2019 Women United Members of the Year Award
Honoring Rocio Cepeda-Espinoza and Tracy Sambrano
The Women United Member of the Year award is presented annually to one who exemplifies the work of United Way within Women United, an action group working toward improving the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our community. The award winner has made a significant impact on the success and growth of United Way’s Women United, increasing our capacity to serve the community. Through their generous gift of volunteer time and financial resources, the awardee has gone above and beyond to serve the mission of United Way, the vision of Women United, and the lives of our fellow community members.
This year we recognize not one, but two outstanding women – Tracy Sambrano of Nationwide and Rocio Cepeda-Espinoza of Enterprise - with the Women United Member of the Year Award. Read on to learn their stories.
Rocio: I have been a United Way donor since 2004. Social awareness and community service has been integral to my upbringing and something instilled in me, by my parents at a very young age. I began my career with Nationwide in 2004 and quickly aligned my community service passion with Nationwide’s core values and a commitment to improving the communities where our associates work and our members live. Nationwide’s giving campaign has a long standing history with United Way and has worked to match donation dollars to serve our mutual communities. I began designating gifts to Women United (WU) in 2015. As a long standing United Way donor I was approached around my interests in the community. I am naturally drawn to agencies that serve women and children. WU aligns closely to those interests, serving local foster youth in our communities that are preparing for emancipation. As part of the WU Leadership Council I have had the pleasure of working with other professional women who are passionate about preparing these youth to succeed as they transition into adulthood.
Why do you volunteer with United Way?
Rocio: I believe we should all be community stewards, we have a responsibility to give our time, talent or treasure. I also believe it is my responsibility to be that role model for my daughter as my mother was a role model and example for both my sister and I.
How does United Way make a difference in our community?
Tracy: There are a lot of ways that the UW makes a difference in our community, one way for example is with women united which is a group of women that are passionate about helping Foster Youth in our community with our monthly Life Workshops and through funding special savings accounts (IDA’s) that will help them cover some essentials such as rent, transportation, college books and more when they emancipate from the program.
What does the Women United Member of the Year award mean to you?
Rocio: I am honored to receive the Women United Member of the Year award. This award recognizes not only my passion and commitment to the community but the pride I have in working for a company such as Nationwide that values commitment to the community as much as I do.