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F GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN ormer Gilroy resident Sidney (Sid) Espinosa credits his success over the past 45 years to his parents, Abel and Janet Espinosa, and to Gilroy. “Without question, my values, my motivation to do things in life, those come from my parents and my community,” Espinosa said. “My dad is very much the immigrant story of coming to the U.S. without speaking the language, without any money, but with a real belief in the potential and the opportunity that this country provides. With a good education and then hard work, you can become anything you want.” When Sid was six years old his parents wanted to “get out of the city” so they left San Jose for Gilroy. As Sid’s mother Janet Espinosa recalled, “We wanted to be surrounded by nature, not just when we travelled but on a daily basis.” The move to Gilroy also provided the Espinosa clan with a true sense of community. “I had a lot of role models, and frankly a lot of people that I think were invested and just interested in helping kids in the community engage,” Espinosa said. Espinosa’s involvement with the Gilroy Presbyterian Church helped shape his world view, including “how to treat other people the way you want to be treated, helping those in need. All those things were learned in church and exemplified in family.” Espinosa said his early accomplishments were the result of mirroring the ethics and beliefs instilled in him by his parents. According to his mother, Sid was talented in art, dance, music and theater. “He drew and painted, but his real passion has been photography. He also sang with school and church choirs, but really stood out on stage when he performed and choreographed,” Janet said, noting proudly that her son was voted most likely to succeed in both junior and senior high school. Echoing that sentiment is Sid’s sister, Tami Espinosa, who serves as Principal of Gilroy’s Luigi Aprea Elementary School. “He’s always been kind of a shining star. I feel very lucky to have had him as a model my entire life. He’s been there for me every second of the way.” Sid’s long list of accomplishments includes his current role as Director of Philanthropy and Civic Engagement at Microsoft, a position he’s held for the past eight years. He said his journey to his present- day professional work began in 1990, after his graduation from Gilroy High School. “I was thinking what do I want to do in the world? Where can I have an impact and where can I make a change? It became clear that policy and politics was a great way to do that,” Espinosa said. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 gmhtoday.com 61