20 Latina Girls Under 20

Young Latinas are paving the way as community leaders, activists and volunteers. A wave of young talented Latinas are ready to become the future leaders of America. These young Latinas are getting involved, acting as leaders and creating positive change.


Ana Quinones, 20 Latinitas Under 20

Name: Ana Quinones Age: 17 Hometown: El Paso, TX Volunteer Experience Ana participates in many community service organizations, such as the NAtional Honor Society and the L.E.A.D program at Socorro High School. She volunteers her weekends at the Humane Society of El Paso on her own account, and she also participates in events held at the Lee Moor… Read more

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Miriam Wnorowski, 20 Latinitas Under 20

Name: Miriam Wnorowski Age: 14 Heritage: Mexican-American Hometown: Austin, Texas Volunteer Experience: Miriam has been involved with Girl Scouts since first grade. This year she completed her Silver Award as a Cadette Girl Scout. She wanted to make some upgrades to the Zilker Park Girl Scout cabin in Austin, TX. She spent over 50 hours… Read more

Big Sis for Girls


Big Sis Spotlight: Rachel Jackson

“We are not going to show up on the syllabus. We always have to interrupt and tell our stories.” Rachel Jackson’s passionate voice could be heard over the Starbucks noise as she explains how modern political theory can intersect with her Latina identity. Having majored in Politics and minored in Spanish, the knowledge that she… Read more


Sorority Sister Spotlight: Arlina Garcia

Do you remember the last time you were in a brand new setting? Making friends and being yourself isn’t so easy when you’re not in your comfort zone, but sometimes there are ways to ease these transitions. Arlina Garcia is a junior at the University of Texas at Austin (UT) and a sister of the… Read more

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College Leader: Jackie Sifuentes

If you had asked a six-year-old Jackie Sifuentes what she wanted to be when she grew up, she would have been quick to tell you she wanted to be a doctor. Fifteen years later, the dream is still going strong as she nears the end of her undergraduate career at Southern Methodist University in Dallas,… Read more


Chica Who Cares: Jo Marie Duran

Latinitas is recognizing Chicas Who Care by featuring young Latinas who are making a difference in their community. Name: Jo Marie Duran Age: 15 Grade: 10th grade Tell us about a cause that you are passionate about. Recycling, I thought many people in my school didn’t contribute to it. Why is this problem important? Because… Read more

Karla Leal from Telemundo kicked off the conference with some TECH Chica cheering! Photo credit: Hanne VH

Itzel Castelan

Name: Itzel Castelan Age: 14 Cultural Background: Mexican Classification: freshman Hometown: Austin, TX What are some of your classes? Dance, English, Geography and History Describe a typical day as a high school student? I live right down the street from my school, but since my older sister is a senior she drives us. I go… Read more

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Big Sis: College Mentor

Name: Liz Carrillo Age: 21 Cultural Background: Hispanic Classification: Junior Major: Business & Marketing What made you decide to go to college? I knew I wanted to go to college since I was little because I wanted to become someone in life. What made you pick your major? I started college as a finance major… Read more

Careers for Girls


Career Spotlight: History Professor

Irma Victoria Montelongo received her Ph.D. in Borderlands History from the University of Texas at El Paso.  Her fields of study include Gender and Sexuality, Latin American History, U.S. History with a sub-field in Immigration Studies, and Borderlands History with a sub-field in Race and Ethnic Studies.  Her research and teaching interests focus on race,… Read more


Career Spotlight: Managing Editor

Name: Lizette Ruiz Position & Title: Managing Editor Employer: BorderSenses City & State El Paso, TX Website http://www.bordersenses.com What are some of your job responsibilities? My responsibilities include working with the editorial staff, which is made up of the Fiction Editor, Poetry Editors, and Spanish Editor. I am in charge of submission management, such as… Read more

Girls on Computers

Encouraging Girls in Computing

Daniela Miranda Young Women in Computing Program Coordinator Employer: New Mexico State University Hometown: Chihuahua, Mexico What are some of your job responsibilities? I’m focused on outreach to increase the number of students in computer science. Help them find I run after-school programs and summer camps where girls learn about Snap, lego robotics, app inventor… Read more


Career Spotlight: Engineer Libby Howell

Position & Title: Electrical Engineer/ Computer Network Assessor Auditor Employer: US Army Research Laboratory City & State: El Paso, Texas What are some of your job responsibilities? “We do certifications and accreditation of army systems for the risk management framework. Normally, I am a team lead so we go and access the army systems to… Read more


Latina in the Art World

Iris Cahill is the Coordinator of Docents and Tours at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas. The museum is well known for its collections of European and Latin American Art, and Iris, who has studied art for most of her life, is well versed in its artwork. She has become a prominent figure… Read more

Photo Credit: http://www.kint.com/artist/rosy-zugasti/

Career Spotlight: Journalist

As a Latina, it brings a lot of pride watching other Latinas excel in their careers. This is the case with Rosy Zugasti, a Mexican reporter whose passion for journalism brought her to begin her education in the United States and whose language barriers did not prevent her from succeeding. In this interview, Rosy Zugasti… Read more

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Dreams On Pointe

For many girls, attending dance is a great way to have fun or to participate in an exciting form of exercise. For others, it is the passion that pushes them to the edge of exhaustion and then some, in order to be the graceful figure on stage. Becoming a professional dancer is something that has… Read more


Career Spotlight: Reporter

Name: Denise Olivas Position & Title: Reporter/Anchor Employer: KVIA Location: El Paso, TX What are some of your job responsibilities? I am a reporter for Good Morning El Paso and co-anchor for ABC-7 at Noon. Some of my responsibilities include gathering stories, conducting interviews, and writing and editing stories for newscasts. Describe your educational background… Read more


Becoming a Media Superstar

María Elena Salinas, an inspiring role model for Latinas, has had an amazing career at the Spanish-language news station. María is a journalist from Los Angeles who has grown and developed throughout her career at Univision. Being born and raised in California to two Mexican immigrants gives her the on-the-ground knowledge of several aspects of… Read more

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Career Spotlight: Principal

Elizabeth Maldonado uses her experiences as a student as well as an educator in her efforts to better how children are taught in her community. Having grown up in a neighborhood that lacked resources, Elizabeth Maldonado developed a passion for teaching in low income areas, where students are often overlooked and slip through the cracks… Read more

Cool Clubs for Girls


Global Scribes: Youth Uniting Nations

Written by Jessica Aguilera  In today’s world, the ability to share, relate, and tap into others’ lives is almost instantaneous. Connecting con su familia and your friends in Spanish speaking countries can be reached with a post on Facebook. Or a video uploaded to youtube, even a tweet can become viral, allowing millions of people worldwide the ability… Read more


The Story of Girl Scouts

Laura Bush, Dakota Fanning, Sandra Day O’Connor, Grace Kelly, Katie Couric, Taylor Swift, Barbara Walters, and Celine Dion are all talented and highly regarded women in their fields. Their outstanding leadership is well known but, that which few people realize is that all these women have one more thing in common; each of them was once a… Read more

Cool Clubs for Girls

Bring your daughter to work day, everyday!

Take Our Daughters (and now sons) Day has passed (April 28), but there is a group of young Hispanics who work with mom everyday – assisting with or learning how their mamis make an income. Mia Azul, a 7 year old first grader, interns at her mom’s studio at home. Unlike the traditional experience of… Read more


Chapters for Student Journalists

In high school, you have school newspaper or journalism clubs after school, but what happens when you go to college? Latino journalism students have a place of their own and it’s called college chapters of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. I attend the University of Texas at Austin and I happily report our group… Read more

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Latina Sororities

In the most recent episode of the ABC Family show Greek, Casey Cartwright, the stunningly blonde and beautiful Zeta Beta Zeta (a made up sorority) sister, planned a “Dry, alcohol-free, Weekend” for her sisters and the whole Greek system. The popular teen show tunes viewers into the ups and downs of mainstream college sororities and… Read more

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No Kidding

Being a parent is hard work.  When the parent is still a teenager, it makes it even more challenging to take on the responsibility of another life.  The late nights, the expenses, and the worry, can sometimes be forgotten when a baby’s face is all that someone sees. No Kidding is a program that tries… Read more

Hispanic Mother Daughter Program

The Hispanic Mother Daughter Program can help you find the answers to these questions. This program will show you the benefits of a college degree and help you get in. The Hispanic Mother-Daughter Program has numerous college prepartory programs across the nation that focus on helping young Latinitas like you go to college. Many young… Read more

Leading Latinas for Girls


Spotlight: Latina Activists

Armed with a powerful voice and a passion for civil rights, these woman made a huge impact with their activism. Rigoberta Menchu, Guatemalan activist, won a Nobel Peace Award in 1992 for her contributions to civil rights campaigns. Born and raised in Guatemala, she overcame civil disobedience and grief. Various members of her family were tortured, which includes… Read more

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Career Spotlight: Director of Nemours Children’s Hospital

By Blair Beggan, Director of Communications for The Association of Air Medical ServicesMaria Fernandez, the Director of Nemours Children’s Hospital, has aced both personal and professional challenges to rise to her current position, but she wouldn’t change a thing. Her heritage and her culture only aid in the work she does today, and I was… Read more


Outstanding Latinas in Politics

As part of Women’s History Month, we are spotlighting influential Latinas who have made a difference in the community and/or their field. Vilma Martínez From 2009 – 2013, Vilma Martínez, a democrat, became the first woman to be the U.S. Ambassador to Argentina. Born October 1943, Martinez has an impressive history as a civil rights… Read more


Latina Actresses Making a Difference

Whether they’re famous or not, these women are rising up the Latina pride. These women have achieved incredible things and they should be recognized for everything they’ve done, not just for being a pretty face or for being famous. Rosario Dawson Born in the US, Rosario Dawson has Puerto Rican and Afro-Cuban roots; she’s a… Read more


Journalist Zita Arocha

 Zita Arocha is a Cuban-American bilingual journalist and senior lecturer in the University of Texas At El Paso. She is director of Borderzine.com, a multimedia web magazine that prepares Hispanic college journalists for jobs in 21st century newsrooms. For over 20 years, she worked as a reporter for The Washington Post, The Miami Herald, The Miami News and The Tampa… Read more

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Social Activist Dolores Huerta

Did you know that… Activist and labor leader, Dolores Huerta has dedicated her life to working to improve social and economic conditions for farm workers and to fight discrimination. She was born Dolores Fernandez on April 10, 1930, in Dawson, New Mexico. She grew up in Stockton, California in the San Joaquin Valley. In 1960,… Read more


10 Latinas in History

It’s Women’s History Month and what better way to celebrate then to learn about some awesome Latinas that have made an impact in the world. From politics to sports to education, there is no shortage of chicas that have made a name for themselves and have proven to be some world-class women. Here is a… Read more


Latinas in TV & Film

These famous women helped pave the way for generations of Latinos in TV and film.  In the early days of Hollywood, some of these Latina actresses opened doors by being the first Latina stars. More recently, Latinas in TV have reached new heights of stardom by becoming highly visible and starring in their own shows. EARLY… Read more


HERstory: Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo was a storyteller who shared her personal stories of love, pain, pride and self-discovery using paintbrushes and a mirror. To this day, she is considered not only of one Mexico’s greatest artists but an icon for Mexican culture and feminine beauty, women’s rights and equality. She was born Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y… Read more


Sylvia Orozco: The Mind Behind Mexic-Arte

If you’ve ever been to Austin, Texas, you have probably seen the museum Mexic-Arte that is located in downtown Austin. The museum, which was founded in 1984, started out as a small gallery in a 300 square foot warehouse. The mission for this museum has always remained the same: to teach the people of Austin… Read more

My Diary for Girls


El Orgullo Cubano: Why I’m Proud of My Roots

I was born in Havana, Cuba in the spring of 1995. By December of 1999, I was on an airplane bound for the United States of America. I spent my ESOL days in Orlando, spent second grade living in the Everglades, and ultimately came to rest in Miami where I spent all of my adolescence…. Read more

My Diary for Girls

Girl Diary: A Day In My Life

Vea este artículo en español aquí Hello! My name is Cynthia Cervantes and I am 12-years-old. I am a seventh grader in California, and my favorite subjects are history and math. In my spare time, I like reading, watching TV and playing school with my little sisters. My experience with scleroderma began more than a… Read more

My Journey to America

Immigrant: one that immigrates, a person who comes to a country to take up permanent residency. That is the definition for an immigrant according to Webster’s Dictionary. Have you ever asked yourself why the real meaning of the word immigrant included in the dictionary definitions? For me, being an immigrant means changing your customs, leaving… Read more

Girl Diary: Thinking Positive

High school senior Natalia Barra decided to share her story with us. “My mom had me at a young age and went through a lot of struggles through her life,” Barra said. “I knew one thing for sure. I did not want to have sex until I was old enough to take care of a… Read more

Out & Proud

For me, being a lesbian and Latina means that I have to learn how to reconcile being openly gay with my culture. Everyday Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (GLBTQ) people are harassed, beaten, abused and even killed for simply being who they are. Now imagine being a lesbian and Latina.  Think of the conformity… Read more

Diary of an Exchange Student

Editor’s Note: The following is a two-part reading of diary excerpts from a German student, Josi, who came to live in Austin, Texas as part of a student exchange program. This type of international program allows high school students to live in a foreign country for a semester or two. Usually, there are organizations that… Read more

Superstars for Girls


Running with Ambition

A successful athlete and student, Ayla Lopez has worked hard to be where she is today. Entering her senior year of high school this year, she looks forward to another running season and beyond that: college. This is her story. Often training in the scorching heat of Texas, Alya Lopez has been working hard to… Read more


Michelle Phan: Remaining True to Your Goals

This March during Spring Break I had the opportunity, thanks to Latinitas, to attend SXSW. SXSW is a set of film, interactive and music festivals and conferences that occur annually in Austin, Texas. This year both Latinos and women were prominently featured, and I attended with the goal of learning as much as I could from figures… Read more


Young Female Artists in San Antonio

San Antonio features several young artists, musicians, and poets throughout the city. Meet some of the vibrant artistic women in San Antonio. Manuela Gonzales Born in Venezuela, she began to discover her love for drawing at an early age. Now, she attends St. Mary’s University as an Internal Relations student and still regularly draws on… Read more


Latinas Find Voice, Identity in Art

The future art majors of the world are about to hit the homestretch of their high school careers. Already, art hopefuls are awaiting art school response letters and anticipating the hardships of futures as professional artists. Despite all the stress and uncertainty, young creatives remain as passionate as ever. Gabby Desporte, a high school senior… Read more


Talento Latino: Haide

A television station called Estrella TV, whose headquarters are in Los Angeles, held auditions for their show called “Tengo Talento Mucho Talento.” Auditions were held across the United States and Latinitas was able to interview one of the show’s contestants, Haide. One audition was held in Austin, Texas. In the Austin audition, a young 19-year-old Latina… Read more


Gymnast: Madison McGuire

At only age 8, Madison McGuire already has big dreams and has her plans set on becoming an Olympian. Madison McGuire has been in gymnastics for four years now and has come a long way, but not without the help of her family. She has a twin, three brothers, a loving mother, father and stepmother… Read more

Laura Saldivar, photo courtesy from Discussawards.com.

Chica Who Cares: Laura Saldivar

Meet a modern day superwoman. A Senior in high school, Laura Saldivar has a resume most college grads wish they had. Before the age of 17, she implemented teen driving safety programs in Illinois through several educational outreach programs. As an advocate for service learning, the implementation of several safe driving outreach programs, like the… Read more


Calista Caroline Burns, 20 Latinitas Under 20

Calista Caroline Burns, age 11 Nominated by:  Girls Inc. of San Antonio Hometown:  San Antonio, Texas Volunteer Experience:  Calista has fed meals to the eldery during Thanksgiving. She was one of the top 5 fundraisers for the iWin Joe Jonas Fun Run Benefitting the Special Olympics. Calista has also volunteered at a local children’s home… Read more


Elizabeth Lara, 20 Latinitas Under 20

Elizabeth Lara Age: 17 Heritage: Mexican-American Hometown: Cd.Juarez, Mexico Volunteer Experience: I have volunteereed at school selling concessions during volleyball games, hosting fundraisers, participating in canned food drives, contributing to coat drives and at school festivals I have worked certain booths. Also, I have participated in the LULAC convention for women and for the BMW Passion for Fashion… Read more

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Nancy Martinez, 20 Latinitas Under 20

Nancy Martinez, age 16 Hometown: Alexandria, VA Nominated By: Noraine Buttar Volunteer Experience: Nancy volunteers for several organizations. She is one of two youth on the Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Alexandria’s (SAPCA) board of directors. She also participates in all of SAPCA’s activities. Nancy served as a Project Sticker Shock volunteer, where she worked… Read more