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state mother of the year
Ivelissa Bonilla, 2024 Arizona Mother of the Year.

Ivelisse Bonilla-Torrado

February 12, 2024



Ivelisse Bonilla-Torrado started working in employment matters at McConnell Valdes in Puerto Rico. She relocated to serve as Deputy General Counsel for the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration in Washington, D.C. While in Washington, she pursued an additional advanced law degree at George Washington University. Moving to Tucson with her husband, she joined Raven, Awerkamp & Clancy, P.C. law firm.  A partner, she works for Awerkamp, Bonilla and Giles, PLC.  A mother of 3, twins plus one, Ivelisse represents clients, many of which are low income, in cases, including, but not limited to, sexual harassment; discrimination and other protected groups; wrongful termination; and other matters. She is the Past Chair of the Executive Committee of the State Bar of Arizona and a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.  She is the dedicated wife of Dino Alfaro, and the happy mother of Caroline,  Dino, and Camila.

Parenting Philosophy

Being a Mother is the toughest job I have ever had and the most wonderful and rewarding. My parenting philosophy is to embrace my kids the way they are. I believe my three amazing children came to this world with a purpose and my job is to accept them the way they were born, with their strengths and weaknesses. My purpose is to love them unconditionally and show them right from wrong. My role is to give them the tools they need to thrive and shine.

I also believe I need to teach by example. It is what they see not what we tell them. I feel I am a better mother because I work. They have always seen a mother that enjoys serving others and the community. However, they also know they are my priority and that I will always be there for them. I always put them to bed and enjoy listening to their stories and ideas. All my three kids are different and have different needs. They have different strengths and abilities, but they are all loving, caring, and respect authority. I always remind them to be kind to others and tell the truth. I also tell them I am extremely lucky because God chose me to bring them to this world. Lucky me!

Motherhood and Community

School District Foundation Board: I am a member of the Catalina School District Foundation Board. The Foundation raises funds to improve public school educational opportunities for all K-12 students in the Catalina Foothills School District. Quality teachers lead to excellent education. Serving the Board has a positive impact in education, our teachers and my family. My children can see that I care about their school and their education. They feel proud that I am working to improve the quality of their education and care about it. It gives me great pleasure to serve my community and raise funds to attract and retain the best teachers for our District. Public education is essential so every child can get excellent education regardless of their background and family’s income.

Exercise: I play tennis with my kids. They take classes every week and they see me playing tennis. We also enjoy playing together. Exercising is extremely important and taking the time to exercise with my children not only is good for our health but the kids’ self-esteem. I love seeing them improve their skills and spending time with them.

Church: My husband and I married in 2004. I suffered from infertility for seven years. It was one of the most difficult times in my life. Besides joining a mind-body infertility support group, going to Church truly helped me not to lose faith. Once we had our twins, and later one our youngest girl, we went with them. I feel it has had an extremely positive impact on me and my family. Although we do not make it to Church every Sunday, going to Church as a family is good for our soul and our family. It gives us the opportunity to remember our blessings and practice gratitude.   It also allows our family to be part of the Church community.