Nonprofits working together under DRIVE to achieve equality in Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Fresno woman is taking action to improve the city one small step at a time - and now she has support from a much larger organization.

Lilia Becerril is passionate about improving her neighborhood in South Fresno. She has spent the past 20 years taking small steps to keep it safe and clean, from picking up litter to reporting this abandoned truck to the city.

After gaining support from local families, she recently became the Executive Director of the non-profit "Familias En Accion."

She says, "My mom raised me to take care of the place I live in, and I've always encouraged neighborhood families to take extra steps."

Familias En Accion is now one of 18 non-profits selected by the Greater Fresno DRIVE Initiative to receive funding and other forms of support.

DRIVE stands for Developing the Region's Inclusive and Vibrant Economy, and organizers say working with grassroots groups will help achieve real change.

"A lot of them have the solution to the issues in their neighborhood. They just don't have the resources and the backing of other organizations to come alongside them," said Artie Padilla, Senior Program Officer for the Central Valley Community Foundation.

Becerril is now training under DRIVE to further her skills and become an even bigger asset for her community.

"In the long-term, what you would see are these collective neighborhoods that have their own identity and are led by their own residents and youth to help Fresno thrive as a city," said Padilla.

DRIVE hopes to transform the Greater Fresno region by 2030 and create equal opportunities for everyone regardless of where you live or your background. Becerril is proud to be part of that plan and grateful for the extra support.

Becerril says, "I never did this hoping to get paid one day, I do it because my community matters to me."

For more information on DRIVE, click here.
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