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Women's Club honors academic excellence of Super 7
Sonja Fernandez said she looks for little bits of Colusa in many aspects of her life.
The school she chose for her son, for example, reminded her of the small town that shaped her education and value system by teachers such as John Vafis.
"I am always looking for places like Colusa to bring my son back to," Fernandez said.
Fernandez, a 1990 Colusa High graduate and owner of Fernandez Government Solutions in Sacramento, left Colusa to seek a different kind of life.
"When I started college at Santa Cruz, I thought I wanted to be an editor for a magazine, and I ended up in politics," she said.
It has been a life in the highest reaches of state government, working for former California Speaker of the Assembly Antonio Villaraigosa, and as a gubernatorial appointee working on a variety of issues.
Now her firm teaches other organizations how to establish advocacy policies and strategies.
But Fernandez told the top academic students of the Colusa High junior and senior classes Monday — the Super 7s — that it is not the size of the pond, but the size of the dream that counts.
"I think you need to take Colusa with you and wear it like a badge of honor, because you can do anything coming from a small town," Fernandez said.
"I think you should dream big and think big," she said.
"I know I could have stayed here and done great things, but you can also go someplace else and do great things."
Fernandez was the keynote speaker at the 37th annual Super 7 dinner held at the Trinity Methodist Church Monday night.
The event, started in 1975 by the Colusa Women's Club, recognizes the top seven academic achievers from the two classes.
The senior honorees this year are Madi Forney, Maria Lopez, Tyler Martin, Hailey Prasad, Elassa Ramirez, Michael Rew and Cyrus Yerxa.
The junior honorees are Erin Anderson, Ruby Dunham, Devin McKey, Ernesto Mendez, Mattie Myers, Lupita Ramos and Paige Townzen.
The program has been run by the Gamma Alpha Master Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi since 1998. The Soroptimist International of Colusa County joined the following year.