Raised in the Southeast San Diego community of Encanto, Alvarez earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering from Harvey Mudd College and his master’s degree in electrical engineering from USC. He was working in the aerospace division of TRW, Inc. in Redondo Beach before switching gears to become an educator at City College in 1994.
Alvarez is known for developing the MESA Program’s “learning culture,” which is characterized by key strategies for effectively approaching the learning and a mindset for learning, with a language that includes self-advocacy, emotional intelligence, mental toughness and goal focus. All MESA students are empowered with the learning culture to create their own success in higher education and beyond.
The learning culture is a recipe for success and a way of life. MESA alumni have gone on to earn advanced degrees at some of the top universities in the country.