Raised in Visalia in the Central Valley, William "Bill" Chavez was one of the most respected and admired young Latino leaders in California. For EOPS and CARE, Bill was a courageous advocate who had been involved in every effort to expand educational opportunities for disadvantaged youth and adults, including the passage of two significant bills: Assembly Bill 3103 (Hughes), which established the CARE program in 1982, and Assembly Bill 602, which provided the Board Financial Assistance Program (BFAP) Administrative Allowance in 1985. As the first state-funded program of its kind in California and the nation, CARE recognizes the unique educational and personal aspirations of welfare-dependent single parents who seek a college education. The BFAP Administrative Allowance provides state funding for community colleges to administer a program that waives enrollment fees for low income students.
For more than twenty years, Bill worked in progressively more responsible positions in public policy, finance and administration in the State Legislature and local school districts. Bill was a trusted and knowledgeable consultant who worked closely with Assemblywoman Teresa Hughes, Assemblyman (now Senator) John Vasconcellos and Assemblyman Bob Campbell in the Legislature where he was a Program Analyst with the Office of the Legislative Analyst, Consultant to the Assembly Higher Education Subcommittee and Chief Consultant to the Assembly Education Committee. Bill also served as Director of the California State Senate Democratic Caucus and Chief of Staff to Senate Majority Leader Richard Polanco.
When he left the Capitol, Bill became President of Strategic Education Services (SES), one of California's most influential lobbying and consulting firms specializing in governmental and community relations, public sector application of new technologies, children's services, and numerous educational interests, including community colleges and K through 12 school districts.
Bill was appointed as a member of the California Student Aid Commission, served as a founding member of the Chicano-Latino Youth Leadership Project and was active with The Friends of Camp Sacramento Board of Directors and the University of California Santa Cruz Foundation. He earned a B.A. degree with Honors in politics from Merrill College at the University of California Santa Cruz and studied at the University of Southern California Graduate School of Education.
Although Bill passed away after a long illness at the age of 49 in January 2004, his two school-age sons Nicholas and Henri are very proud of their father's accomplishments, commitment and passion for empowering Latino and poor students to fulfill their dreams and aspirations.