Harder Announces 2020 Latino Leadership Award Winners

October 15, 2020
Press Release
Recipients Demonstrated Leadership During Pandemic

Modesto, CA – Today, Representative Josh Harder (CA-10) announced the winners of his first annual Latino Leadership Awards in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. This year’s winners include Yamilet Valladolid of Golden Valley Health Centers, Ariana Gonzalez of Modesto Junior College, and Marvin Jacobo of City Ministry Network. Rep. Harder also awarded a “Rising Latino Leader” award to Polet Hernandez, Dreamers Project Coordinator at Stanislaus State. Next week, Rep. Harder will hold a small, in-person awards ceremony to honor the winners. The event will take place on Thursday, October 22 at 5:30 PM at Graceada Park near the picnic area.

“The Valley is lucky to have so many leaders who have stepped up to the plate to make positive change in our community – especially during the pandemic,” said Rep. Harder. “It’s my honor to highlight their achievements and recognize their important contributions.”

At the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month, Rep. Harder announced his Latino Leadership Awards to honor Latino members of the community. Constituents were invited to nominate a Latino community member of any age or profession who made a positive impact on the Valley. Candidates were required to be of Latino heritage, live in the 10th Congressional District, and have contributed to the community in a way that has inspired others.

The 2020 Central Valley Latino Leadership Award Recipients include:


Yamilet Valladolid, Manager of Government Affairs for Golden Valley Health Centers

In addition to her work with Golden Valley, Yamilet serves a board member for the Latino Business Association Foundation in Stanislaus County, President of the Board of Directors for the Hispanic Youth Leadership Council Stanislaus County, and Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Stanislaus Health Foundation.

Especially during the pandemic, Yamilet has dedicated herself to making health care accessible and affordable to our low income population and has been instrumental in getting COVID-19 information out to our Latino community during the pandemic. She also worked tirelessly to encourage residents to complete the Census.


Ariana Gonzalez, Counselor, Modesto Junior College

Ariana is a passionate advocate for first generation and immigrant students in the Central Valley. In addition to her work as a counselor at MJC, Ariana is President of Latina Leadership Network, Chair of the UndocuALLY Network, and co-founded MJC LGBTQ+.

Ariana’s leadership led MJC to develop one of the most successful free immigration services program for students in the state. She also leads the annual Raza graduation for Latinx students and their families to have a ceremony in Spanish that celebrates their culture.


Marvin Jacobo, Executive Director of City Ministry Network

Marvin founded City Ministry Network, the Tapestry program for at-risk teens, and leads Catalyst, a group of community leaders in Modesto committed to positive change.

When the public health and economic impact of COVID-19 devastated the Latino community, Marvin stepped up and worked closely with Stanislaus County to help ensure underprivileged families had access to critical personal protective equipment (PPE) and timely information. Marvin is also an active participant in the Latino Emergency Council and was a key partner in expanding the Council’s participation in COVID-19 response in Stanislaus County.


Representative Harder also offered a Rising Latino Leader Award to a young local resident.

Polet Hernandez, Dreamers Project Coordinator, Stanislaus State

Polet serves as the Undocumented Student Services coordinator at Stanislaus State and is an ally for undocumented families in our valley. Her advocacy to create culturally sensitive approaches for undocumented students has produced effective outcomes for students. Polet inspires and motivates everywhere she goes and promotes the importance of pursuing higher education and graduate school as an undocumented person.