Veva Islas was born in Fresno to hardworking farm laborer parents. Veva has been happily married to Keith C. Hooker, Sr. for 19 years. Together, they have six children and 20 grandchildren.
Veva is the first in her family to graduate from a university. Veva earned a Bachelor of Science degree from California State University, Fresno and Master of Public Health degree from Loma Linda University.
Veva is the Founder and Executive Director of Cultiva La Salud, which works to promote public health and advance health equity. Central to Cultiva’s work has been the engagement of disadvantaged community members and the development of community leadership. Cultiva has worked with parents and local advocates to successfully unlock school gates on weekends, in neighborhoods without parks. This has allowed children to have safe places to play. Cultiva also established school farm stands, in neighborhoods without grocery stores, to help increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Veva is a proven leader who has demonstrated accomplishments in service to our students and community.