2019 Wendy Wayne Awards honor educator, CSUB student, sexual violence hotline founder

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Three outstanding Kern County citizens were honored Wednesday tonight at the Wendy Wayne Awards.

The ceremony is named for Wendy Wayne, a Cal State Bakersfield alumna who passed away in 2012.

This year, CSUB’s Kegley Institute of Ethics received a record number of award nominations.

Ultimately, Yvette Flores, Judy Snyder, and Daryl Thiesen were honored for their community service.

Yvette Flores is a CSUB sophomore studying political science–the youngest of this year’s winners.

It’s amazing to be standing next to so many fantastic people who have done so much for our community, she said. I am incredibly honored to even just be standing up there with all of them.

Working with the Kern County Voter Engagement Project, Flores has registered thousands of new voters–mostly high school seniors.

When I started registering people to vote, it wasn’t in aim of getting an award or recognition, Flores said. It was just because I thought of this as something that the community needed.

Flores aspires to be an immigration lawyer. With her award came $5,000 scholarship.

Judy Snyder was honored for co-founding Kern County’s original rape hotline, which eventually grew into the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault.

When we were motivated to start the hotline, it was an era when women were afraid to report or reluctant to report, Snyder said.

Finally, honored posthumously was Daryl Thiesen, who passed away earlier this year.

He was constantly the man that we could turn to for guidance, and he stepped up whenever he was needed, Snyder said.

Thiesen served Kern County schools for 20 years, organizing programs for social learning, restorative practices, substance use prevention, and more.

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