Positively positive

Rosario Clerici

Rosario Clerici is known by her friends as an extremely positive person. The youthful artist and nutrition educator just turned 60, and looks forward to the new year and her “dream trip” to Seattle in January. Clerici has overcome extreme hardship—like being a homeless 9-year-old on the streets of her native Mexico, separated from her parents, fending for herself and her younger siblings. Four years later, her family moved to Redding, and she’s lived between there and Chico ever since. She earned multiple degrees at Chico State in languages and teaching languages, before deciding she was drawn to teaching people about nutrition.

What do you do for UC Davis Cooperative Extension?

I’m a nutrition educator for groups in five counties—Butte, Glenn, Yuba, Sutter and Colusa. I’m all over the place. I teach at transitional housing shelters, rehab centers, nonprofits like [Rowell Family Empowerment]—anywhere people need to learn about nutrition. I talk to agencies to see if they need it. I do a lot of outreach and networking. I teach people how to shop and save money. I do food-prep demos, and show people how to make it. I’ve got lots of fast and easy recipes.

So, what’s this “dream trip” all about?

I’m going to Seattle to a workshop by Mike Doley, author of Infinite Possibility: The Art of Living Your Dreams. I discovered him five years ago, and enjoyed all his books. … When I’m done, I will be certified as a life coach. I want to help people make their dreams come true. I like teaching people how to be happy in life.

What else are you looking forward to?

On Dec. 5, my third granddaughter was born, so I’ll get to meet her for the first time on the way up [to Seattle] in Portland, [Ore.]. My other grandchildren live in Washington, so I’ll get to spend time with them, too. The universe does have infinite possibilities. It wants to make things work for us perfectly. I can’t believe how this trip has worked out.

Why is staying positive significant to you?

You can get up in the morning feeling good, and feel good the whole day—if you choose to. My friends say I’m the most positive person they’ve ever met. If you can make other people feel good, you feel good. I believe being happy is the right, natural state for us. We should all be happy. It heals us. When we’re not happy, it makes us sick. If something bad happens, it was a bad moment, and now it’s over. So much potential lies ahead, and that’s what we should be happy about.