Honoring our next Latino leaders

By From page A6 | December 03, 2013

It was an honor for me to be able to attend the 2013 Mexican American Concilio of Yolo County annual dinner. The Concilio honored 14 Latino high school students with scholarships and 10 citizens who have made extraordinary efforts in serving the Yolo Latino and greater community.

To say that I came away from this event impressed is an understatement. As someone who has organized events, I know this does not just happen. It takes a lot of hard work, commitment and passion by everyone involved in the organization.

One of the founders of the Concilio was Rick Gonzales Sr., who passed away in 2004. He was memorialized in the program and at the dinner for his dedication and passion and vision, not only for this program, but for the entire community.

As is often said, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” His son Rick Jr. has picked up where his father left off, running the show, getting sponsors and advertisers and, in general, making it all happen to ensure that deserving students throughout Yolo County are honored.

While I am sure Rick has lots of support from the Concilio board and other volunteers along the way, I was amazed at how much time he had spent on letters, phone calls and follow-up. I realize that this special hands-on effort was multiplied a hundred-fold or more, judging by the number of attendees, sponsors and advertisers.

So congratulations to the Latino students and community leaders in Yolo County who received deserving recognition at the Concilio and to the Latino community in Yolo County for continuing to honor the vision of Rick Gonzales Sr. But most of all, let’s thank Rick Gonzales Jr. for taking that vision and running with it to make sure the next generation of Latino leaders are recognized.

Bill Dodd

Napa County supervisor and candidate for Assembly

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