JHV Board Member Honored.
Jeanette Chavez, mother of Sammantha Salas,
was recently named "Woman of the Year" by local Assemblyman
The mother of a 16-year-old Monrovia girl gunned down during a spate of gang violence in 2008 was recently named Assemblyman Mike Eng's "Woman of the Year."
Eng honored Jeanette Chavez earlier this month in Sacramento for her work as an anti- crime and victim's rights activist, Chavez's daughter, Sammantha Salas, was shot to death in January 2008. Chavez was recognized by the Monrovia City Council for the award in a ceremony Tuesday night.
"Jeanette is one of those rare outstanding individuals who has turned grief and tragedy into something positive in the memory of her daughter," Eng said in a phone interview.
Eng pointed to Chavez's work counseling the families of other crime victims within Justice for Homicide Victims (JHV), as well as her efforts to help bring Los Angeles County Crime Stoppers - an anonymous tip line - to the area late last year.
"Here's a mother who has the most horrible misfortune in the world to lose her child, and even in her grief she thought about something positive," Eng said.
One "Woman of the Year" award is given annually by each Assembly member to one woman in that member's district who demonstrates outstanding leadership, Eng said.
Chavez said she was "very proud" to receive the honor, which she accepted on the Assembly floor on March 8. Chavez said she's anxiously awaiting the trial of two brothers, Nickelis Blackwell and Rayshawn Blackwell, who are accused of shooting her daughter to death.