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Los Barrios de Amarillo was established in 1971 by a small group of community leaders and volunteers who were concerned by the high dropout rate of Hispanic males at Caprock High School. They sought to remove the barriers that resulted in cultural, educational, and socioeconomic inequities in the Mexican American community. Today, our mission has evolved to assist all students living within Region 16 in developing a career path and finding the means to attain it.  

We promote higher education.

Our Mission

Our Mission

Los Barrios de Amarillo promotes leadership, higher education, career awareness and mentorship support for students in the Texas Panhandle.

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Our Vision

A day when all Panhandle students are aware of career options and have the means to attain them.

How We Achieve Our Goals



EPIC Success Conferences

EPIC 2.0 Conferences

Red Hot Chili Pepper Tournament

Graduate Banquet

Summer BBQ

Hispanic Heritage Luncheon

Fundraising/Grant Writing

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Get Involved

We promote higher education and provide career awareness. We are under the umbrella of the Amarillo Wesley Community Center, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization and donations are tax-deductible.

Meet Our Board

Mary Bralley


Mary received her Business Administration degree from Wayland Baptist University and has worked in Marketing, Public Relations and Business Development for all her career. She is a community advocate serving on the board and committees for many organizations, but her heart remains in promoting higher education for all students. Mary and her husband own Accord Commercial Realty and when they aren't working, they enjoy spending time with their three grandsons.

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Jennifer Gallardo

Vice President

Jennifer has been with Amarillo National Bank for nearly 28 years currently serving as Vice-President and Branch Manager. She is a graduate of Caprock High School and attended Amarillo College while pursuing her banking career. She is married to Arturo and has two sons, Geovany and Arturo Jr. Jennifer is proud of the way her parents taught her to always keep her faith and always show love for people. She has served on several boards over the years and has volunteered with countless efforts in our community. Jennifer looks forward to continuing to help take care of the city that has taken such great care of her and her family.  “Full Speed Ahead!” 

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Lilliana Cadena


Liliana grew up in Cactus, Texas and graduated from Dumas High School in 2003. Go Demons!! Shortly after graduating, she moved to Amarillo and works at Amarillo National Bank. She is the Assistant Vice President /Operations Manager at the northeast branch and loves serving multicultural customers.  Liliana is married with 4 kids that her busy with softball, wrestling, and football. She joined Los Barrios de Amarillo because of the organization's passion to help students further their education through the EPIC Step Up to Success college and career conference and mentorship program.  "I love that our mentors help guide students through the important steps it takes to become successful."

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Paul Simpson


Paul Simpson has served as Director of Business Retention and Expansion for the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation since October 2020. Prior to his work for the Amarillo EDC, he was a congressional staffer for Congressman Mac Thornberry for over 20 years and was named deputy district director in 2014. He is a member of the Leadership Amarillo & Canyon class of 2003-04 and volunteers as an Admissions Liaison Officer for the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Active in the Amarillo community, he serves as past president of the Ronald McDonald House board of directors. Paul was raised in Pampa, Texas, and received a bachelor’s degree from TCU and an MBA from West Texas A&M University. He and his wife Lanie have two children and as a family they are very involved in their church, Polk Street United Methodist Church. He is an adult leader for his son’s Scout troop, and is an avid hunter, fly fisherman, and snow skier.


Liz Rascón Alaniz 


Liz has been the Executive Director for the Amarillo Wesley Community Center for eight years. She received her Bachelors of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies in 2010 from Angelo State University. Her emphasis is Early Childhood Education K-6th Grade Generalist and K-12th Grade Special Education. In 2012, she received her Masters of Education in Student Development and Leadership also from Angelo State University. She is currently in her Doctorate of Education at West Texas A&M University. 


She is an Executive Board Member for Los Barrios de Amarillo and a 2016 Leadership Texas Graduate. She is co-founder and facilitator of Breakfast in the Barrio along with Mercy Murguia and Pastor Manny de LosSantos from Power Church.


Her focus is on community collaboration, immigration, senior citizens, youth, and promoting higher education.  


Tina Sisneros

Advisory Team

Tina has been a member of Los Barrios de Amarillo since 2003.  She is a licensed social worker formerly employed at Amarillo ISD as a Parent Engagement Liaison at Caprock High School.  She is recently retired and remains closely involved with Los Barrios de Amarillo serving on the Finance Committee and co-chairing Step Up to Success.


Melissa Carnero

Advisory Team

Melissa Carnero is a native of Amarillo. She graduated from Caprock High School in 2009 and went off to West Texas A&M University where she received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Social Work. She is a member of Los Barrios de Amarillo where she has served as the Historian in 2017 and has served as the Scholarship Chairman for the past 3 years. She is also a member of Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition and serves on the Pro-Bono Advisory Committee for LANWT. She was the 2017 Hispanic Heritage Rising Star Recipient. She currently works for the Amarillo Independent School District as a School Social Worker supporting students and parents. She is also a Co-Founder of a women’s soccer league in Amarillo. Melissa is a community advocate and lives to serve others by volunteering when possible and coordinating various community events to bring information to those in need.

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