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Que pasa? : PEOPLE / GENTE

December 19, 1991|ALICIA DI RADO

* Liliana Narvaez, 18, never expected any rewards for her community service work in Highland Park. But Narvaez recently received a Hitachi Foundation $5,000 award, only weeks after President Bush selected her as a Point of Light award winner for her community projects while a Franklin High School student. "I've been wanting to be a teacher since I was very young," said Narvaez, a University of Redlands freshman. Her projects included organizing a carwash fund-raiser for a young drunk-driving victim and heading a program to introduce grade-school students to service activities. "I'd like to work with a nonprofit group and work with kids," she said. "In the long run, I might run for City Council or even mayor."

* Restaurateur Salvador Avila, 68, believes in keeping business in the family. Avila bought his first restaurant in Huntington Park in 1966 for $2,000. Today, he heads a chain of five popular El Ranchito restaurants, each owned by a different family member. Early on, "My daughters waited on tables and my sons helped cut the meat," Avila said. "My father-in-law helped me wash the dishes, and my wife, Margarita, cooked. Working together lifted our spirits." A former fruit picker and foundry worker, Avila never imagined that his tiny Mexican food restaurant would turn into such a successful venture. "What matters most to me is that my children keep going and enjoy their work," he said. "The unity of my family is the most important thing."

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