Courtesy of Assemblyman Robert Rivas:
Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) proudly named Evelia Morales Rosso Assembly District 30’s 2019 Woman of the Year. Rosso was honored as part of a Women’s History Month celebration at the State Capitol hosted by the Legislative Women’s Caucus.
“It is an honor for me to recognize Evelia Rosso as the Woman of the Year in Assembly District 30,” said Rivas. “Evelia’s dedication to improving the lives of others is an inspiration to me and many other local leaders. Her commitment to putting our community first should serve as an example to us all. Like Evelia, we must do our part to build a strong, safe, and compassionate community. I thank Evelia, for her lifetime of service.”
Evelia Morales Rosso’s life is a remarkable story of service and leadership. She and her three siblings were born in Miltepec, Oaxaca, Mexico. She was seven when she and her brothers immigrated to Sonoma County with their mother. There, they joined her father, an undocumented farmworker, who had been working hard for years before he received his green card and permission to bring his family to California. Later, as a farmworker foreman, he helped hundreds of families immigrate to work in the vineyards.
Rosso earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from San Jose State University and received her teaching credential from University of California, Santa Cruz. She then moved to Gilroy with her husband, Jaime Rosso, to begin teaching at Gilroy Unified School District. During her 30-year career teaching kindergarten through fourth grade, she also worked at nearby Morgan Hill Unified School District and received her master’s degree in educational leadership from San Jose State in 2004.
Rosso is respected for her lifelong advocacy in education and longstanding commitment to community service, especially for immigrants, under-privileged children and families. Rosso helps support children with learning disabilities with the group Parents Helping Parents. She has advocated for young women since 1975 with the American Association of University Women. And in 2017, Rosso was named Latino Philanthropist of the Year by the Gilroy Latino Family Fund.
Rosso has also been a pillar of support to her family, including her mother, her husband of 44 years, their three children and eight grandchildren, all of whom live in Gilroy. Together, Rosso and her husband co-founded a family business, Rosso’s Furniture. As a business partner, and spokesperson for the company’s two stores, Rosso has been instrumental in maintaining the company’s commitment to community engagement.