Valerie Velasquez is 2007 OBF Queen

Lindsay, a small town nestled up against the snow capped Sierra Nevada Mountains. Where lush orange trees set their fragrant bloom in the spring, generations of families continue to grow and 2007 Orange Blossom Festival Queen Valerie Velasquez has deep roots.

She is the youngest daughter of Steve and Bobbie Velasquez and little sister to Stephanie and Melissa. Her grandparents are Hugh and Claudia Olson, longtime dedicated residents to the community of Lindsay.

Valerie attended Lindsay Schools until her Graduation from Lindsay High School Class of 2002. She was very active in FFA and tennis. This is where she learned the art of organization and team work.

Valerie's outgoing personality and willingness to help others, found her pursuing a career in business. While working two jobs, she was able to excel and was awarded many scholarship awards, The Hispanic Scholarship Fund, JP Morgan Chase foundation Scholarship, and for three consecutive years the Fresno Women's Network Scholarship. Throughout college she had the opportunity to take varies roles, not only as a student, but as an advocate, a leader and role model within her college community. She was President of the Homeless Awareness project. She was an intern at two local and out of state service organizations, one being in New Orleans. In New Orleans, she worked with the Hope House Organization, which helped local residents in providing emergency assistance as well as providing them with classes and basic life skills. Her great opportunity during her senior year was to revisit New Orleans during spring break and help those affected by Hurricane Katrina. She helped daily with families to salvage what was left of their homes and actually helped in the rebuilding process. Valerie finds great joy in helping those less fortunate.

In the spring of 2006 Valerie graduated from Saint Mary's with a Bachelors of Science in Business and Economics. She graduated at the top of her class and was the proud recipient of the Wall Street Journal Business Student award and was inducted into the International Business Honor Society and the Economics Society. She was recruited by Longs Drug Stores Corporation to participate in their Management Training program. She is currently working full time and plans to return in the fall to attain her Masters in Business Administration.

Valerie says that she has found that the greatest joy in life is giving back to the community that you are a part of. To her Lindsay is a community that she will always be able to return to and call home, no matter where life takes her.

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