In 2006, at just 26 years old, Flora Perez-Lucatero established Children of the Valley in her quest to provide a much-needed after school service for children within her community. As the founding and current Executive Director, she oversees all day-to-day operations and finances, working in collaboration with COV’s Board of Directors to ensure all opportunities and objectives are being met in the most effective manner.
Flora has an innate desire to contribute. The daughter of two farmworkers, she was inspired by their perseverance to overcome hardships as well as the value they placed on education and service. Following their lead, Flora was encouraged to attend college and pursue a life path that would enable her to mentor and support those around her, especially youth. Children of the Valley is a marriage of Flora’s passions for service, children, and education; one that has not only served her well, spiritually and professionally, but also one that has elevated the lives of hundreds of area children in need.
“I have been blessed with a career path that has allowed me to fulfill my personal aspirations to uplift those around me,” Flora stated. “COV is an organization that stands behind something I feel so deeply about. Providing our children, especially those most in need, with a platform from which to thrive is so important, and has given these children hope for a better tomorrow and a sense of peace for today. It’s this that drives me to continue our efforts.”
Over the next five years, it is Flora’s goal to expand COV’s services by 2-3 additional sites.
With more than two decades of experience working directly with low-income and at-risk youth, Flora gained valuable experience serving as the Program Director for the College Assistance Migrant Program at Central Washington University where she worked to assist migrant students not only attend college, but also receive the support they needed once enrolled. Prior to that, she worked at the Skagit County Best S.E.L.F. Program during her summer months in college, working directly with low-income students from the community.
Flora received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Washington University. She is an extremely active community member, serving on countless Boards and committees, including Skagit Valley Hispanic Multi-Disciplinary Board (Board member, 2006-2013); META Performing Arts Board (Board member, 2010-2012); West View Parent Teacher Association (President, 2011-2015); Madison Elementary School Site Committee (Parent representative, 2015-2017); Mount Vernon-Conway Youth Baseball Board (Vice President, 2016-present); and Skagit Valley College (Board of Trustees, 2017-present).
When she isn’t serving her community through volunteer work or inspiring colleagues, fellow community leaders, and women through her positive actions, Flora can be found teaching group fitness classes or running. She has been married to her husband, Rafael, for 16 years, and is the mother of four wonderful sons; Moises (13), Joaquin (11), Sebastian (7), and Carmelo (4).
“Two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.” -Mark Twain