Former Austin ISD Principal Raffy Garza-Viscaino

“It is I who is honored to support you and the wonderful work you do. I saw firsthand the positive difference Latinitas makes in the lives of our Martin Middle School girls. I am thrilled to see that Latinitas has continued to grow and touch the lives of young women. I am so honored to support this awesome organization.”

Chaparral NM School Thanks Latinitas

The Latinitas team had the honor of presenting our body image and media literacy presentation to all the 5th and 6th grade girls at Desert Trail Elementary in Chaparral, New Mexico. We discussed the unrealistic portrayals of beauty that is often seen in mainstream media and we talked about confidence boosting tips. The girls created their own mini-magazines highlighting their own advice to have a healthy self-esteem. We were delighted by the message we received from the school….
Dear Latinitas,  I greatly appreciate your visit to our school. After your visit, my girls came up to me about how much they enjoyed your presentation. They have been deeply inspired with your presentation and magazine cover they created  resulting in their next project of creating a monthly magazine over their accomplishments in school. If your organization would like to come in the Spring for another presentation we would be grateful. Again, thank you for motivating the girls in our school.  Many come from low socioeconomic area and your organization has provided inspiration and encouragement to succeed.
Sincerely,
Sandra Silvas
Desert Trail Elementary School Counselor

Latinitas Encourages Girls to Aim High

Each fall, Latinitas El Paso hosts its annual Aim High Conference focused on encouraging career exploration among girls. Our members had an opportunity to meet local women leaders, hear about different career options and try hands-on activities that help them envision their future career. Girls had a chance to meet professionals in a wide range of fields especially career paths where women are still underrepresented such as science, technology, engineering and math. Our girls interviewed professional like meteorologists, doctors, computer scientists, physics professors, health professionals, science and math teachers. Our girls also had a chance to design their own bridge structure in an engineering activity, create their own computer game and interview college students about their career aspirations. Our girls also created their own video and photography project sharing their future career goals. Here are some comments from our participants….

100% of the girls reported that they learned about new career options
100% of the girls said the event helped boost their self-esteem and confidence
100% of the girls said the event helped them learn about ways to prepare for college
98% of the girls said they learned tips to become stronger leaders.

I liked how we learned how to be prepared for college and what career we should start thinking about. I liked how they motivated you. – Aracely

Everything was wonderful! I liked everything from the guest speakers to the different career choice stations. – Zavia

I enjoyed everything because it gives me many options I could do and it is something that interests me. -Shamila

What I enjoyed the most was doing different activities that helped me understand more about leadership.

I enjoyed everything! I can’t just choose one. I liked when I made a bridge, took a video as a doctor, played medical bingo and more. -Victoria

I enjoyed hearing all sorts of people talk about their careers, what to do in college, what my career path can be and to help others. -Anassa

I enjoyed learning about the things that help me for college and the experiment that we did with the marshmallows and how to build. -Kiara

I liked all the cool people, the great experiences, some projects and all the great memories that were made today. -Gabrielle

I liked working together to make a bridge with my new friends. -Alondra

I enjoyed the guest speakers that talked to us about their career experience and just giving us young teenagers motivation and confidence. I just loved the guest speakers.

I enjoyed the hands-on activities like building the tower and watching the balloon inflate. – Ariana

I liked everything when the professionals were talking to us about their conflicts and what they went through. I liked so many groups talking to us to do what we like.

I enjoyed when our three role models talked about their experience.

I liked looking at the different careers. – Faith

I think what I enjoyed the most was the fun activities and listening to the different careers and how they pursued them. -Selene

What I enjoyed the most was learning the different careers that you can choose from and how to get there. Also, how people came across their career and how they never gave up. – Karla

What I enjoyed the most was how to prepare for college. Also, I enjoyed participating in the computer science activity. – Emily

I enjoyed meeting people who go to college. I liked hearing their stories and how they improved themselves.

I liked the engineering class. – Victoria

I enjoyed when the three girls were presenting their careers and what they did to become what they are now. – Aileen

I liked how they helped us to get ready for our future. – Melissa

I liked the physics booth the most.

I liked when we went to the computer science class. – Estrella

I enjoyed the games because they showed you that you don’t always need to study you can have fun and play games too. -Vivian

I liked when we went to the computer lab and decorated using the scratch program. -Genesis

I liked when we went to computer science group and played with scratch. -Nadia

I liked the physics part the most. -Cinthia

I enjoyed bingo because I got to learn about the body parts and what they do to help you keep healthy and energetic. -Nayeli

I liked the computer science the most because it was challenging.

I liked meeting the medical school group.

I enjoyed the hands-on activities like making the marshmallow tower and the butterfly. Thank you. – Zenia

Day of the Girl

Day of the Girl is an international holiday recognized by the United Nations with the focus of celebrating girls and bringing awareness of issues impacting girls. To celebrate girls, we hosted a Day of the Girl event showcasing local female talent, inviting girls to express themselves through art, and highlighting local resources for girls. We asked girls to share what girl power means to them:

Girl Power

  • Girl power is important because ever since the older days, men have had control. We need a balance we need equality for men and women all across the globe.
  • Girl power to me is being a believer to anything girls do.
  • It means that girls are very powerful and capable of ANYTHING.
  • To stay together and stand by your friends.
  • Being strong.
  • That means you are strong.
  • Girls can do anything.
  • Powerful, indestructible.
  • Girls can do anything.
  • Girl power means to me that we’re strong, tough, powerful, and we can do anything a boy could do.

Scholarship Testimonial, Stephanie Hernandez

Stephanie Hernandez
College: University of Texas El Paso
Major: Linguistics/Women Studies
Classification: Senior

I am a senior at UTEP currently working on a double major in Women Studies and Linguistics.  Education has always been important to me, ever since I was a kid I was fascinated with the unknown.  I wanted to pursue all types of knowledge; from renting language books to teach myself Italian and French, to renting Shakespeare and Edgar Allen Poe in the fourth grade. Educating myself and pursuing a wider perspective was always something that defined my character.  Education is important because it creates path ways, it expands the mind and guides people to their purpose. Language has always been interesting to me, the way it can effect thought and create action. Language is powerful and I hope to fully understand it one day, to be able to connect with people all over the world. Women Studies was an obvious choice for me because I‘ve always been the type to analyze and question traditions and roles. Thus studying Women Studies helped me understand all the anxiety I felt as a child. The purpose for majoring in both is too one day be able to help the indigenous cultures keep their language, despite the society that oppresses them. This scholarship has created a new path for me, opening my mind to the idea of teaching. Some of my goals are to go teach English abroad, as well as missionary work. Latinitas has provided the perfect experiences for me, teaching and guiding young girls has made me realize that teaching is my passion. I’m now aware of my strengths as a leader as well as what I need to work on to be able to help and impact lives in my future. This is why sponsoring Latinitas is important, because it guides girls like me who wish to make a difference in our communities and ideally the world. This program gives us a chance to experience, giving us an idea of the type of person we want to become.

Camp Scholarship Testimonial

Our summer camps help encourage girls to build confidence as they develop media and creative expression skills.  Our camps are filled with inspirational guest speakers, college and professional mentors, field trips and hands-on media production. Each year, we offer scholarships for girls with financial need have an opportunity to participate in the camp free of cost.  Here is the story of one of our summer camp scholarship recipients:
STORY OF A CAMPER:
Visiting Telemundo and the radio station were both pretty interesting experiences. Whenever someone is rocking out to their favorite song or watching their favorite meteorologist inform them on the week’s weather, they tend not to be thinking about what’s going on behind the scenes and in the studio. I learned that its not as easy as it looks (or sounds). DJ’s have to know what songs are in and what songs to play ahead of time and not only that but they must have enough time for commercials, but not so much that the listener becomes bored. Its not random, at all, and it takes more than just one person. They need people to handle the money and the schedules and what commercials are aired and what commercials loose their spots. They have to be up to date with trends and the latest artists. One of the DJ’s, DJ Javi, even has the responsibility of producing and distributing commercials for local events and sales and anything you can imagine. Its actually a pretty lengthy and creative process and it seems as fun as it is tedious. The next stop was Telemundo, a news and weather station as well as the leading TV channel in El Paso. All the reporters have to be prepared and know their stuff and that’s what makes it interesting. News and weather are never constant; it is always unpredictable. Visiting these places has made me realize that my future is approaching faster than I think and if I want to get ahead in life, I must set goals and reach them.
 
STORY FROM A MOM: 
“Thank you for the wonderful experience you have provided my daughters. I would like to take the time to thank you, for this experience you have provided my daughters, it is something they will remember, as ‘Latinitas Summer Camp.’ They have learned so many things and a great experience. Thank you for your generosity, that has meant a lot to me and my girls.
Thank you.”
-Maria
 

Camp Testimonials

Some of our summer camp scholarship members shared what they liked about the Latinitas program…

“When I came the first day, I didn’t think I was going to talk much but I eventually did and I think I’m not that shy anymore. I actually came out and talked. I usually keep to myself but at Latinitas, I think I I can be myself. I like all the photography we did, I liked going to the Mexicarte museum and I liked all the art they had.”

-Justine, Media Arts Camp

“Whenever I got in the car to go to Latinitas, I was so nervous. I thought nobody would like me. I had lots of butterflies and my tummy was on a roller-coaster ride. But when I got there I was surprised that I made friends. Latinitas was very fun!”

-Cerese, Media Arts Camp

Wise Latina Leadership Workshop

Latinitas had the pleasure of collaborating with Wise Latina International to co-host a leadership workshop during their summer Wise Latina Summit. It was an uplifting opportunity for our girls to see role models and be encouraged to reach their full potential. Thanks to great support from all the Wise Latinas, the youth track helped inspire the next generation of Wise Latina leaders. WiseLatinaworkshop

Here is feedback we heard from the girls…

-What inspired me was that these women still did something amazing because they kept to it

-Something I learned today is to be proud of our heritage no matter where we come from

-The speakers inspired me to keep going no matter what holds you back

-What inspired me was listening to the keynote speakers because we all go through hardships but as Latinas we are really strong.

Organ Resource Center

Name- Organ Community Resource Center, Organ, NM, 88052

Agency-Dona Ana Health and Human Resources

What activities did your students participate in? Be-You-Nique Workshop

What do you think your students learned from this workshop? I saw them make a noticeable and amiable change in their attitude. They seemed to be more confident and talkative.

How do you think this workshop will benefit your students? I strongly believe that it was a step in the right direction for these young ladies. It has given them encouragement and a positive self-image.

What was your favorite part of the workshop? The girls were engaged in what they were doing and enjoying this.

Would you be interested in hosting another Latinitas workshop? YES! Why? The young ladies were very excited and were asking when you will be back.

I want to thank you very much for doing this workshop..

Respectfully,

 

RICHARD PORTILLO

Community Outreach Specialist I

Organ Community Resource Center

Dona Ana County HHS Department

Intern Testimonials 2013

We asked  a few of our interns to share what they learned through their internship with Latinitas….

  • “I learned that anything is possible, as long as you are willing to work for it.” – Janette, Multimedia Intern
  • “I learned how to meet deadlines, work with others and use my creativity to solve problems.” – Lizette, Editorial Intern
  • “I felt that I learned to interact with the girls a lot better and to be way more  understanding with them. I also learned to blog for the fist time.” – Alexis, Outreach Intern
  • “I have learned to become a better leader because of the after school clubs.” – Bianca, Outreach Intern
  • “The importance of networking. I also learned I can adapt to different writing styles.” – Coral, Translation Intern
  • “I learned more about the front and backside of running a non-profit, how to promote events in the real world and better team work skills.” – Desiraie, Marketing Intern
  • “To be more sociable” – Gladys, Multimedia Intern
  • “It increased my photography skills and know how to deal with the public.” – Istiban, Photography Intern
  • “I learned to create lesson plans and to develop good attitudes and abilities to be a good role model.” – Mara, Outreach Intern
  • “I feel I learned a bit about what an actual career in my field may be like.” – Marisol, Marketing Intern
  • “I learned how to edit videos, being comfortable with my writing and to save pictures on CD’s.” – Melissa, Multimedia Intern

Latinitas interns shared what they liked most about their internship

  • “The environment here is friendly. It is fantastic and this a great place to learn and see if this is what you want to do with your life.” – Desiraie, Marketing Intern
  • “My favorite part was being published and hopefully inspiring young girls with words.” – Lizette Ruiz, Editorial Intern
  • “I loved the relationship with the girls, and the friendships.” – Mara, Outreach Intern
  • “I feel that this internship allowed me to meet a lot of wonderful people. I feel it was a great opportunity to gain some experience within my field.” – Marisol, Marketing Intern
  • “I would most definitely recommend this internship to one of my friends especially if they are interested in working with children or non-profit organization work. This was an experience I want many people to experience.” – Alexis, Outreach Intern
  • “My biggest accomplishment was organizing an event which I have never done before. It was amazing to see girls attend the conference to aim high.” – Bianca, Outreach Intern
  • “A lot of trust is placed on the interns and they’re given serious responsibility in a fun encouraging environment, which is nice.” – Coral, Translation Intern
  • “Meeting local news anchors and getting advice for the future.” – Gladys, Multimedia Intern
  • “Have more knowledge about professionalism and increased my photography skills.” – Istiban, Photography Intern
  • “It was a great experience and it really helped me a lot” – Janette, Video Production Intern
  • “Great experience, and you get attached to some girls, and you meet new people.” Melissa Torres, Multimedia Intern

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