Two Westside residents, Jessica Moran of Los Banos and Anna Cervantes of Firebaugh, were honored at a Madera event on March 9  as “Women Leading the Way.”

The event was organized by Esmeralda Soria, Assemblywoman for California’s  27th Assembly District. Soria recognized the accomplishments of Cervantes and Moran at the San Joaquin Winery in Madera, along with the accomplishments of 13 other women from her district.

The 15 honorees all live or work in the 27th District, which includes all or parts of Merced, Madera and Fresno Counties, extending  from Livingston to the north to Coalinga to the south and Kerman to the east.

A press release from Soria’s office describes Moran as the first Los Banos native to hold the position of Dean of Merced College’s Los Banos Campus, where she continues to serve as its lead administrator.

In November 2020, she was elected to the Los Banos Unified School District Governing Board, representing Area 2, and continues to faithfully serve the district and its students. Beyond her accomplishments, the press release noted that Jessica is dedicated to furthering her education and giving back to the Los Banos community.

Cervantes was described in the press release as “an embodiment of compassion and dedication who has tirelessly worked to make a difference in the lives of those in need. Her commitment and hard work have facilitated crucial donations for needy families and seniors through the food bank’s giveaway program in Firebaugh.”

Recognizing the need for support, Anna initiated a drug and alcohol abuse support group, for parents and addicts in need of counseling and support. Additionally, she personally delivers hot meals to local seniors, exemplifying a hands-on approach to community care.

Other women honored on March 9 were Ofelia Ochoa of Mendota, Linda Dash and Tiffani Gong of Atwater, Rosa Nuno of Delhi, Dr. Lataria Hall of Fresno and Sara Bosse of Madera/Fresno, along with Annabel Serna, Annissa Fragoso, Gameelah Mohamed, Karla Seijas, Marylene Riley, Mayya Tokman and See Lee of Merced.

Many Los Banos residents will recognize the name of See Lee, since as the Chief Executive Officer of the Merced County Boys and Girls Club she has helped organize and implement Boys and Girls Club activities in Los Banos.

Also recognized on March 9 was a nonprofit organization, Bras for a Cause, which, among its other goals, helps women with breast cancer who have undergone mastectomies.

The Madera celebration was also the 10th anniversary of “Women Leading the Way,” which began when Soria was a Fresno city councilmember, working in conjunction with the assembly person serving the 27th District at that time.

When Soria became the district’s assembly person herself in 2022, she continued and expanded the celebration because, as she said at the event, “Women in my district are doing some amazing things which should be recognized, and these women should be honored.”

Jessica Moran, center, stands with, from left, her father, Jose Moran, her mother, Josefina Moran, State Assemblymember Esmeralda Soria and Dr. John Spevak following the event Saturday in Madera. Gene Lieb, The Express