Magdalena Verdugo ~ Biography
Magdalena Verdugo was named Chief Executive Officer for YWCA Southern Arizona in December 2019. As the first Latina leader in the illustrious 104-year history of the organization, she is proud to continue carrying out YWCA Southern Arizona’s mission of eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.
As the daughter of migrant farmworkers, the ideals of hard work and resilience were instilled in Magdalena from a young age. Her parents worked tirelessly in the California fields to ensure that her future would be brighter, that she would be prepared to overcome any of life’s challenges, and that she would have access to all the opportunities they did not - or could not - receive. Through their sacrifices, Verdugo became the first in her family to graduate college, earning a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from The University of Arizona, a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University and Certificate in Nonprofit Executive Leadership from the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation.
As CEO, Verdugo’s vision is to build YWCA Southern Arizona into a premier one-stop location for bilingual integrated leadership, wellbeing, financial empowerment, workforce training and business development services in the region; a singular place where diverse women of all professions, incomes, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and experiences can come together to network, collaborate, and receive the professional guidance necessary to enable them to carve life paths away from adversity and towards prosperity. Magdalena comes to the YWCA after an extended and successful time as the Vice President of CPLC Community Schools, a division of the nonprofit Chicanos Por La Causa.
Beyond her role as CEO, Verdugo is a strong community advocate for improved education, health and welfare outcomes and opportunities among all children and women in Southern Arizona. She is a former YWCA Women on the Move Award recipient, long time member of The University of Arizona Hispanic Community Advisory Council, member of the Child Family Resources and founding member of the Board of Salud y Cariño, a nonprofit helping young girls to take action and gain confidence through physical activity and healthy decision-making. Magdalena is a huge supporter and advocate of the arts and serves on the Arizona Public Media Community Advisory Board, The Arts Foundation of Southern/Tucson Arizona, and The Rialto Theatre Foundation. Magdalena previously served on the Board of Planned Parenthood of Arizona, the Arizona Minority Education Policy Analysis Center, and National Latino Children’s Institute.
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