Two Hornet alumnae receive Latina Estrella Awards from the Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
January 06, 2023
Two Sacramento State alumnae are among last year’s recipients of the Latina Estrella Awards, presented annually by the Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to recognize Latina leaders from across the region.
Mariela Medina ’16 (Psychology), a program specialist and civic engagement liaison for Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, is the recipient of the Rising Estrella Award.
Jenny Rodriquez ’17 (Career and Technical Studies), a SMUD economic development and SEED (Supplier Education and Economic Development) representative, was honored with the Inspiration Estrella Award.
Both were recognized at a December awards dinner in downtown Sacramento.
“Sac State really provided me such a well-rounded education that I felt encouraged to aim high for any and all opportunities.” -- Mariela Medina, recipient of the Rising Estrella Award
Medina said that, after several years of working behind the scenes, she was “honored and humbled to be chosen for this award.”
“I know the work I do is incredibly valuable to our community, but to have the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce acknowledge my work at this scale is incredible,” she said.
In 2017, Medina helped create and run the city’s FUEL Network to provide legal services, training and education to undocumented Sacramento residents. Medina, the daughter of immigrants, calls it her greatest professional accomplishment.
Often surrounded in professional settings by UC Davis graduates, she never misses an opportunity to tell people she is a proud Hornet.
“While my undergraduate degree is in Psychology, my time at Sac State prepared me for much more than just that,” Medina said. “I enjoyed being a part of the Sac State Young Dems, and meeting other like-minded individuals years before I imagined I’d end up working in politics myself.
“Sac State really provided me such a well-rounded education that I felt encouraged to aim high for any and all opportunities.”