FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Eight women were recognized during a special event held by the City of Fresno in honor of Women's History Month.
The "Women of the Year" awards honored outstanding individuals selected by council members.
Tears of joy filled the room at Fresno City Hall as District Five Woman of the Year recipient, Maiyer Vang, embraced her grandmother.
Vang is the executive director for Parent University- which aims to empower, engage and connect families in Central Fresno.
She was humbled and overjoyed for the recognition from councilmember Luis Chavez.
"As a woman of color in this diverse community it's so important to continue to just embrace women leadership and a diverse community. And provide opportunity and pathways for young women," says Vang.
Vang is a mother to a young lady herself, and is the daughter of refugees from Laos.
Vang says she comes from a lineage of strong women.
She lost her mom at a young age. Her father and grandfather have also passed.
Her grandmother, Mrs. Vang Fong was there in support and also filled with emotion.
"I am so proud of my granddaughter. I am very happy. I'm very happy," Mrs. Vang-Fong says, "Since I came to the United States, I promised, with my right hand I would be a good citizen."
Mayor Jerry Dyer also honored Dora Westerlund, the CEO of the Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation.
The non-profit aims to help small businesses in Fresno County.
She credits her team and family for the support.
Her advice to young women.
"We have great opportunities to grow if we stay true to our values and our commitments as women," says Dora.
All recipients include; Ariana Motter (District 1), Kim Shehadey (District 2), Benita Vasquez (District 3), (Kina McFadden (District 4), Maiyer Vang (District 5), Deby Hergenrader (District 6), Christine Barker (District 7), and Dora Westerlund (Mayor Jerry Dyer).