Workshop Testimonials

“Thank you so much for the opportunity to participate in such a wonderful event.  My daughter Fabiola truly enjoyed the game design adventure and is excited about starting her own game.  She is already talking about who might be her “BETA” testers. I am very impressed with your program.”

Maria Guadalupe Palop

Mother, Software Engineer

Latinitas Alumni Profile: Sara Martinez

In 2004, a 6th grader, Sara Martinez joined Club Latinitas. She  now is currently a journalism major at UT Austin. Recently, Sara came full circle back to Latinitas by joining our youth editorial advisory board. We are so proud to have her back! Eleven years ago, Sara Martinez joined one of the first Latinitas after school programs at Martin Middle School in Austin, TX. Her journey from then to now – becoming a musician, traveling to Japan, studying cosmetology, using that skill to afford college and apply to the University of Texas at Austin and now plans to be an international journalist is more than inspiring and impressive – it’s the dream we had for every chica who walked in Latinitas’ door!  Below Sara shares what Latinitas meant to her growing up, but also, more so, what a dynamic and thoughtful person she has always been.

What did you like about cutting hair/studying cosmetology?

SM: Ever since I was a little girl. Something that I cared about was my hair because I felt like it was part of my identity. A different style, color or cut can dramatically change a person’s image and self confidence, and that was something that attracted me to cosmetology. I liked studying cosmetology because I enjoyed watching how a person’s self confidence would go up after getting something done to their hair. Seeing their smile after seeing the finished product was something that kept me going throughout my years at cosmetology school.

What is it that draws you to journalism?

SM: When I was younger, I was very shy and stuttered frequently. I felt like I had no voice so I really liked to express myself through writing and social media which I discovered through Latinitas in middle school. Deep down inside through my years in high school, I felt that I wanted to study in college something that would help improve myself as a person. Because of my love of journalism, I have a physical voice now because I want to be heard. My stuttering and shyness in front of big groups of people has gone away because of my love of expressing my opinion. Majoring in journalism not only gives me the chance to be a voice but to also make sure that other people’s voices are being heard as well.

What’s next for Sara Martinez?

SM: My dream is to become an international music and fashion journalist. I’m expected to graduate with a degree in Journalism and a minor in fashion design next year. I’ve been studying Japanese for about four years now and I got a chance to live there during the summer of 2013; it is an experience that I hold very dear to my heart. I’m hoping to relocate to Japan after graduation so I can become a native speaker and attend a Japanese language school while looking for work. I want to find work in the Japanese television and magazine industry because that is a big market in Japan. During my trip, I discovered that although American pop culture is well known there, our actual culture is confusing to understand at times because it is completely different compared to Japanese culture. I want to become a bridge and a voice that will help Japanese people understand as to why things are the way they are in America. My love of learning and culture is something that has set me apart from a typical Latina and I think its because of my mixed heritage and being a first-generation american in my family. Given the chance to go to one of the top universities in the world and being part of a top ranked program has taught me that if I try really hard and follow my heart, then amazing things are possible. I want to be a person that can be looked up to.

What’s something about you that sets you apart as a “Latinita?”

SM: Latinitas was the reason why I was able to work my way to becoming the person that I am today. Coming from a family that is considered lower class here, made me think that I wouldn’t be able accomplish much in life. But looking back, I feel that I have accomplished so much and I haven’t even graduated college yet. Being a Latinita brought my self-confidence up and has given me the drive to make a difference like Laura, the CEO of Latinitas Magazine. What sets me apart as a “Latinita” is that I am confident and although I know that I make mistakes, that will never bring me down. Being mentored by Laura taught me that many things are possible and that dreams do come true if you are strong enough to pull through all the hard obstacles that come our way. Being a “Latinita” is something important because wherever this life takes me, the lessons and experiences with Latinitas will always be with me and giving me the drive to make a difference.

Business Chica Testimonials



In December, Latinitas hosted the Business Chica conference to connect girls with role models, help girls discover career options and to promote entrepreneurship. Girls had a chance to meet inspirational business owners, participate in financial literacy workshops and hear from college mentors majoring in business. During a hands-on competition, girls worked in small groups to develop their own product ideas, create a marketing plan, design a promotional poster, make a radio advertisement and to create their own business plan. Special thanks to Southwest University of hosting our workshop on-site, Angela Sustaita for co-chairing the event and for all the outstanding volunteers who helped make this event a success.

100% of girls reported discovering new career options
100% of girls reported learning about the importance of college
94% of girls reported developing new leadership skills
100% of girls reported learning valuable steps to becoming business owners

Several of our Business Chica participants shared these thoughts about the event…

What was your favorite part of the Business Chica event?
I liked the presentations that helped us think about what we want to be when we grow up. -Angelina
I enjoyed making the product ideas. -Ariana
I liked socializing with new people it has always been hard for me, but it came easily today.
I enjoyed doing the presentation with my friends and with other chicas. -Senorina
I liked learning about different businesses and designing my own product! – Faith
I liked the competition. – Vianney
When we got to plan our business and share and present. – Alyssa
I liked the business presentations. – Avery
I enjoyed the icebreakers and the presentations. -Andrea

What did you learn about career options & professional skills?
I learned that I can be who I want to be. – Andrea
I learned about some jobs that I didn’t know about before like owning a business.- Ariana
I learned about entrepreneurs. – Victoria
I learned that we have to save for college. – Senorina
Never give up. – Avery

What did you learn about leadership?
Women can be leaders too. – Andrea
Don’t be a follower and be a leader. – Senorina
Sometimes you have to take control of the situation and make it your own. – Ariana
I learned a good leader should surround themselves with good people. -Victoria

What did you learn about college?
We learned that all these successful women have college degrees and maybe more than one. -Ariana
Don’t quit on school. – Melanie
You can get a full scholarship or a half scholarship. – Melanie

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.
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:
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.
“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.”

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

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