Mario Serna was a former farm worker and long time resident of Arvin, CA. While attending a city council meeting he was approached by DHF community organizer Timoteo Prado. Mario talked with Timoteo about his concerns for Arvin, such as insufficient work opportunities, the need for safer streets and a lack of educational opportunities for youth. When Timoteo asked Mario if he would participate in the Foundations organizing efforts, Mario said, “I’ll help you but I won’t speak in public.”
Then, in the summer of 2008, the city of Arvin had a measure on the ballot that would generate funding for youth recreation through a one cent tax increase. Working with the community, Mario and the Vecinos Unidos alongside the DHF Youth group helped pass the measure obtaining a 71% vote of approval. After this victory, Mario became one the most active members in Vecinos Unidos, and was soon the man on the microphone at the monthly Vecinos Unidos meetings.
Mario’s commitment is evidenced by his insistence that his family continue the work of the DHF after he was hospitalized in March. Mario Serna was recognized by the City of Arvin for his dedication to improve the lives of others. Mario has since passed on. His family and friends continue to work for the betterment of their community to honor his legacy and create a better future for their children.