Welcome President Buelna!

Natalie Seaman

This year we are welcoming Pilar Buelna as the new President of the Mount Washington Association (MWA). Pilar has been a resident and active member of the community for many years and is notable for her work with the Mount Washington PTA and the Friends of Mount Washington Elementary. We asked her onto the MWA board last year in the hopes that she would bring greater interface with the school community. She was active on the board and definitely represented the value of Mount Washington Elementary school for all residents, not just parents.  

This year, as she moves into the presidency, I realized that often times we work with someone on community projects but never really know who they are. I asked Pilar to share a bit about herself so that we could get to know her. So here goes…

Pilar grew up in Los Angeles in a family of Mexican immigrants. She was raised in the heart of the city and went to high school at a Sacred Heart, an eastside Catholic School. Catholic school was an opportunity more than a religious obligation and she has very positive things to say about this all-girls school. She shared that she met many of the friends she is still close to in her Sacred Heart school days and that the education and support she received at this institution led to college and success in her career.

She stayed in Los Angeles for college and graduated from Cal State University Northridge, where she met her future husband, Gabriel, when they were both involved in assisting immigrants during the amnesty in the 1980s. She and her husband later earned graduate degrees in Social Services and have both spent careers – thus far – in the not-for- profit service sector.   At this point in her career, Pilar is a director for the Salvation Army, which normally only hires from within and she is the highest level “civilian” in this organization. Talk about living in another culture!

Pilar and Gabriel decided to send their two daughters to Mount Washington Elementary when they moved in the neighborhood and heard great things about the school. They have been very active parents and are very engaged in working to make sure that the school continues to achieve high marks.

We are excited to welcome her and her energy to our leadership.



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