Latinitas Austin 2018 Volunteer Opportunities

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Join the Latinitas Team this spring and gain a rewarding volunteer experience! We have opportunities for students, professionals and anyone interested in working with children, supporting our office or connecting with the community we work with.

This fall, our volunteer opportunities include:

  • After-school Club Assistants
  • Community Event Volunteers
  • Office Support


After-School Club Assistants

Blazier1Help facilitate media and tech lessons that focus on digital media publishing, production, cultural literacy, design, and more to elementary and middle school girls. We are seeking college students who can commit 1 – 3 afternoons for our after-school clubs throughout the spring semester (February – May).


Club Latinitas Volunteers will help facilitate media and tech lessons and assist with the following:

  • Assist with recruitment and club management
  • Encourages positive team environment and serves as a role model
  • Reports twice monthly with Latinitas volunteer coordinator
  • Document Club Latinitas by taking photographs and videos of girls working in groups
  • Assists with communication with school officials on Latinitas program updates
  • Assist leader with team-building and confidence-boosting activities

Volunteer Requirements
Ideal volunteers will possess excellent interpersonal communication skills. Prior experience working with youth is preferred. Volunteers should be enthusiastic, organized, resourceful, and creative. Bilingual volunteers are encouraged to sign up. Training will be given as necessary.

To apply send your resume and availability to Briseida Diaz at


Community Events Volunteers

Screen Shot 2017-07-28 at 4.26.17 PMLatinitas is a part of many events throughout the year to share our programs with the community. Become a Latinitas representative at these events and connect with families, students, or professionals to share who we are, and what we do. Duties include managing an information table (this includes setting-up and taking-down), handing out flyers and brochures, and overseeing e-newsletter sign up sheets.





To sign up as a volunteer for community events, visit the Latinitas Austin SignUpGenius account and select the events you’d like to be a part of.

  • Saturday, December 9th: Cherrywood Art Fair
    • Location – Maplewood Elementary, E. 38th 1/2 Street & Maplewood Ave.
    • Time – 9:00am to 3:00pm
    • Morning Volunteer Shift – 9:30am to 1:00pm
    • Afternoon Volunteer Shift – 1:00pm to 4:00pm
    • Volunteers can sign up for both shifts


Office Support

We are seeking office volunteers this summer to help us organize our supply room, print flyers and distribute to local businesses, and update our contact data base. The schedule a date and time to visit our office, e-mail Briseida Diaz at


For questions or comments about our volunteer opportunities, contact Briseida Diaz at


Summer Camp Volunteer Assistants

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Latinitas Austin Summer Camps: Latinitas provides 4 weeks of summer camps for all girls ages 9 to 14 interested in exploring how media and tech can be used for self-expression and storytelling.

  • Dates:
  • Shifts available: 8:30am – 12:00pm (Morning) & 11:30am – 4:00pm (Afternoon)
  • Location: 4926 East Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, TX 78702
  • To participate as a volunteer camp assistant to any or all of our summer camps in July, please fill out the Latinitas Summer Camp Volunteer Form.
  • Volunteer duties: set up camp space, checking in girls, help camp leader distribute supplies and equipment, monitor behavior, support camp participants during activities, provide feedback and motivation throughout lessons, assist camp leader with behavior management.

Alumni Spotlight Series: Pamela J. Castelán

Pamela is the first alum to share how Latinitas inspired her and shaped her future as part of our Alumni Spotlight Series:


“I am Pamela J. Castelán, a first generation Mexican-American who was born in Michigan, but was transplanted into Texan soil at a very young age. I majored in advertising at Texas State University, and minored in German. (Latinitas actually inspired me to pursue advertising when I was 17 years old.) Right now I work as a freelance interpreter and a freelance graphic designer for Latinitas.
Something I have taken from my experience at Latinitas is that you’re much bigger than a statistic and so much more than a stereotype.”
Make sure to be on the look out for our next Alumni Spotlight! Latinitas is ready to keep introducing our talented alumni while giving them the spotlight they deserve.

Linnea May: Creative, Passionate & Tech-Savvy!

Latinitas is thankful to have a driven and admirable volunteer who is happy to share her passion for technology with young girls. Thank you for sharing your creativity and helping us empower young girls through tech, Linnea!linnea may

Q: What initially inspired you to volunteer with Latinitas?

A:  I was first introduced to Latinitas when we teamed up to host a series of workshops with the Housing Authority early this year, but I had so much fun I wanted to come back and work with them some more!

Q: Why do you think there should be more representation of women in tech?

A: I think guys do a good job at producing technology, but nothing compared to if there was a mix of men and women! Creativity requires a group of diverse people that vary in everything from their gender to their childhood background.

Q:  What would your advice be to young girls who want to explore STEM careers?

A:  I always thought being in STEM meant being a nerd cooped up all day doing boring calculations, but really it’s about applying your knowledge to create or discover something new. STEM isn’t some scary hard topic, it’s just what you make of it.

Q: Do you have a favorite tv show?

A: I’m tied- Gilmore Girls and Numb3rs.

Volunteer Spotlight: Karen Siles, A Visionary Board Member

IMG_3185Take a moment to learn about our motivating and passionate Vice President who serves as an advocate for STEM education and a role model for girls that aspire to be a part of the tech industry.

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself – what is your educational background? what do you like to do on your free time? 

A: Born and raised in Cochabamba Bolivia, my parents migrated to America when I was 15 and moved to Northern VA. I pursued a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from George Mason University and in my years at GMU discovered a passion for community service through the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineer (SHPE). Post college I got a software engineering offer from IBM Corporation at the Austin TX site. I have been in Austin for the past 8 years and currently serve as a Project Manager for IBM Cloud Division. Currently I serve as the Vice-President for Latinitas Inc. and on the board of SHPE Austin Professional and LaunchPad the center.

Q: What is your current job position? Describe a few of your job responsibilities.

A: I have held various job roles at IBM from a software developer to currently a project manager for IBM Cloud. Earlier this year I was in charge of the open source projects for the cloud platform.  For the past couple of weeks I have been managing the security project for IBM Public Cloud.  As a project manager I need to ensure that our development projects are on track by discussing daily progress daily from developers.

Q: How long have you been a board member for Latinitas and what motivated you to do so?

A: I have been a board member for the past 1.5 years and I was motivated to be a member after speaking with Laura Donelly. Laura has so much passion for this organization and her passion is contagious to everyone around. Laura told me about their inaugural Code Chica conference, I loved the idea of introducing young girls to technology and coding. Encouraging youth to go in STEM fields is my personal passion and I admire this organization for everything they do. Serving this organization has been a great experience so far and I am very excited about the work and ideas we have this year.

Q: What advice would you give to young Latina girls who aspire to be a part of the technology industry?

A: In the next couple of years there will be an influx in the job market for the technology industry. There will be close to 10,000 jobs available for technology careers in the Austin area. Unfortunately the rate of job needs does not equal the rate of graduating women in technology, let alone Latinas.  As a female Latina engineer, pursuing an engineering or technology degree was the best decision I ever made. The technology you get to work with is truly amazing, you are changing people’s life through technology. We need to increase the percentage of Latina’s in technology from single digits to double digits. If our young latinitas want to work on cutting edge technology and impacting lives through technology they should aspire to get into the technology industry.

Austin’s Public Housing and Girls Empowerment Non-Profit Partner with National Tech Initiative to get More “Chicas” to Explore Tech

HACA’s Pathways Program and Latinitas’s Girls Leading Girls Initiative Use National Center for Women and Information Technology Resources to Cultivate More Gender Diversity in Tech

Austin, Texas – February 05, 2016 – 9,000 technology jobs are coming to Austin by 2017, yet the current industry employs less than 17 percent of women. The National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) has committed to an initiative that will engage young girls in computing concepts. Pooling resources such as HACA’s on-site computer labs, Latinitas’s 14 years of experience empowering girls of color using technology (, and NCWIT’s youth partners and curriculum, Girls Leading Girls Through Tech is leveraging collaboration to teach more young girls the basics of coding, app and game design, and animation.

“I see [Girls Leading Girls Through Tech] as a great way to give to these girls the kind of relationship I have with technology,” said Linnea May, Team Instructor for Girls Leading Girls. “To me, it’s a way to make amazing things, something to be used as a tool and trusted to meet your needs.”

Girls Leading Girls Through Tech is an intensive 6-week session of lessons exclusively for girls living in public housing. Girls ages 9 – 18 are welcome and will meet every Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm beginning February 6th and ending March 19th at HACA’s Meadowbrook Apartments, located at 1201 W Live Oak St, Austin, Texas, 78704. The lessons will be delivered by teens selected in NCWIT’s AspireIT K-12 Outreach Program. NCWIT works to increase gender diversity in technology and computing in order to improve business performance and better serve a more diverse population. NCWIT believes that by providing women with lucrative careers, the economic and social well-being of a larger population will increase.

Latinitas will be assisting with program management, getting career presenters and registration. Since 2002, Latinitas has been empowering young girls through media and technology while focusing on inspiring young Latinas to become confident and successful. By partnering with NCWIT’s AspireIT K-12 program, Latinitas will continue to expand their mission. Similarly, HACA’s Pathways program, Austin Pathways, seeks to promote education and general welfare to low-income families in Austin.

Participants of Girls Leading Girls Through Tech will have the opportunity to meet persons from the game and app design industries in Austin, as well as engineers, coders and animators. The initiative will culminate with a short presentation of developed products during SXSW and passes for all girls involved.

For more information, call Latinitas at (512) 900-0304 or email Sylvia Butanda at


Staff Spotlight: Jasmine Villa, Editor Behind the Scenes

Meet our amazing Editor who helps amplify the voices of young Latinas by serving as a role model, mentor and writing coach for our Latinitas. 

Q: How long have you been working with Latinitas and what motivated you to apply at this particular organization?

A: I’ve been working with Latinitas for 4 years. My academic interests in intercultural rhetoric, community involvement, literacy, and educational discourse led to volunteering and joining the Latinitas team in 2012. I love the organization, and I am simply in awe and always inspired by the work ethic, dedication, and passion the Latinitas staff have for the community. While I had professional and academic interests in mind, I was motivated to apply to Latinitas because of the environment. Everyone is supportive, and they really do treat you like familia.

Q: What are some of your job responsibilities?

A: I work collaboratively with the staff and interns in order to empower the awesome chicas in our writing programs. I assist with the workflow of the magazine, similar to the Editor-in-Chief/Managing Editor duties, like assigning and editing content for Latinitas Magazine, creating a publishing calendar, and I oversee and guide most of the writers for Latinitas Magazine. In addition, I promote the Youth Editorial Advisory Board (YEAB), help with recruitment and marketing for YEAB, and create content for the YEAB. Occasionally, I will assist with the creation and editing of content for the El Paso office and I assist with social media when I can. In addition, I moderate and provide feedback to written pieces when needed. We are a small organization, but I’m always eager to help wherever and whenever they need me.

Q: Describe your educational and career background prior to working with Latinitas?

A: I worked customer service jobs and as a Properties Designer/Manager prior to working with Latinitas. My career shifted when I began graduate school in 2012.

After concurrently completing a BA in English and American Literature with a minor in Professional Writing and Rhetoric and a BA in Chicano Studies in 2011, I wanted to explore opportunities that would supplement an alt-ac career during graduate school. From 2012 – 2014, I worked with Latinitas while pursuing a MA in Rhetoric and Writing Studies and while working as a Teaching Assistant at the University of Texas at El Paso. My educational background and interest in community engagement intersect, which has led me to pursue a PhD in Rhetoric and Composition. I work as an Assistant Instructor, and I am an advocate of community engagement within my classroom.

Q: Describe a moment or challenge that you believe has prepared you for your current career as an Editor.

A: When you’re juggling being a full-time graduate student, teaching 1-2 classes by yourself, and working part-time, it can be overwhelming. The workload eventually takes its toll, which can affect your emotional and physical state. Juggling multiple roles and tasks has taught me the value of self-care and time management and organizational skills.

Q: What is your advice to young Latinas who aspire to be editors?

A: As an editor, you need compassion and empathy for the struggles writers face. Everyone has different writing styles, skills, and ideas, and, as an editor, you need to be aware of them and find ways for writers to enhance a strength they didn’t know they had.

Don’t compare yourself and self-worth to other writers. There’s always going to be someone whose writing and skills are better than yours. There’s only one you, and what YOU have to say: your ideas, writing, etc. are more valuable than you think. What YOU have to say/think IS important. Don’t be afraid to share that voice. Our community needs it.

Q: What do you like to do on your free time?

A: I have a hectic schedule due to being a full-time PhD student (2nd year), Assistant Instructor at the University of Texas at El Paso, and working with Latinitas, so I try to spend my free time doing things that are not associated with school and/or work related. I need a day where I’m not glued to my laptop, book, or scholarly articles. If you want to be technical, I travel frequently, catch up on movies and tv shows (current favorites are Jane the Virgin and Game of Thrones), and spend time with loved ones (family and friends).