Juan Sorto was born in Dallas, Texas. As an infant, he and his mother returned to her hometown of San Miguel, El Salvador, where they lived through parts of the 1980s Civil War in extreme poverty. In 1991, his mother made the decision to immigrate for a second time to the United States and assigned his grandmother, as his primary caregiver. In 1992, he reunited with his mother in Houston, Texas. He entered the public school system as an English as a Second Language (ESL) student in Kashmere Gardens and Aldine school districts. By academic metrics, he was not considered an honors student until completing his bachelor’s degree and graduated with Cum Laude Honors. Today, Juan holds a Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Environmental Policy, Master of Public Administration (MPA), and possess a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Criminal Justice with a Minor in Political Science.

He has served in various leadership roles with numerous community, public service, and educational organizations, including the City of Houston Super Neighborhood Alliance, HISD,

San Miguel, El Salvador Community, the Star of Hope, and Texas Southern University. He launched the initiative to broadcast the City of Houston Super Neighborhood Alliance board meetings, was recognized in the Houston Chronicle with a half-page article highlighting my achievements and improvements at HISD Title I schools, organized annual food and toy drives, recruited and managed teams of volunteers, directed activities to prepare 1000+ meals per month, designed and deployed marketing initiatives to promote the missions and values of numerous nonprofit organizations, and was appointed to the TSU Board of Regents by the Governor of Texas.

He is passionate about driving positive change in both our local and global communities and has been recognized for his achievements. The City of Houston proclaimed December 15, 2020, as Juan Antonio Sorto Day as a result of his efforts. He has also been named Houstonian of the Year by the Houston Chronicle and received the 2021 Presidential Life Volunteer Lifetime Achievement Service Award, TEA Heroes for Children Award, Shell Hurricane Harvey Heroes Award, George and Barbara Bush Points of Light Award, and the Houston Dynamo Charities Award.