This is a picture of Senator Gloria Romero and I taken in 2005 at an event where she spoke about the urgency of Latina women to participate in government and become political engaged. Aside from being much thinner (!), I was a senior at CSULA and it was my first time meeting her. I was so excited to learn she represented my district. I thought she was amazing, and wanted to be just like her when I grew up – strong, bold, courageous.
Five years into the future, many jobs, struggles, grad school and many campaigns later, Senator Romero is going to recognize me as Senate District 24’s Woman of the Year. I wonder, how in the world did that happen?
I can tell you this, it wasn’t overnight. It’s been quite the challenge to get to where I am at. But it’s been a gooooood challenge. If it was easy, everyone would do it. I’m excited to be able to represent Latinas, Salvadorenas, Chicanas, women of color, people from East Los Angeles, and to say, if you have ganas, you can dream big and go after what you want. I’m honored to share the spotlight with the women mentioned below who are doing so many great things for their communities, I hope that just like Senator Romero has inspired me, I am able to inspire others. The future is as bright as you paint it. Wish me luck at today’s event! I should go get ready!
Senator Romero Honors Outstanding Women of the 24th Senate District at Final Annual Event Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Also honors Female Elected Officials and Former Honorees of the San Gabriel Valley
Senator Gloria Romero (D – East Los Angeles) will honor seven outstanding women of the 24th Senate district Friday, April 9 at the Industry Hills Expo Center.
Romero will honor Wendy Carrillo, a multimedia journalist from East Los Angeles who hosts the weekly “Knowledge is Power” radio show on Power 106 FM, as her 2010 Woman of the Year. Romero will also honor Lizete Avila, a scholar-athlete from Baldwin Park High School, as the “Youth Trailblazer.” Five other women also will be honored for their outstanding work in the community: Gloria Ing, Yvonne Bullock, Camille Diaz, Josie Vera and Vilma Clark. Full biographies are below.
Senator Romero has honored outstanding women in the region since first being elected to the Assembly in 1999, a total of more than 70 women. She is termed out of office this November and, for her final event, invited back all previous honorees, as well as the many women serving on local city councils, school boards and water boards throughout the San Gabriel Valley.
WHAT: Outstanding Women of the 24th Senate District
WHEN: Friday, April 9, 2010 • 11:30 am – 1 pm
WHERE: Industry Hills Expo Center
16200 Temple Avenue, City of Industry, CA 91744
This event is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP by April 8 to (323) 881-0100.
Woman of the Year
East Los Angeles
Wendy is the host of “Knowledge is Power” on Power 106 FM every Sunday morning from 7-8 a.m. From politics to education to pop culture, Wendy opens up the lines to listeners and hosts an open conversation with leading experts on a wide variety of issues. During the 2008 Presidential elections, Wendy won a national competition to represent young Latinos at the Democratic National Convention for SiTV and Voto Latino. Recently, Wendy won the Elfen Award for Social Justice in Poverty for her short film on Homeboy Industries and their efforts to end gang violence in Los Angeles. Wendy’s goal is to empower the community by providing an outlet for Latinos to be well-informed on current national and local issues.
Baldwin Park High School
As a Senior at Baldwin Park High School, Lizete has shown outstanding dedication to her education, family and community, excelling in many areas. She has taken on an extremely demanding academic curriculum and excelled, with a cumulative GPA of 4.155, qualifying her for the National Honor Society and the California Scholarship Federation. In addition to her schoolwork, she is involved in numerous activities and is a leader at her school as captain of the girl’s basketball team and as a member of the School Site Council, working with school administrators, teachers, parents and students to improve her school. Besides basketball, Lizete also has participated in the wrestling and cross-country teams and has received the “Scholar Athlete of the Year” award for three years.
Outstanding Women of the 24th District
A mother of two, Gloria Ing has worked for many years to support students in the community. An active member of the Monterey Highlands Elementary School and Mark Keppel High School Parent Teacher Student Association she has devoted her time to support the success of students. She organized and started a Academic Decathlon competition for students in kindergarten through 8th grade at Monterey Highlands Elementary School. A senior attorney for Southern California Edison for the past 22 years, Gloria currently serves on Edison’s Diversity Committee to encourage educational opportunities for the youth in the field of law. For the past four years, she has coached a Mock Trial team at Monterey Highlands, allowing students to compete as lawyers, arguing cases in front of actual judges from the Los Angeles Superior Court. Gloria has been married to her husband, Mitchell Ing, for 22 years. Together they have raised more than $48,000 in scholarships for high school seniors at Mark Keppel Schurr and Garfield high schools.
Yvonne has worked for the Duarte Unified School District for 35 years and is currently an attendance technician at Northview Middle School. A mother of seven, she first became involved in the community by volunteering at her children’s schools. In 2008-2009, Yvonne was selected as “Classified Employee of the Year.” Yvonne is a charter member of the Monrovia, Arcadia and Duarte Town Council, which serves as a link between the school district, law enforcement and local government to better address safety concerns and gang issues in the area.
Camille Diaz is a native of the City of Irwindale, the granddaughter of one of the Padres Fundadores of Irwindale, Richard L. Diave. Since 2001, Camille has served as Assistant City Manager for Irwindale. Her commitment to the community goes far beyond her official duties.
Camille has a strong interest in education and has served on the board of the Irwindale Education Foundation since its inception, and currently serves as its president. In 2000, Camille organized the first Mayor’s Cup Race at the Irwindale Speedway which has become so successful that it is now an annual event. Camille was also instrumental to organizing the City’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2007-2008. She is an active member of Toastmasters and the Foothill Sunrise Rotary Club, and, in 1992, she was the first woman elected as president of the local Lions Club.
Vilma Clark is a tireless volunteer in the San Gabriel Valley. Most recently, she helped organize the first-ever “Relay for Life” fundraiser in Duarte. For the past four years, she has volunteered to help the needy at Our Savior Community Center in El Monte, where she also helps coordinate the annual Holiday Gift Program.
Vilma is an active member of the Foothill Community Center’s Fundraising Committee. As an employee of the Southern California Edison Credit Union, she also has been recognized by her employer numerous times for her many hours of volunteer work and her community service.
Josie Vera is a lifelong resident of Azusa whose avid volunteer work began with volunteering at her children’s schools. She has been an assistant Girl Scout leader and an active volunteer for the Azusa High School Drill Team Booster Club supporting her daughters and granddaughter. In the wider community, Josie also volunteers her time for the Zacatecas Little League and Gladstone Pony League. Every week, she serves meals to seniors at the Azusa Senior Citizens Center. She is also committed to bettering the environment, volunteering with the Think River program in Azusa.