Reflections from National Advisory Board members
Javier Aguirre, '96
Javier Aguirre serves as director of reentry services for the County of Santa Clara in San Jose. Since the summer of 2015, Javier has hosted a Stanford in Government Fellow in his office and currently serves on the Haas Center’s National Advisory Board.
As an undergraduate at Stanford, I was involved with multiple volunteer and work-study programs through the Haas Center focusing on elementary and high school students from East Palo Alto. Years later, I began my public service journey with the County of Santa Clara, the last nine years as the director of reentry services, offering services to current and formerly incarcerated residents. I have the privilege of working with many dedicated government and nonprofit stakeholders on criminal justice reforms, addressing racial disparities and growing wealth inequity, and most importantly creating education and employment opportunities for individuals returning to their communities.
In the mid-2000s, while raising my family in my hometown of Gilroy, I was introduced to a program through the Haas Center that enabled students to participate in philanthropy after graduation, and a program through the School of Education that encouraged alumni to run for school board. In 2015, I founded the Latino Family Fund de Gilroy, a family-advised fund to increase the participation of Latinos in formal philanthropy and educate middle school students about the role of giving back. In 2016, I was elected as a board trustee for the Gilroy Unified School District. I share these distinct pathways to Stanford students who are interested in engaging in community advocacy and policy making.
Stanford's Cardinal Service is a platform to inspire students to participate in various public service opportunities. This platform shapes a student’s perspectives on how meaningful public service work can make long-lasting changes, helping those in need to overcome the challenges they face in their communities. The role of the University is to create partnerships that cultivate the value of public service and offer students the opportunity to innovate and transform our society. I am confident that the Haas Center is a lead partner in this endeavor.
Jennifer Satre, '71
Jennifer Arnold Satre, a retired elementary school teacher, is an active volunteer in her community of Reno, Nevada, as well as various Stanford advisory boards and alumni activities. Jennifer served six years on the Haas Center National Advisory Board in the early 2000s and was invited to return to the board in 2020.
I grew up in a middle-class family, in a small town where being involved in community was part of the ethos. My desire to give back is a result of not only having benefited from the contributions of others (my Stanford education was partially funded by scholarships), but also because I have seen the difference public service can make in the quality of life of individuals and an entire community.
There are many ways to be involved in public service, whether by the choice of one’s career or by using one’s free time to serve in volunteer roles in one’s community. I chose to become a teacher, but I have also served on various nonprofit boards throughout my adulthood. While I hope my service has made a difference, I believe I have learned and benefitted even more from working with others on common goals.
Stanford is committed to preparing students for lives of active citizenship, and the Haas Center for Public Service plays an important role in fulfilling that vision. During my time on the National Advisory Board, I have witnessed the impact the Center has on those students seeking ways to become involved; and vice versa, I know that the staff and board continually learn from these dedicated and impressive students. Because these young people will no doubt go on to serve in one form or another throughout their lives, the time and contributions of current Haas Center supporters will be multiplied for years to come. As Margaret Mead famously said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”