2017 WOMAN OF THE YEAR
She’s a wife, mom, children’s advocate, and head of a nonprofit.
And for 2017, Anna Eaton, executive director of the Vacaville Neighborhood Boys & Girls Club, is also the 2017 Woman of the Year for Assemblyman Jim Frazier’s district.
The announcement came Monday as Eaton was recognized on the Assembly Floor with her family in attendance.
“Anna is an extraordinary woman and a gem in our community,” said Frazier in a press statement. “Her love and commitment to mentoring children and helping secure opportunities for our youth to participate in special, extracurricular programs are making such a positive impact on their lives. It is with great pleasure that we honor Anna today as the 11th Assembly District’s Woman of the Year.”
Eaton was honored in Sacramento along with women from across the state during ceremonies sponsored by the California Legislative Women’s Caucus.
“I’m amazed by the honor just because I know how many other women are out there in the community doing great things,” said Eaton. “There are so many remarkable women out there doing admirable work for their community. Helping these children have all the tools needed to flourish and succeed is my life calling. I am proud to take this recognition back to my team.”
She emphasized that she doesn’t make things happen by herself — everything is a team effort where one person’s success is everyone’s.
“This honor’s for me and the board and the staff and the kids and the volunteers,” she advised.
To that end, she highlighted that, in a few short years under her direction, the Boys & Girls Club expanded from one site to four, the budget has doubled, membership bloomed from 250 to 400-plus and community partnerships have increased.
Eaton was also awarded a scholarship to attend the Stanford School of Leadership and Global Institute for Leadership to drive club organization capacity
More importantly, the youths are flourishing.
“The kids who were in the club when I got here are all graduating,” she said.
As well, students reportedly are earning mostly A’s & B’s on report cards, expect to attend college, don’t engage in fights at school or skip school and are learning to become leaders and participate in volunteerism.
Eaton was born in Vietnam and came with her family to America to escape the war.
She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Literature from Liberty University as an Army wife. She and her husband, Austin, and their four children now call Vacaville home.
She formerly served on the California Parks and Recreation Board for District 1 and strengthened her youth development training while employed with the City of Fairfield. She founded Starbound Theatre in 2003, a program focused on serving at-risk youth through the performing arts. The program now serves Fairfield, Vacaville, American Canyon and Dixon.
She has served on a Vacaville Unified School District think tank committee that formed recommendations for a social-emotional curriculum. As a member of the Vacaville Rotary Club, she has served as an advisor for the Will C Wood Interact Club, helping to mentor a collaboration that resulted in two summits for teens.
Eaton subscribes to the idea that the mentorship and support we provide to children significantly influences the trajectory of their lives.
Eaton joins a growing list of Assembly District 11 women honored by Frazier, including Gloria Martin, Lisa Rico, Lillian Pierce and Jeanne McCormack.
A reception honoring Eaton will be held from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday at Stars Recreation Center, 155 Browns Valley Parkway in Vacaville.
To RSVP, call Frazier’s District Office in Fairfield at 399-3011.