Congratulations to Elizabeth Weatherbie, this year she was selected for our editorial for people who "echo" in Santa Cruz County. Elizabeth is artistic and passionate about the arts. Her passion for the arts has led Weatherbie to go to great lengths to engage the public.
Patrons of the Arts, Inc., also known as Hilltop Gallery, is a nonprofit organization headed by Elizabeth Weatherbie. In addition to accounting, she also coordinates events and manages the social media accounts for the organization.
“Considering how many behind-the-scenes duties are handled every day, it's difficult to pinpoint one key role within the organization. I mostly make sure everything gets done and on time," said Weatherbie. Elizabeth is a pioneer of the arts who brings passion and dedication to everything she does throughout her career.
“ My passion for the arts is helping the community come together in many ways whether it’s through painting, music or just art appreciation. I would like to continue to help unite our community in these artistic endeavors. Hilltop Gallery is the only nonprofit art venue in our community. We encourage the arts on all levels and with all ages. We have branched out to not just be visual arts, but to include the performing arts, as well. We also offer art classes to all ages,” said the Executive Vice President. We appreciate your dedication to the arts.
Congratulations to the Santa Cruz County Superintendent’s Office as they were selected this year for hosting the event of the year! Read Across America is an event that takes place every year within our county. Reading across America is an annual event in which Patricia Barraza, from the superintendent's office, invites over 70 to 90 volunteers to read to every public, private and charter school classroom in the county. "It is incredible to see how important student and adult interaction is during these reading sessions. This year was a little tricky to coordinate because of Covid. We had to conduct the readings in the classrooms virtually. It was so nice to see that even though we were faced with a pandemic and challenges, we still had over 75 volunteers for our event and the students were so pleased to have the guests in their virtual classrooms.”
“These wonderful folks make it possible to be able to provide prizes, trophies, cash rewards and a wonderful reception for our nominees. I am also in charge of hosting the day in which we select our Teacher of the Year. It’s a tedious challenging event and one of the largest ones in the County but it’s so rewarding to see how happy our incredible educators are at the end of the night,” said Barraza.
Patricia organizes the Annual Santa Cruz County Teacher of the Year Awards and Dinner event. It takes seven months to plan it from day one to the day of the event. She first starts with the Kick-off Breakfast, which is mostly a notice to sponsors, donors and school administrators that they are starting with the process of honoring our educators. Barraza is also responsible for seeking sponsors and donors for the event. Thank you for going above and beyond to keep our schools, educators and community connected! The Santa Cruz County Superintendent’s Office kept working throughout the pandemic. Your office proved to be true heroes throughout this pandemic. You showed us how valuable you all are to our community!
It was difficult to select a candidate for this particular category. Everyone we featured for people who “echo” in Santa Cruz County is unique in their field and own way! We felt as a team people who work in the healthcare industry have gone above and beyond to keep us healthy these past couple of years. As a team we felt, Senior Director of Community Health Services at Mariposa Community Health Center in Nogales, Arizona known to the community as Platicamos Salud (We Talk Health).
Platicamos Salud is an important extension of Mariposa’s clinical services, connecting referred patients to additional education, support and follow-up that is culturally competent and language appropriate. Offering a variety of ongoing health education classes for all community members in locations easily accessible. Platicamos Salud also provides a critical link to the community via its community-based services that partner with other health and social services to serve families and create systems change.
Molina began her employment at Mariposa in 2004 assisting the Director of Platicamos Salud at that time, Jo Jean Elenes. Within 8 months of her employment, she was promoted to Prevention Manager. During her employment with Mariposa, and prior public health experience working with the Border Health Foundation, she developed and managed federal, state and foundation funded community-based programs at the US-Mexico border.
Patty manages 34 staff members at the Mariposa Community Health Services. At the two story Sierra building, they have the Health & Social Services staff under the management leadership of Yara Castro. Castro primarily manages the women's programs such as the Well Woman Health Check, Maternal & Child Health and Patient Advocacy.
She has implemented numerous health education programs on breast cancer, diabetes, physical activity and nutrition, HIV/AIDS, tobacco use prevention, asthma, environmental health and maternal child health. Molina designed education and training materials on public and preventative health issues, while establishing numerous community-based projects.
Mrs. Molina facilitated the development of project organizational structure and leadership. She facilitated group processes among community members to help identify needs, gaps in service, existing resources and response strategies. She also serves as the lead in various research projects at Mariposa Community Health Center.
An initiative she is currently working is helping to manage the pandemic, while continuing to provide the best care. “Our goal is to keep our patients safe, this continues to be our main priority. We are working closely with our local health department to ensure vaccination to all who wish to receive it while continuing to educate on the importance of keeping themselves safe regardless of having received the vaccine. We continue to encourage people to get vaccinated, wear a mask, wash their hands and practice social distance,” said Molina.
This why we felt as a team that Mrs. Molina is a rising star in the healthcare industry. Congratulations! We wish you continued success. You showed us how valuable you all are to our community!
Congratulations to Lutheran Social Service for being selected as the organization of the year! Our community has continued to benefit from the services and support provided last year by your organization. Despite the pandemic, your organization continued to provide in-home care. Your organization has gone beyond helping those who cannot care for themselves.
"We put our heart into what we do. Many of our Direct Care Workers have worked with us for more than 15 years. We have an excellent team. The purpose of my position is to support the staff in their work, to connect with the community, and to help people in need. “I enjoy making friends in the community and bringing people together,” said Linda Manjarrez Director of Aging & Disability Services.
“Our care coordinators make sure to find providers for each referral we get, and of course, to make sure they are a good match. We make sure our clients get the service they need with a worker who provides the best care for them. Our Direct Care Workers provide a variety of services to people in their homes, including personal care, housekeeping services, and so much more” said the Director of Aging & Disability Services.
Lutheran Social Services adjusted to the pandemic by keeping their hours of operation and putting new safety measures in place. We appreciate everything you have done for our vulnerable population throughout this past year. You are and will continue to be "heroes."
Congratulations to Superintendent Alfredo I. Velásquez, he was selected for our editorial for people who “echo” of the year in Santa Cruz County. In October of last year, he was awarded by the Southern Arizona Association for the Educator of Young Children Award (SAZAEYC) for his work in strengthening connections between families, educators, and the community. He has a passion to provide every student the opportunity to succeed academically while preparing them for the challenges and opportunities life brings. Alfredo is a pioneer of education who brings passion and dedication to everything he does throughout his career.
Congratulations to our schools, school staff, and teachers for being selected as having hosted the most memorable event of the year school graduations! The heartache could be felt across Santa Cruz County as the Class of 2020, would not have an opportunity to experience a graduation ceremony like previous generations. Never did they imagine their graduation ceremony would have to be a virtual or graduation parades. Graduates this past year, learned they would not be able to hug their classmates, teachers, or family members who traditionally cheer them from the stands as they receive their diplomas.
Instead, Santa Cruz County schools across the county had to think of creative ways to celebrate graduations where only the graduates and a few family members were allowed to attend the graduation. Some family members had to stay in their vehicles or stand by their vehicles.
Memories of the years flowed with tears and cheers for the graduates, as their families and school staff celebrated the Class of 2020! It was a bitter-sweet experience, as no hugs or shake hands were allowed but this did not keep those in attendance from cheering the graduates, which made up for the lack of touch. Thank you for going above and beyond to teach and still stay connected with students! School staff, and teachers proved to be the true heroes throughout this pandemic. You showed us how valuable you all are to our community!
Congratulations Community Food in Nogales for being selected as the organization of the year! Last year, your organization hosted along with the government and private sector food drives to help residents across Santa Cruz County struggling financially. The Community Food Bank in Nogales adjusted their hours of operation and put new procedures in place to keep everyone safe. Your organization has also implemented important safety measures for food distribution. You are and will continue to be our “silent heroes.” We deeply appreciate everything you have done for our community throughout this past year.