Meet Eloise

Daughter of immigrants

Eloise Reyes grew up near the train tracks in south Colton. Although her family had modest means they had great aspirations for their children. They knew it would take perseverance and a great education to live a better life.

As a young girl, I learned the value of hard work picking grapes and onions in the fields so we could buy new school clothes.

In order to pay for school, Eloise worked in the onion and grape fields. After high school, Eloise worked as many as three jobs to put herself through San Bernardino Valley College and the University of Southern California, after which she earned a law degree from Loyola Law School.

Career and community

Because Eloise believes that local families should have convenient access to quality legal services, she was the first Latina in the Inland Empire to open her own law firm, starting in San Bernardino and then in Colton, where she grew up.

She has long worked with Legal Aid to provide free legal services to those who can’t afford proper representation.

In 2013, she volunteered to represent Colton residents in a successful effort to prevent a toxic waste dump from being located in their neighborhood.

The lack of local affordable health care spurred Eloise to help a group of healthcare professionals start the Inland Empire Community Health Center. And when U.C. Riverside started planning a medical school, they invited Eloise to join the Dean's Medical School Mission Committee.

Eloise’s passion for teaching young people found a new venue recently when she became an adjunct professor at Cal Poly Pomona. She teaches students how democracy can work for everyone, not just the rich and powerful.


Eloise is blessed with a wonderful husband, Frank, a kind and intelligent son, Kristofer, and Mida, a very gentle Doberman.

Community positions

  • University of California, Riverside Dean's Medical School Mission Committee
  • Inland Empire Community Health Center, Co-founder
  • Children’s’ Spine Foundation, Executive Board
  • Inland Empire Latino Lawyers Association, Board of Directors
  • San Bernardino Valley College Foundation, Board of Directors
  • National Orange Show, Board of Directors
  • The American GI Forum (Inland Empire Chapter), Member
  • The Inland Empire Future Leaders Program (Mock Trial Founder & Advisor)


  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Commitment to Student Success Award (2016)
  • Democrat of the Year (2015)
  • California State Bar, Pro Bono Award (1988–2015)
  • The Barbara Jordan Award for Leadership (2014)
  • Attorney of the Year, Inland Empire Latino Lawyers Association (2013)
  • Community Hero Against Gun Violence Award (2013)
  • Imagen Foundation Award (2010)
  • Entrepreneur of the Year (2004)
  • National Latina Visionary Award (2002)
  • People of Distinction, San Bernardino Valley College (2001)
  • Latina of the Year, Hispanic Image (2000)
  • Women Who Make a Difference, Inland Empire Magazine (1999)
  • 35 Most Influential Latinas, Lifestyle Magazine (1998)
  • Citizen's Achievement Award, League of Women Voters (1998)
  • Colton High School Chicana Hall of Fame Inductee (1994)
  • Congressional Women of Achievement Award (1992)