The motivation to give back to one’s community can come in many forms. For Carolina Alfaro, coordinator of CSU Stanislaus’ Early Assessment Program, that motivation came through tragedy.
Alfaro and her husband lost two children to Zellweger syndrome, a rare genetic disorder. They now organize an annual fundraiser for the Global Foundation for Peroxisomal Disorders, raising more than $20,000 in the past two years. Alfaro also volunteers with Jessica’s House, a Turlock-based center for grieving children, where she works to implement Spanish-speaking services and support groups for Latino families.
For her efforts, Alfaro was one of 14 women — including five CSU Stanislaus alumnae — honored at the 35th Annual Outstanding Women of Stanislaus County event in Ceres on March 15.
“I feel humbled, honored and blessed to be recognized amongst so many amazing women,” Alfaro said. “Life can change in an instant. Knowing that I helped make a small difference in another person’s life is something that I take pride in — knowing that at the end of my day, I can possibly bring a smile or hope to someone else.”
Alfaro is also a returning student at CSU Stanislaus, majoring in Spanish. Her role in the Early Assessment Program is to help high school students determine whether they are ready for college-level studies.
She was recently recognized by the Stockton Chamber of Commerce’s Business Education Alliance for promoting college readiness in Stockton schools, and she received the Amiga of the Year award from El Concilio — the Council for the Spanish Speaking of Stanislaus County — for her involvement in the Latino community.
The Outstanding Women of Stanislaus County event is sponsored by the Stanislaus County Commission for Women, an independent organization dedicated to promoting awareness of women’s issues, providing support and resources for women, and celebrating the achievements of women in Stanislaus County.
The CSU Stanislaus alumnae honored as Outstanding Women of Stanislaus County were:
- Lori Aderholt (Class of ’85, Business Administration), executive director of World Relief Modesto, which plays an integral role in the resettlement of hundreds of refugees each year in Stanislaus County.
- Maria Jaime (Class of ’00, Social Sciences), a public interest attorney who grew up in a Ceres labor camp and now represents many Latino business owners and Spanish-speaking clients while remaining active in community service.
- Rapunzel Amador Lewis (Class of ’06, Master of Business Administration), the owner of a structural engineering firm who serves as a mentor and program coordinator for the Future City Competition and a supporter of Rotary efforts for water projects in her native Philippines.
- Heather Sherburn (Class of ’88, Liberal Studies and teaching credential), principal of Modesto’s Orville Wright School and a strong proponent of partnerships between K-12 schools, universities, businesses and the community.
- Kate Trompetter (Class of ’10, Master of Public Administration), director of marketing and public relations for the Center for Human Services, and a dedicated volunteer who routinely succeeds in spurring others to action.