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Added to her list of contributions is the role of volunteer instructor of religious education at St. Mary Parish. Quintero was prompted by her grandchildren’s request that she be their teacher, and for six years she taught her grandchildren, and others, one simple lesson. “Whether it be a family member, a neighbor, a friend, or a stranger. We are here to help those who need our help.” Granddaughter Maya Torres, 11, learned from her grand- mother’s teaching and actions while accompanying Quintero, who she calls Ita (“Little Mother”), to St. Joseph’s Center. “My Ita is the most amazing person ever, and I am so grateful to have her in my life, and I love her with all my heart,” Torres said. “She has shown me how to give back in so many ways to the community. I have gone with her to St. Joseph’s to give canned goods, and turkeys during Thanksgiving.” Quintero’s abiding love and dedication to the community, has not only influenced her granddaughter, but every member of her family. “She has been the greatest teacher to her children, and grandchildren,” daughter-in-law Cheryl Chavarria-Quintero said. “She is so graceful and passionate when teaching life lessons to her grandchildren. She was the first teacher in their lives and has continued to influence them in education, as well as influencing them to volunteer to help the community, and preparing them in faith.” Cindi Torres (Quintero’s daughter) is i n complete agreement. “My mother is the most loving and amazing woman I know. I am so proud to be her daughter.” “She has been a wonderful mother, that has always been there for me,” Albert II said. “She has always been my biggest supporter in education, and pushing me to excel in everything I do. I am very grateful to have her as my mother, and I am a better person because of her.” And in turn, Quintero credits her mother, Elisa Perez, who she lost when she was 15. In the short amount of time they had together, Perez instilled in her only daughter the importance of family and giving back to the community, the canon of Quintero’s life. “I remember her taking me to migrant camps. She would take food and clothing to people who lived in these little, small, ten by ten huts, tin rooms with dirt floors, and cooking on an open fire, and she would go and talk to them,” Quintero said. “She was amazing.” The Quintero Family: Ty, Mike, Maya and Cindi Torres, Rita and Albert Quintero, Cheryl, Albert II, Kayla and Diego Quintero. 22 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 gmhtoday.com