LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Veronica Jalomo never had anything handed to her.
Growing up, she spent the summer and fall with her family picking crops in Michigan.
"I never knew what it was like to start a school year or end a school year," said Jalomo. "So one of the catalysts in helping not only me but also my siblings was the migrant education program."
At an early age, education became an important partof Jalomo's life. And she gives that credit to her mother.
"My mother always reminded us growing up that education is very important. People can take anything they want away from you but not your education," said Jalomo.
A lesson she now passes on to the next generation.
Jalomo currently serves Tippecanoe, Benton, Fountain and Warren counties.
She's the community wellness coordinator for Purdue Extension Nutrition Education Program.
"In 2013, I helped write a winning grant for Tippecanoe County to establish the first migrant education program for Lafayette," said Jalomo.
Jalomo now spends her time addressing food insecurities around the area and trying to improve the overall health in the community.
She has played a big role in the Grow Local initiative in Lafayette.
"In the last year that I've been a part of Grow Local, we've expanded the local gardens from six to 22 gardens," said Jalomo.
The awards go on and on for Jalomo. But one thing's for sure: You won't ever hear her talk about them — something she learned from her humble beginnings.
It is one of the many reasons why she was chosen as a woman of distinction for the YWCA's Salute to Women.
"That was a great honor," said Jalomo. "It was really unexpected. I come from very humbled beginnings, so I am really honored."
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