The Raul Yzaguirre Schools for Success (RYSS) is named in honor of Raul Humberto Yzaguirre, Sr. and strives to embody the values and ideals to which Mr. Yzaguirre devoted his life—to serve and empower the nation’s Hispanic community and, in so doing, strengthen the nation as a whole.
Mr. Yzaguirre was born in San Juan, Texas, a small community along the Texas-Mexican border. At a young age, he dedicated himself to the civil rights of the Hispanic American community; and for decades since, he has been internationally recognized as one of its premier leaders and advocates. From 1974 to 2004, Mr. Yzaguirre served as the CEO and president of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), transforming the organization from a regional advocacy group to a potent, national voice for Hispanic communities. In this leadership position, he advocated for affirmative action policies and greater Hispanic representation in government and leadership positions.
Mr. Yzaguirre’s tireless efforts have been recognized both nationally and internationally. He received the Rockefeller Public Service Award from Princeton University, the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights Award from the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, and the Charles Evan Hughes Gold Medal Award for courageous leadership by the National Conference for Community and Justice. He was also one of the first Hispanic fellows of the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and is a lifetime member of that school’s Council on Foreign Relations.
With his numerous civic contributions and national recognitions, including serving as U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic from 2010 to 2013 under President Barak Obama, Mr. Yzaguirre’s legacy is preserved through the Raul Yzaguirre Policy Institute established at The University of Texas – Pan American, whose mission is “to inform policy, and the civic leaders who frame it, for the benefit of the Hispanic community and the nation as a whole.”