SACRAMENTO – Today at the State Capitol, Patricia Urena of El Centro was honored as the 56th Assembly District’s 2016 Woman of the Year. Ms. Urena joined women from all over the state in a special Assembly Floor session ceremony in recognition of their contributions.
“As a Recreation Supervisor for El Centro Parks and Recreation Department, Ms. Urena has dedicated her entire life to making parks and recreation activities accessible to everyone in Imperial County,” said Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia. “Patricia is a role model for all of us. She is dedicated to improving the lives of disadvantaged children throughout the County.”
Patricia Urena is the 56th Assembly District Woman of the Year for her work with youth and individuals with disabilities. For 10 years Ms. Urena has served as the Director for Special Olympics in the Imperial Valley. Currently, she serves as the Director for the National Youth Program using Mini-Bike motorcycles to get 10- to 15-year-old youth involved in off-road riding. Ms. Urena is also the Chairwoman for the Juvenile Justice Commission for Imperial County.
“My family and I grew up building motorcycle, so it was perfect that I get to ride in the desert with the kids,” Ms. Urena said. “By training at risk youth about motorcycle maintenance and desert survival, I show them that there is an alternative for a better life, giving them a track to follow and let them be the artist of their own life.”
Ms. Urena serves as the Chairwoman for the Calexico Parks and Recreation Department and board member of the Optimist Club. She has also been the recreation supervisor for the El Centro Parks and Recreation Department for more than 34 years. In 2010, Ms. Urena was named Women of the Year for Mana of Imperial Valley and Women of the Year in 2008 for the Center for Family Solutions.
After graduating from Calexico High School, Ms. Urena went to Imperial Valley College where she studied Physical Education & Recreation. She also attended San Diego State University. In 1982, she became a ceramics instructor for the El Centro recreation department. Patricia used her experiences from a larger city to developed sports leagues and helped form the diverse and innovative offering of programming in Imperial County.
She is a proud single mom of Robert Patrick. Patricia’s work ethic and commitment to giving back to the community are inspired by her loving and hardworking parents Georgia and Robert Urena.