Community Notebook: Former East Palo Alto mayor named Woman of the Year

Patricia Foster, executive director of Girls to Women, recognized for work

Girls to Women Executive Director and former East Palo Alto Mayor Patricia Foster has been named the 2016 Woman of the Year for the 24th Assembly District, Assemblyman Rich Gordon announced in a statement on March 10.

"Through her tireless work, Pat Foster has helped empower the East Palo Alto community and vulnerable and marginalized individuals," Gordon said in a press release. "Foster knows the needs of girls from low-income families and has transformed that awareness into Girls to Women, a critical after-school program to give girls critical academic and personal support."

Girls to Women caters to girls ages 6 to 14 years and their families, offering homework assistance, mentoring, science and technology education, extracurricular activities and referrals to social services. (Read more about Girls to Women here.)

Prior to founding the East Palo Alto organization, Foster served two terms as mayor for the City of East Palo Alto. During her term, she led negotiations resulting in major commercial development and local employment commitments from developers and corporate entities for residents, according to the press release.

Foster said she was "delighted, honored and humbled to be selected as Woman of the Year," but she did not do it alone.

"People all around me are doing great work, and this award brings more attention to our efforts to empower girls," she said.

The Women of the Year award, which is organized and sponsored by the Women's Caucus, was started in 1987 to recognize remarkable women throughout California. In March (which is also Women's History Month), assembly members nominate one woman to be honored for each assembly district, for a total of 80 from the state.

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11 people like this
Posted by Mara Feeney
a resident of another community
on Mar 15, 2016 at 7:55 pm

Pat Foster--you so deserve this award for all you have done to advance community building, and the futures of girls in particular. Congratulations!

13 people like this
Posted by Laverne Bryant
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 16, 2016 at 8:10 am

Pat, congratulations on such a distinguished and well deserved award. I thank you, as all four of my girls and my granddaughter have reaped the benefits of participating in your Girls to Women after school program. It truly takes a village, and I am grateful to you.

8 people like this
Posted by Judy Gittelsohn
a resident of Ventura
on Mar 16, 2016 at 10:34 am

Congratulations Pat! You are a pillar in the community, supporting and making lives better every day. This recognition is well deserved. It is a pleasure to know you.



3 people like this
Posted by Debbie Mytels
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 16, 2016 at 4:29 pm

Congratulations to Pat Foster! Pat is a resourceful, hard-working, dedicated and caring leader. She's been working to care for children, families and the environment for years.

Pat is the founder/leader of Girls to Women, a tremendous community resource serving school-age girls and preparing them for adulthood. Check it out at Web Link -- and sign up next March for the annual Margaret Wright 5K run in the Baylands.

2 people like this
Posted by AnnieJ
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 16, 2016 at 5:11 pm

Congratulations Pat!

Like this comment
Posted by Margot Gordon
a resident of Los Altos
on Mar 17, 2016 at 11:32 am

Heartfelt congratulations, Pat. So proud of you and all that you've accomplished.

Like this comment
Posted by Eileen Bailey
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 17, 2016 at 1:07 pm

Congratulations Pat. We met a few years ago in East Palo Alto and I was very impressed with the work you were doing.
St Lucia is proud of her daughter shining in other parts of the world.
Best wishes for the future

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