Eloise Reyes grew up near the train tracks in south Colton. Although her family had modest means they had great aspirations for their children. They knew it would take perseverance and a great education to live a better life.
As a young girl, I learned the value of hard work picking grapes and onions in the fields so we could buy new school clothes.
In order to pay for school, Eloise worked in the onion and grape fields. After high school, Eloise worked as many as three jobs to put herself through San Bernardino Valley College and the University of Southern California, after which she earned a law degree from Loyola Law School.
Because Eloise believes that local families should have convenient access to quality legal services, she was the first Latina in the Inland Empire to open her own law firm, starting in San Bernardino and then in Colton, where she grew up.
She has long worked with Legal Aid to provide free legal services to those who can’t afford proper representation.
In 2013, she volunteered to represent Colton residents in a successful effort to prevent a toxic waste dump from being located in their neighborhood.
The lack of local affordable health care spurred Eloise to help a group of healthcare professionals start the Inland Empire Community Health Center. And when U.C. Riverside started planning a medical school, they invited Eloise to join the Dean's Medical School Mission Committee.
Eloise’s passion for teaching young people found a new venue recently when she became an adjunct professor at Cal Poly Pomona. She teaches students how democracy can work for everyone, not just the rich and powerful.
Eloise is blessed with a wonderful husband, Frank, a kind and intelligent son, Kristofer, and Mida, a very gentle Doberman.