By Darren Simon
3:54 PM PST, February 17, 2012
Yazmin Arellano-Torres has one of those jobs you just don’t turn off.
She can be driving down the street, eye a pothole and mark it in her notebook, or see a fallen sign and take note of that as well. If there is street striping in need of repainting, that will also likely make her notebook as well.
That notebook is constantly by her side as she drives, and it is filled with a to-do list meant to ensure the quality of life of those she serves is protected, and those she serves are the residents of Brawley. In essence her work has her trying to meet the quality-of-life needs of more than 27,000 people.
Arellano-Torres is the public works director and city engineer for the city of Brawley. It is a position she has held since 2003, when at the age of 29, she became the city’s youngest department head and the first woman to lead the city’s Public Works Department.
Like all those who love their work, serving the city of Brawley is more than a job — it is a passion for this 37-year-old wife and mother of three who long ago discovered civil engineering would be her professional path.
She discovered it in high school when as a newly immigrated resident to Calexico she pushed herself to not only overcome language barriers but to finish with a 4.0 grade point average near the top of her class at Calexico High School. It is a fete which included doubling up on math courses so that she could go on to attend California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo to earn a degree in civil engineering.
Since earning that degree she has put her engineering skills to use in the Valley, most of that time for the citizens of Brawley.
“I try to improve the quality of life by making sure our new construction meets standards, that we have a clean environment, good water, safe drinking water and that everyone has the elementary necessities,” she says. “I just want to ensure we have a clean city.”
Read more about Yazmin Arellano-Torres in the January/February 2012 edition of Valley Women Magazine in print or our online E-Edition.
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