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Rose Espinoza was raised in a migrant camp in La Habra by parents who worked as fruit pickers. Espinoza attended a segregated school, and realized the value of education at an early age. Inspired by her sister, a Fullerton College graduate in nursing, she worked her way through FC. She completed her schooling while working full-time for Beckman Coulter as the principal designer for electrical mechanical instruments, in addition to her fulfilling her role as a wife and mother. After graduation she radically improved her La Habra community by founding Rosie’s Garage, a tutoring program for children. Since 1991, over 1,250 kids have attended her after-school homework classes. She earned a seat on the La Habra City Council in 2000, and served as the first Hispanic woman mayor of La Habra in 2004, a second term in 2008, and again in 2012. She has served the community in numerous ways, received many awards, and has been featured in prominent publications such as O Magazine and People.
Founder, Executive Director, Rosie’s Garage, 1991-present
Mayor, La Habra, 2004, 2008, 2012
Designer, Beckman Coulter, 1987–2012
25 Most Influential People, North Orange County Magazine, 2006
"100 People Who Shaped Orange County”, Orange County Register, 2005
Councilwoman, La Habra City Council, 2000, 2004
72nd Assembly District Woman of the Year Award, 2002
Frederick Douglass Museum and Hall of Fame for Caring Americans, Washington D.C.
Points of Light Presidential Service Award, 1994
A.A. Fullerton College