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’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.