evening to remember. We celebrated what we’ve accomplished together and renewed our commitment to accelerate Latino student success in higher education going forward. As we focus on the future, we are grateful to have had with us representatives from the first cohort of institutions that earned the new Seal of Excelencia. Announced earlier in the day at a special event and via livestream, nine institutions were recognized as the 1st to be certified as institutions serving Latino students by intentionally aligning data, practice, and leadership. Learn more about the Seal of Excelencia.

CLICK HERE to relieve the moment in photos. 


As a nonprofit organization, Excelencia’s work depends on the support of champions and allies like you.

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Your investment in Excelencia will support greater Latino student success
in higher education and our country's bright future.




15 Year Anniversary Celebration collage