Emily Chavez earns 'Wheels to Prosper' award from Body Best Sonoma
EMILY CHAVEZ (center right) was the second recipient this year of Wheels to Prosper program sponsored by Dino DiGiulio (to her right). Also in photo are (left to right) Wheels to Prosper committee members Stan Pappas, Larry Wallace and Sonoma Mayor Laurie Gallian.
Emily Chavez, a recent graduate of Sonoma Valley High School and an active community volunteer on behalf of Seeds of Learning and La Lu z, was the second winner this year of "Wheels to Prosper" car donated through the leadership and generosity of Dino DiGiulio, owner of Body Best Collision Center in Sonoma. The presentation was made last month.
A committee that included DiGiulio, Sonoma Mayor Laurie Gallian, Larry Wallace, Jim Lynch and Stan Pappas chose her for the award.
Born and raised in Sonoma, she started volunteering for La Luz before she entered high school, becoming involved with everything from office and reception work to helping with the planning of our community events like Mexican Independence Day and the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta on the Plaza. She also volunteered to put together the Mexican Consulate collaboration and helped organize the Bi-National Health Fair. She joined a group called Proyecto Enlace that took survey information to better provide services to the rural areas of Sonoma.
After getting a taste for community service locally, she became an active member of the organization called Seeds of Learning, which builds schools in rural El Salvador. During her junior year of high school, she raised money to build the school and buy classroom materials. She traveled to El Salvador, helped construct the building, and learned a lot about another culture in the process. When she came back, she decided that she would continue this program and made Seeds of Learning the subject of her senior project. She fundraised, organizing dinners, lunches, raffles, and donation boxes, so that she could head the next trip to El Salvador.
Upon returning to Sonoma after her second trip, she continued fundraising for Seeds of Learning, even as she continued volunteering for La Luz.
She graduated this past June and is headed for Dominican University in the fall. Now, instead of taking it easy this summer before she heads off to college, she is working full time at La Luz Center.
For more information on the Wheels to Prosper program go to bodybestofsonoma.com.