(WYTV) – 33 WYTV is recognizing remarkable women in the area.
One local woman has worked her way through the ranks while helping people along the way.
Wilma Torres is the CEO of the nonprofit organization Community Action Partnership of Mercer County.
“We direct people to other services that can assist them. We have a care and concern and compassion for the people that we serve, and we want to do our work in the spirit of excellence so that people understand that this is not a hand out, this is a hand up,” Torres said.
Torres knows just how these programs work. She grew up on the East Side of Youngstown.
“I went from being a child in Community Action to becoming the CEO of Community Action,” she said.
Torres studied education at Youngstown State University and then became a head start teacher before being promoted into a management position in Community Action.
“You know, I am just doing, I think, what I am supposed to do in life, is to be kind and help other people,” she said.
That’s what has pushed Torres to become so successful.
“I want to be there for people, whether it’s family, friends, neighbors, I want to be there for people,” she said.
Elisa Matlock is Torres’ niece. She sees just how much Torres is positive impact in everyone’s life.
“She always helps. She always pushed me and gave me those encouraging words to be that young great mom and push myself more to take care of my son at the time,” she said.
“Her strength kind of poured on to me so I can give it back to her and help her through her situation.”
Two a half years ago, Torres was battling cancer. It was a long recovery, and the cancer took such a toll on her.
“I had to teach myself how to walk, how to hold a spoon because I was having trouble holding a spoon,” Torres said.
She never gave up, however. She taught herself how to walk again and to drive, all while being the loving friend everyone can count on.