Dance teacher and entrepreneur Joanna Vargas was named Alhambra's "Woman of the Year" on April 14. Congressman Adam Schiff, who presented the annual recognition in each of the communities he represents, described her as "an accomplished woman who has brought multi-generations together and joy to the lives of many, through her extraordinary vision for the arts."
The 34-year-old Alhambra High graduate was far younger than most of the women recognized, but as Schiff noted she has already accomplished a tremendous amount in the less than a decade since opening JayVee Dance Center on Main Street.
In an Alhambra Source interview last year, Vargas shared what has propelled her:
People say, “Oh my gosh, you made that happen in Alhambra.” I think the key is being positive and believing in Alhambra. I always feel like if you have five good students that's all it takes. No matter the location, five people will tell other people. Also always give customers more than they expected. And you’ve got to market. It’s not advertising. It’s talking to everybody and anybody. It’s thinking outside the box.
I want to say Alhambra is my roots. Let’s keep our roots and give Alhambra a name. I want to be Joanna from Alhambra just like Jenny from the Bronx and throw it back to here.
Schiff's complete recognition, which will be entered in the Congressional record can be found below:
A TRIBUTE TO JOANNA VARGAS, 29TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT WOMAN OF THE YEAR–2012
HON. ADAM B. SCHIFF of California in the House of Representatives
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Mr. SCHIFF. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in honor of Women's HistoryMonth. Each year during the month of March, we pay special tribute tothe accomplishments made by our nation's most distinguished women.
Today, I pay tribute to Joanna Vargas of Alhambra, California, anaccomplished woman who has brought multi-generations together and joyto the lives of many, through her extraordinary vision for the arts.Born and raised in Alhambra, Joanna is a graduate of Alhambra HighSchool and opened her first dance studio at the age of 26.
Joanna's passion for the arts has been evident throughout her career.She is the creator of an astounding number of projects and has anexhaustive list of accomplishments. Joanna has launched various dancecompanies for adults and teens, created Alhambra's Monthly Mosaic ArtWalk, Jayvee Dance Center, the Annual Maxt Out Dance Competition,“Streetease Fitness and Dance'' classes and instructional DVDs, andthe Alhambra Hot Spot, which is home to an annual art event thatcelebrates music, dance, art and fashion. She is also the ChiefExecutive Officer of Dance for Peace Charity, a non-profit sheestablished two years ago.
In addition to her projects, it is noteworthy to mention Ms. Vargas'sunparalleled service to the community. Joanna is a Board Member of theAlhambra Chamber of Commerce, a member of the San Gabriel Chamber ofCommerce, charter member of the Rotary International New GenerationClub, and President of the City of Alhambra Downtown BusinessAssociation.
Joanna is a charitable woman who gives back to her community throughher invaluable service. She has awarded scholarships to deservingunderserved teens and children, and to people who have the desire tofurther their dance training.
I ask all Members to join me in honoring a remarkable woman ofCalifornia's 29th Congressional District, Joanna Vargas, for herexceptional service to the community.