For more than 15 years, Alma Guzman has balanced a full-time job and volunteering as a facilitator at the Imperial County Child Abuse Prevention Center.
In recognition of Guzman’s hard work and dedication, the CAP Council recognized her and other members of the community at its annual banquet June 27.
Guzman was presented with the Distinguished Parenting Class Facilitator for volunteering the most hours in one year.
As a facilitator, Guzman helps parents in their journey to become better parents.
Guzman said it was her difficult childhood that drove her decision to become a facilitator.
“My parents weren’t bad, but they weren’t educated,” Guzman said. “They didn’t understand that spanking was not the solution. It was different back then.”
Guzman said what has kept her as a facilitator all these years is seeing men and women evolve into better parents.
“When I hear parents say they have formed a better relationship with their kids, nothing makes me happier,” Guzman said. “I’m glad that I am able to use my experiences to help others become better parents.”
CAP Executive Director Yvette Garcia also presented United Way of Imperial County and Donors of Valley Endeavors (DOVES) with the award for Distinguished Service Sponsors.
“We’ve been very fortunate to have DOVES and United Way as sponsors for many years now,” Garcia said.
As a nonprofit organization, CAP relies on donors and volunteers like DOVES, United Way and Guzman, Garcia said.
Garcia and Council President Peggy Calvin then awarded Dee Forbey of Man’s Best Friend in El Centro with the Distinguished Service Award.
Calvin wished to award Forbey due to her passion for animals and willingness to participate in various events in the community.
The final two awards were presented to U.S. Border Patrol Agent Jores Peters, and siblings Beth, Stephanie and Joe Mistriel.
The Mistriels and Peters were awarded with the Distinguished Service Award for their services at this year’s Children’s Fair in April.
That day, Peters stumbled upon a lost child and stayed with him until his parents were located, Garcia said.
Peters was able to calm the little boy down and get him to drink water when others could not, Garcia said.
The Mistriels sent their children to operate a bounce house at the Children’s Fair despite moving outside of the Imperial Valley some time ago, Garcia said.
Garcia added it was extremely unexpected and she was happy to know Beth, Stephanie and Joe were following in their parents footsteps.
Staff Writer Karina Lopez may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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