Alberto Varas, '03, Impacting Youth and Families for Nearly 20 Years

Alberto Varas, '03, Impacting Youth and Families for Nearly 20 Years

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Alberto Varas graduated from Midland Lutheran College in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History. Originally from Miami, FL and the son of Cuban immigrants, Albert came to Midland on a football scholarship, not sure what to expect of life in Nebraska. He soon enough found his passion, one that would set the stage for life beyond college and athletics.

For nearly 20 years, Albert has dedicated his life to supporting the advancement of underserved youth and families, starting with his work in college as a camp counselor and group home houseparent. Following six years of teaching Special Education in the Miami-Dade County Public School District, Albert returned to Omaha for an opportunity to work for Building Bright Futures, a foundation dedicated to improving educational outcomes for children and teens living in poverty in the Omaha metro area.  His work at the foundation provided him the opportunity to better understand the needs of this special population and the stakeholders involved, furthering his interest in the notion that access to education, including college and career readiness programming, can be an avenue out of poverty.

In 2012, Albert became a Program Development and Career Advisor at the Avenue Scholars Foundation, collaborating with high schools, community colleges, universities and the local business and nonprofit community to further develop career readiness programs and job opportunities for Omaha’s underserved youth.  City Sprouts, a community garden and educational resource center in Omaha offering internships to youth in horticulture and urban farming, was one of those local nonprofits. Building community and careers through gardening and horticulture proved a great fit for Albert where he served as Board President for 5 years. In 2014, Albert was honored with a Top 40 under 40 Award in Omaha and for his dynamic leadership and commitment to underserved populations.

Albert was selected as Executive Director of the Latino Center of the Midlands in 2016, where his professional career and service work in the areas of education, nonprofits, business and public health is proving to be an invaluable asset. Located in the heart of South Omaha, the Latino Center of the Midlands is one of the oldest and most respected Latino-serving community based organizations in Nebraska. With Albert at the helm, the vision of the Latino Center of the Midlands to empower youth and families through education and awareness is brought to life every day, helping build a stronger and more engaged Omaha community.

He and his wife, Valerie, live in Omaha with their young children.