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Woods Charitable Fund, a private grant-making foundation, elected a new member, Pablo Cervantes, to its board of directors during the Fund’s November board meeting.

Cervantes is the migrant education coordinator for Lincoln Public Schools, which provides resources and services for the district’s migrant families, and the Latino youth development advocate to help students develop leadership skills and decrease dropout rates.

He also owns three property management and maintenance companies that provide affordable housing options in Lincoln.

Cervantes is artistic director and choreographer with Fiesta Mexicana of the Heartland children’s dance troupe, the Viva Mexico Mexican folkloric adult dance organization and the Lincoln High School Mexican dance group.

Cervantes has volunteered with many Lincoln nonprofit organizations. He is president of the board of directors of the Center for Legal Immigration Assistance, secretary of the board of directors of the South of Downtown Community Development Organization, is a member of the Bryan Medical Center board of trustees and the board of counselors for Prosper Lincoln’s job skills initiative, is a board member for the Lincoln Public Schools’ Community Learning Centers and a member of the Baha’i Faith Local Spiritual Assembly of Lincoln.

He received the Homeless Coalition of Lincoln’s Landlord of the Year award in 2016 and a Mayor’s Arts Award in 2006.

“Pablo’s personal and professional experiences align perfectly with WCF’s fields of interest,” said Tom Woods, president of Woods Charitable Fund. “His first-hand experience of utilizing services provided by various Lincoln nonprofit agencies and now helping to lead these agencies offers a unique perspective and will be valuable to the Fund as it strives to make the best grant-making decisions.”

Cervantes fills the vacated seat of Carl Eskridge, who served on the WCF board from 2013-18.

Woods Charitable Fund also elected officers at its November meeting. Those elected were Donna W. Woods, chairwoman; Candice Howell, vice chairwoman; Hank Woods, treasurer; Michael J. Tavlin, assistant treasurer; and Tom Woods, president and board secretary. Nelle Woods Jamison, Ed Wimes and Michelle Suarez are continuing board members.

Woods Charitable Fund’s board approved a special grant in honor of Art Thompson, who is retiring as president of the Cooper Foundation at the end of 2018. To commemorate his 35 years of service to the organization, WCF awarded a $10,000 grant to the Nebraska Cultural Endowment toward its two arts education and two humanities education funds. Thompson has served as Cooper Foundation president since 1990 and was elected to its board in 1984.

Woods Charitable Fund makes grants twice a year to tax-exempt organizations seeking funding for programs in the areas of Human Services, Civic & Community, Education, and Arts & Culture, and through its Breakthrough Initiative Grant program.

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