Singer/songwriter Marilyn Fernández does not dream about fancy mansions or a lifestyle resembling the rich and famous.
Other than singing or writing songs, the 28-year-old Sanger resident would rather take food to farmworkers in the field and sing for them, or help raise money for various causes.
"There are many ways of helping people," said Fernández after being honored by the Sanger City Council last Thursday. "The truth is, I like to help people. I like to help them when I can."
That is one of the reasons Sanger Mayor Joshua Mitchell and the council honored Fernández with a resolution.
"She put Sanger on the map in a positive way," said Mitchell.
The council lacked a quorum for an official meeting, but that didn't deter Mitchell and two other councilmembers from proceeding with the recognition.
Fernández, who has performed more than 1,200 times, accepted the recognition.
"I love living here," said Fernández about Sanger, a city of 24,270 where Latinos account for 80.5 percent of the population. "I have visited many countries and cities, but this is my hometown. I'm surrounded by people who love me."
The location -- close to the mountains, lakes and rivers -- is perfect for Fernández, an avid outdoorswoman who is as comfortable fishing as she is performing on stage.
"I love to go camping with family," she said. "I love to go into the mountains and its fresh, pine trees."
In an effort to help others, Fernández established the Luz y Esperanza (Light and Hope) Foundation in 2008.
"There are many non-profit organizations to help," said Fernández, who was the 1998 Fiestas Patrias queen in Fresno.
Because they focus in one area, Fernández wanted to branch out and offer help to people or groups she wanted to reach out to.
Thus far, her foundation has held a benefit music concert for the Make a Wish Foundation, helped farmworkers, and, developed friendship games for the Boys and Girls Club.
Fernández, who works as vice president of Fernández World Enterprises (her father, Rubén Fernández is the president and her music manager), said children must be given alternatives to gangs. She is pleased that police efforts to reduce gang activity have worked.
Fernández had to overcome stage fright early in her career. Her father would invite people -- ranging from cable guys to Mexican bread vendors -- to the house so that she could have an audience.
She has recorded 11 songs for a yet-to-be-titled album expected to be released in November. The album, her fourth, includes eight songs Fernández has written.
"It's a long process because the people I want to use in production are very creative and in high demand," said Fernández.
The songs are positive, she said, so that people can be helped.
Fernández is looking to expand into the movie business.
"I love movies," said Fernández, who added one of her dreams would be to attend a Oscar ceremony.