Robert Aguayo

Deputy Director

Robert Aguayo was born and raised in the Temple-Beaudry community near downtown Los Angeles. He attended and graduated from Belmont High School in 1977 where he was a student of Sal Castro. In 1974, at the age of 14, Robert was referred to El Centro Del Pueblo, then known as the “Echo Park Diversion Program”, due to his gang involvement and negative behavior at school and in the community.

Through several years of involvement and mentoring by the counselors of El Centro and Belmont High School,  Robert was able to change his attitude, behavior and academic achievement which resulted in his graduation from high school in 1977.  Although Robert had never thought of attending college, with the guidance of these counselors and mentors, he was able to graduate from Los Angeles City College and California State University of Los Angeles with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology.

During this period, after high school, Robert also began working at El Centro Del Pueblo as a peer counselor with high risk and gang involved youth and their families.  This opportunity allow Robert to withdraw from his involvement with the gang and focus on his family and future.

At El Centro, Robert has work in the First Time Offenders Program, Job Training Program, Youth and Family Counseling Programs, Summer Youth Employment Program and the HIV Education and Prevention Program.  Robert currently serves as the Deputy Director of El Centro Del Pueblo with over 35 years of experience working with high risk and gang involved youth and their families in the same community that he was raised in.

In addition, from 1982-1983 Robert was appointed by Governor Brown to the California State Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.  In 1988-1994 he served on the LAUSD Mexican American Education Commission.  In November of 1987, Robert Aguayo and El Centro were featured in People Magazine for his work with high risk and gang involved youth.  Robert currently serves as a 30 years member of the Padrinos’ Come Together youth mentoring program which has been providing youth conferences in Los Angeles County for over 40 years.

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