East of East

East of East: The Making of Greater El Monte

A Project of the South El Monte Arts Posse

Frank Molina

Parents met in lighting factory in El Monte. Father was from Guanajuanto, mother was from Juarez via East LA. Frank grew up in El Monte, felt EM/SEM shared an identity on account of constant traveling back and forth between the two. Started school in El Monte (Mountain View School District), moved to Epiphany Catholic School in SEM, from there went to Don Bosco Tech. Knew Bobby Salcedo well as a kid (were both altar boys at Epiphany). Parents encouraged him to focus on schooling, kept him in Catholic schools, saw gangs and crime around him (as well as prejudice in policing) but avoided them as a “Bosco Boy” and went on to college. Grandmother lived with them, shared family stories of Mexico (rich anecdotes shared here), loved visiting Legg Lake as a child. Went to Rio Hondo and UCLA (at a time when there were very few students of color, and got involved in recruiting community college students). Has since come back to work in SEM and EM with Hilda Solis, CCF, and El Monte Promise Foundation, loves LA and particularly the SGV and has lots of pride in the community and a great desire to continue to be involved in a positive capacity.

Frank Molina