History of Mission Language And Vocational School
Mission Language And Vocational School has been in continuous operation for the past 48 years and is well-known and respected in the community. The concept of MLVS was established in 1962 by Mexican laborers who were members of the Construction Laborer’s Union Local 261. Realizing the need for education and job training, they established the “Centro Social Obrero,” which in 1968 formed the Mission Language and Vocational School (MLVS). After incorporation in 1971, the school was able to purchase the facility at 2929 19th Street and expand its instructional programs. Formerly the site of the Pelton Water Wheel Company, the 35,072-square-foot building today houses twenty classrooms, a testing unit, administrative offices, a state of the art language lab/media center, fully equipped computer and office simulation classrooms, a multi-purpose student center, and the Florida Street Catering Services, a flourishing catering operation that serves clientele both off-site and on-site in our spacious hall/banquet facility. Today, MLVS is a recognized leader and innovator in the field of Vocational English as a Second Language and an expert in job-skills training.
Mission Language And Vocational School’s Founder
Mr. Abel Gonzalez
Mr. Abel Gonzalez arrived from Mexico at the age of 23, with only two hundred dollars in his pocket, and a belief that San Francisco was “a magical place where anyone could start again.” He believed that education was a key ingredient for immigrant communities. As a rank-and-file member of the Laborer’s Local Union 261, he pursued his vision of equal education for immigrants and took on a leadership role, unifying his fellow workers by founding the Central Social Obrero, later Mission Language and Vocational School, Inc. (MLVS). Central Social Obrero, an organization of immigrant workers, became a local voice in the labor community and the San Francisco Latino community at large.
Executive Director, 1973 - 2015
Originally from Cochabamba, Bolivia, Ms. Anaya received a B.A. in Public Administration and a Master’s in Counseling and Psychology from the University of San Francisco and was also a graduate of UCLA Anderson School of Business. Since 1973, she served as the Executive Director of Mission Language and Vocational School, Inc. (MLVS). From its inception, MLVS has served over 25,000 students who have made contributions in virtually all sectors of society and business.
In 2001, Ms. Anaya was voted on to the Board of Directors for The Green lining Institute and served on the Board of Pacific News Service / New America Media until 2015, as well as a long-standing Board Member for Paradigm Productions. She was a former Vice President and member of the San Francisco Redevelopment Commission, appointed Commissioner in 2010 by then Mayor Gavin Newsom. Previously in her political career, Rosario was appointed to the San Francisco Board of Education by late Mayor George Moscone, and in citywide elections, she was elected to 4-year terms in 1978, 1982, and 1986. She also served twice as School Board President and was the first Latin American woman elected to public office in the City’s history.
Ms. Anaya served on several boards and committees throughout her career and was the recipient of many awards, notably the Order of Francisco de Miranda Medallion from the President of the Republic of Venezuela, and in 2012, the OHTLI Award from the Mexican government. Some of the other distinguished awards that she received were from the Volunteers of America Bay Area, Inc., the Green lining Institute, the San Francisco Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Californians for Solar and Clean Energy, Hispanic Women Making History, and the Latino Heritage Month Education award. Posthumously, she was awarded the Dolores Huerta Lifetime Achievement award, and inducted in the NEN Hall of Fame
Past Executive Directors
Mr. Abel Gonzalez, Founder & Executive Director- 1968 -1973
Ms. Rosario Anaya, Executive Director- 1973 - 2015
Mr. Daniel Brajkovich, Executive Director- 2015 - 2016
Ms. Natalie Hopner, Interim Executive Director- 2016 - 2017
Mr. Anthony Fazio, Executive Director- 2017 - 2018
The Rosario Anaya Educational Center
On August 20, 2016, the building which houses Mission Language and Vocational School at 19th Street between Florida and Alabama Streets in the Mission District of San Francisco, was dedicated and named The Rosario Anaya Education Center / El Centro Educacional de Rosario Anaya, honoring longtime MLVS Executive Director and education advocate, Ms. Rosario Anaya.