Hi, I’m JoAnna!
Just a Kid from Eloy
I am native Arizonan who grew up in Eloy, Arizona. I come from a family of farmworkers and grew up in poverty. I worked in the cotton fields from a very young age, until I could legally get job at the age of sixteen. I remember standing in line at the community center to get our rations of powdered milk, canned goods, and cheese. Thank God for the community food pantry. I was the kid that started school late because my parents couldn't afford to buy school clothes and didn't own a jacket during the winter months. My siblings and I layered long sleeve shirts during the winter and would run to school, just to keep warm.
I am a living example of how public education can change the life of a kid growing up in poverty. And I am the product of government assistance programs like section-eight housing, food stamps, and Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), Arizona's Medicaid program.
At the age of seventeen, I answered the call to serve my country and joined the US Navy. I served one enlistment honorably, before, answering the call to serve again, in the United States Marine Corps. I retired from the Marine Corps finishing out a 20 year military career. I've been forward deployed to a combat environment-twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan. I've made Marines and Marine Officers, as a Drill Instructor and led hundreds of Marines. I have served all of my adult life, holding a variety of roles and titles in professional military service and community settings.
I am the kid people didn't expect to make it out of the barrio because the odds were stacked against her. But I did and now I am back to make a difference in the district in which I grew up in. I have never forgotten where I came from or who I've been fighting for. Committed to changing our district in a positive way, I will not stop fighting until we have achieved unity, progress, and the future we deserve.