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San Diego​

A powerhouse community activist in the San Diego region, Andrea Skorepa has served families in San Ysidro and the South Bay for 36 years as president and CEO of Casa Familiar. Her dedicated leadership grew the nonprofit organization from nine employees, no assets and a $60,000 budget to a thriving institution with 34 employees, $8.1 million in assets and a budget of $1.7 million, developed through a variety of revenue streams and affordable housing partnerships.

Casa Familiar offers more than 30 programs encompassing social services, education, health and fitness, art exhibits, cultural events and community organizing. During Mrs. Skorepa’s tenure, the organization also expanded affordable housing in the South Bay, opening 750 Casa Familiar housing units in two separate developments.

Described by friends as a force of nature, the San Ysidro native has been able to unite diverse interest groups throughout her career for the benefit of San Diego’s poorest communities. After graduating from San Diego State University in 1971, she became an educator in the San Ysidro School District and an organizer for the American Federation of Teachers. Her belief in the power of education to lift people out of poverty has inspired her life’s work.

Mrs. Skorepa’s warmth and generosity are also legendary. Each year, Casa Familiar honors volunteers and philanthropists at its Abrazo Awards Gala, named for the bear hugs that she lavishes on her closest friends. In addition to her work at Casa Familiar, Mrs. Skorepa also served as a City of San Diego planning commissioner, chair of the Citizens Advisory Board on Police/Community Relations and is a member of the Citizens Advisory Board on Redistricting. She was a board member of the San Diego Repertory Theatre and a member of the Mayor’s Latino Advisory Committee.

Among her many honors and awards is the 2011 Ohtli Prize from the Institute of Mexicans Abroad, bestowed on behalf of the government of Mexico, in recognition of Mrs. Skorepa’s work in San Diego’s Mexican community, and her efforts to improve the United States-Mexico border region.

In recognition of her achievements as a human rights activist, community advocate and champion of higher education, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and San Diego State University are honored to confer upon Andrea Skorepa the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.​​​