A CSU Monterey student and an alumnus will be recognized by Assemblyman Luis Alejo as California Peace Award winners for the 30th Assembly District.

Elizabet Zepeda-Gonzalez, a social and behavioral sciences major, believes that keeping young people involved in their community is a way to keep the peace.

Peace Award logoAs a high school student in Hollister, she got involved with the League of United Latin American Citizens. Through that work, she has helped to address the needs of local communities.

She believes that peace can take the form of “helping a community member fill out a paper, keeping kids active, showing them how many opportunities there are that would benefit them,” she told the Monterey Herald.

Paul De Worken, a 2008 graduate with a degree in Visual and Public Art, has been involved in art projects throughout the Pajaro Valley for years. He has served on the Watsonville Public Art Committee, Santa Cruz County Arts Commission, and created the Mural Alleyway Project to provide art to the Watsonville community.

De Worken believes when children pick up a paint brush instead of a weapon, the community becomes a healthier one.

The recipients will be honored Aug. 5 during National Night Out, the annual crime prevention effort that brings together law enforcement and residents.

Residents of the 30th Assembly District were asked to submit names of people throughout the area who have made noteworthy efforts to stop violence and create a safer community.

“Each year, the hard work of dozens of individuals is brought to light,” Alejo said in a news release. “I respect and value the work peace promoters invest to make our neighborhoods safer.”

After reviewing nominations, four candidates were selected based on their strong track record in promoting peace. Joining Zepeda-Gonzalez and De Worken are Mario Banuelos of Santa Clara County and Javier Tamayo of Salinas.

The 30th Assembly District includes the Salinas Valley, San Benito County, south Santa Clara County and the city of Watsonville.