Meet Fresno EOC's new CEO, Emilia Reyes

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- For the first time in history, the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission will be led by a woman.

Emilia Reyes was chosen to be the chief executive officer.

The position is a dream come true for Reyes.

"I know firsthand the direct impact these agencies can have on the community. so for me to even have the opportunity to apply and lead this agency is simply a humbling experience," she said.

It wasn't that long ago that Reyes received services for her and her child.

EOC is an action agency to provide services to those in need and serves thousands in Fresno County.

Reyes is no stranger to leadership. She recently led 'First 5', which helps children up to five years of age.

She's also a mother of a child with autism, who has overcome adversity.

The experience has molded her into an advocate.

"I've been very fortunate and blessed that I've had people along the way, who've been supportive to make sure my child thrives and that is what I want for every single child in this community," Reyes said.

Just a week in her new job, she's meeting with those who are running programs to help Fresno residents. Her main goal is awareness.

"These services are out there and if you need help and support, feel free to ask and be okay to ask and make sure as a community of action agency, help them as much as we can. Helping people in changing lives is our goal."

Reyes grew up in Mendota. Her father immigrated to the Valley from Mexico.

She is the first woman and Latina to lead the organization in 54 years.

"The fact that these children can actually see someone that looks like them to represent them and advocate for them also gives them hope. So they can dream their wildest dream to give back to their community and make a difference," she said.
Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.