Meet Sean Elo
First and foremost, Sean is a son, brother, and committed friend who is fueled by love. His family’s diversity and experiences riding an up-and-down roller coaster in and out of the middle class will forever shape the way Sean sees the world and motivate him to make it better.
A first-generation college student, Sean attended Golden West Community College. He then transferred to and earned his bachelor’s degree from Chapman University, where he studied psychology, sociology, and history. While in school, Sean was an award-winning high school swimming and water polo coach. Inspired by President Obama’s historic 2008 Presidential campaign to make a more widespread impact, Sean went abroad and served as an English and Special Needs teacher in Peru and volunteered as environmental preservationist in Ecuador. He then taught English in a rural South Korean community.
Sean subsequently came to San Diego to attend California Western School of Law where he was selected to receive a Creative Problem Solving Scholarship. At Cal Western, he served in multiple leadership roles, including president of La Raza Student Association and Amnesty International and as a Student Representative.
Inspired by his diverse background and belief in the importance of historically disadvantaged communities working together, Sean also worked to strengthen the Student Diversity Coalition. Sean received a Pro Bono and Public Service Honors Society Award for his work with the City Heights Community Law Project, where he helped bring free legal clinics to schools.
It was this work in City Heights schools that made Sean fall in love with the community. For the first time, he was in a community that resembled his family. Folks with roots all over the world who came here seeking safety and opportunity. Families struggling to get by and neighbors from different cultures working through their differences. Most importantly, Sean saw how beautiful it is when a community overcomes those struggles and differences to come together for their families and communities.
After law school, Sean came to work in District 9 as a director at Mid-City CAN*, a local nonprofit. While there, Sean led a team of dedicated community organizers as they worked with the community to turn their hopes and dreams into reality. They fought for no-cost bus passes for youth, better food in schools, and for critical changes to prevent our young people from being treated unfairly by the justice system. He also helped build a civic engagement team to help ensure District 9 voices were represented at the polls.
*For reference purposes only, does not denote endorsement
It was while registering students to vote that Sean was inspired to run for a seat on the San Diego Community College Board of Trustees. Two years later, with the help of a team of committed students, Sean shocked the political establishment and won the opportunity to serve. As a Trustee, Sean and four other elected board members work to ensure the 100,000 students and 5,000 employees of the San Diego Community College Board are being provided the support and resources they need to succeed.
In addition to now serving a Trustee, Sean is the executive director of Youth Will where he works with young people to help make San Diego a world-class region where children and youth can thrive. When he’s not at work, Sean remains committed to improving the community. He is a RISE Urban Leadership Fellow, serves as a board member of multiple nonprofit organizations, including the Regional Task Force on the Homeless and Community HousingWorks. Sean also enjoys traveling and eating with his wife Angela.
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