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Developing Oklahoma’s Latino Community - 2024

by Kate Downing

Man smiling and man with family in front of blue curtain
Left: Salvador Ontiveros. Right: The Ontiveros family at the LCDA Annual Luncheon August 2023. From left, Antonio, 13 years old; Salvador; his wife, Jennifer (Rico) Ontiveros (BS ’07, BSN ’10) who was also a Clara Luper Scholar at OCU; Salvador III, 16 years old; and Ruben, 11 years old.

Salvador Ontiveros ’06, ’09 is a local success story. After moving to Oklahoma City from Torreon, Coahuila, Mexico, with his family when he was just a year old, Ontiveros attended schools across the metro as his mom worked as a Spanish translator and office assistant. She provided her son with a violin and private lessons to learn how to play so that he could audition for Classen School of Advanced Studies within the Oklahoma City Public School District. He was accepted and graduated in 2003 before attending OCU as a Clara Luper Scholar, which allows students from diverse backgrounds who demonstrate a financial need to attend OCU on the Clara Luper Scholarship honoring the legacy of the Oklahoma City civil rights leader.

Ontiveros excelled during his five and a half years on campus, majoring in business administration, earning both his bachelor’s and then master’s degree, and being active in the Clara Luper Scholars program, OCU Leads and Kappa Alpha Order Fraternity. He worked part time at RadioShack throughout his time at OCU and was active off campus in Latino Youth in Action, an organization of Latino young people that performed community service throughout the city. His favorite memories while attending the university revolve around the many friendships he made. “I still talk to a lot of the people I grew up with at OCU,” said Ontiveros. “The late night study sessions, the odd jobs and the unforgettable experiences shaped who we are and what we do.”

Today, Ontiveros is the president and chief executive officer of the Latino Community Development Agency with a mission to improve the quality of life in the Latino Community through education, leadership, services and advocacy. He came to the LCDA in August from the Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center where he served as chief financial officer, overseeing finance and accounting, human resources, information technology, and at one point, operations. He is excited to be more involved with the area’s Latino population. “I grew up down the street from this organization and have benefited tremendously from their programs and services,” said Ontiveros. “It is an honor for me to now give back to my community in this capacity.”

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