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Rep. Napolitano Honors 2015 “Unsung Heroines” Women of the Year

April 13, 2015
Press Release

(El Monte, CA) On Friday, April 10, 2015, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano honored the 2015 Women of the Year “Unsung Heroines” for exemplary service at an award ceremony at the Grace T. Black Auditorium in El Monte.

“You volunteer from your heart, and you are the role models who inspire others to serve,” Napolitano told the honorees. “Your compassion, hard work, enthusiasm, and creativity—with a lot of understanding—makes a world of difference. We sincerely thank you and your families.”

“My family drove me to begin volunteering,” said Jackie Higashiyama of Citrus College Veterans Success Center. “My husband is a Vietnam War veteran, my mom is a Korean War vet and my son is an active U.S. airman.”

“Volunteering needs to be cultivated at a young age,” said JoGina Carrillo of the City of El Monte. “It begins with the parents. They can help their to accomplish so many different things for their communities through volunteering.”

“It is an incredible, unexpected honor to receive this award.” said Rowena Magalad of East Valley Boys & Girls Club. “At the Boys and Girls Club we believe it is our responsibility to serve the community and the people who are the future of this nation.”

“I think that young girls should give back to their community, but they must first find their passion,” said Joannie Yuille of the City of Monrovia. “If you volunteer in an area of your passion, you can hold to your commitment. That is what touches hearts and changes lives.”

19 women received the award. Each woman’s name was submitted by her volunteer organization or community group that felt her contributions deserved special recognition. Napolitano gave out the awards and thanked the women personally.

The 2015 Women of the Year:

Laura Arechiga, City of El Monte Parks, Recreation & Community Services Department – El Monte
Alicia Ayala, Neighborhood Homework House – Azusa
JoGina Carrillo, City of El Monte–Hon. Victoria Martinez – El Monte
Josephine “JoJo” Cronin, Baldwin Park Adult & Community Education – Baldwin Park
Maxine Dulake-McGrane, City of Covina – Hon. Jorge Marquez – Covina
Anna Lee Farber, West Covina Lions Club – Covina
Irene Fleck, Friends of the West Covina Library – West Covina
Patricia Gonzalez, Baldwin Park United Methodist Church – Baldwin Park
Rosie Herrera, City of Azusa – Mayor Joseph R. Rocha – Azusa
Kristine Hesse, The Vet Hunters Project – El Monte
Jackie Higashiyama, Citrus College Veterans Success Center – Glendora
Renee Hrey, City of La Puente–Mayor Violeta Lewis – La Puente
Faith M. Lundgren, City of Industry/Industry Manufacturers Council – City of Industry
Rowena "Mai" Magalad, East Valley Boys & Girls Club – La Puente
Jamie Neri, City of El Monte Television Channel 3 – El Monte
Vivian Olivas, Baldwin Park Woman's Club – Baldwin Park
Esther Rodriguez, Hacienda-La Puente Unified School District – City of Industry
Suzanne St. Pierre, La Verne Chamber of Commerce – La Verne
Joannie Yuille, City of Monrovia – Mayor Mary Ann Lutz – Monrovia