Alejo names his mother as district’s woman of the year

Luis Alejo and his mother.

Assemblyman Luis Alejo, who represents San Benito County, has named his mother as woman of the year in the district.
The 30th Assembly District representative is serving his final year in office because he is terming out this year.
According to an announcement from his office:
Assemblymember Luis A. Alejo (D-Salinas) today joined the California Legislative Women’s Caucus to recognize extraordinary women across the state for the annual celebration of Women’s History Month. This year, Alejo honored his mother, Maria Luisa Alejo Covarrubias, as it is his last year serving in the State Assembly. She was introduced on the Assembly Floor during a brief ceremony this morning.
“My mother is one of the hardest working persons I know, who raised a great family and always gave back to her community by volunteering and mentoring young people,” Alejo said. “She has her own inspiring story. She was born in South Texas and grew up as a migrant farmworker, toiling in the rich agricultural fields and canneries of California and Texas. She became a champion strawberry picker. In 1982, she enrolled and graduated from a licensed vocational nursing (LVN) program and later fulfilled her dream to become a registered nurse, graduating from Hartnell Community College in Salinas in 2004.”
Ms. Covarrubias began her nursing career working for various healthcare institutions, including the Harlingen Medical Center in Texas, Watsonville Community Hospital and the Health Service Agency for Santa Cruz County. She later worked for 21 years as a nurse at the Santa Cruz County Jail, providing health care services to incarcerated persons, and was a proud union member and shop steward of SEIU 415. Afterwards, she worked at the Alisal Health Center in East Salinas, providing quality health care to thousands of families of the Salinas Valley.
She also co-founded Hope Ministries Church in Watsonville and dedicated 30 years of her life working with the Apostolic Church as a Sunday school teacher and church leader. From 1981-1986, she dedicated herself to performing missionary and church building work in the most impoverished areas of Southern Texas and Northern Mexico.
In addition to her church involvement, she has been very involved in a wide range of community and civic efforts. She worked on efforts to stop gang and domestic violence in Watsonville and has volunteered for the annual Watsonville Peace and Unity March for the past 22 years. She also assisted and mentored families and children in some of the toughest neighborhoods and migrant labor camps, including Santa Cruz’s Beach Flats Neighborhood and Villa La Posada Neighborhood, Buena Vista Migrant Labor Camp and Murphy’s Labor Camp, all in Watsonville.
She has proudly served on the Santa Cruz County Latino Affairs Commission and as a volunteer nurse with Salud Para La Gente Health Clinic and the Resource Center for Non-Violence, performing free health checks for local residents at the Watsonville Farmers’ Market.
She now volunteers at the Watsonville Senior Center, where she teaches a traditional Mexican cultural dance and song group, and serves on the nonprofit board of Caminos Del Arte at the Breadbox Center in East Salinas.
“I wanted to honor my mother during my last year in the State Assembly,” Alejo said. “Our mothers are our first teachers and made us who we are today. My mother has done so much for my family and for our local communities, and I could not think of anyone better for this year’s Woman of the Year for Assembly District 30.”

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