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SACRAMENTO – Senator Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) honors four outstanding Hispanic community leaders to commemorate National Hispanic Heritage Month, a month-long celebration from September 15 through October 15. Senator Wilk recognizes these recipients for their vision, leadership, and significant contributions to California’s Senate District 21.
“It is a pleasure to recognize these trailblazers for their achievements and accomplishments. As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, it is important to point to individuals whose hard work and heart have made this region stronger and better,” said Wilk.
“The influence of our Hispanic and Latino friends and neighbors have enriched our communities and continue to do so. From the very first Hispanic woman to serve as Mayor in Victorville to an educator who advocates for excellence in education for our students, these community leaders deserve this recognition for their tireless efforts year-round. Not only do they step up every day, but they made a tremendous difference during the pandemic, when so many in our community were struggling.”
California 21st Senate District honorees:
- Gloria Garcia – Made history in 2014 by becoming the city’s first Hispanic female to serve as Mayor of Victorville. Known for her entrepreneurial spirit, Garcia has also been a business owner since 1975 and is a leader in the Hispanic community.
- Sylvia Gaxiola - Has worked with veteran groups and military families and spouses to ensure our veterans, service members and their families in the Antelope Valley and Santa Clarita Valley receive the care they deserve. She has also served many years as a member of the Blue Star Mothers representing the 21st Senate District and is currently serving as the 2nd Vice President and Chaplain of the Santa Clarita Blue Star Mothers chapter 46.
- Raul Maldonado – Raul is a leader in the education community and has been the Superintendent of the Palmdale School District since 2014. He has placed an emphasis on the success of his students and continues to promote Dual Immersion curriculum throughout the district. Maldonado also served as Superintendent for the McFarland Unified School District in Kern County.
- Adel Villalobos – Adel is the CEO and founder of Lief Labs in Santa Clarita Valley. Providing good paying jobs for residents in the Santa Clarita Valley, Lief Labs has been recognized on the exclusive Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America. In 2020, the Santa Clarita Chamber of Commerce recognized Lief Labs as the Latino Business Alliance Business of the Year award.
“Once again, congratulations to these honorees as they represent bold leadership and their hard work shows in the daily lives of those they help to lift up and I am proud to honor them for their service,” said Wilk.