Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Elizabeth (Liz) Gonzalez is a member of the Teen Leadership Institute. Liz's involvement with this institute motivated her to take on a bigger role with Latinitas. She is now currently working as an Editorial Intern. Liz loves to dedicate her to time with Latinitas making her one of the most involved members. We decided to interview Liz to know what she has to say about her involvement with Latinitas.
What is your role with Latinitas?
Well I am a teen writer, I am part of the leadership and have attended one of the spring camps and also interned in the summer.
How did you become interested in Latinitas?
I think I was seeking for journalism opportunities in El Paso online and I found out about Latinitas.
What do you like the most about being a part of Latinitas?
The atmosphere in Latinitas allows young women to open up and discuss about wide issues, something you might not get, in my experience in other situations working and interacting with other groups, Latinitas are very much alike and have similar ideas about society.
What has been your most rewarding experience with Latinitas?
Definitely volunteering with them has made me learn about social issues that face Latina Women and being a role model toward young middle school girls is beyond rewarding. I am most thankful for just having the opportunity to be part of them.
What have you learned as a result of joining Latinitas?
I have learned about leadership, women empowerment and how to become a influential role model in the community, It has made me more aware of the social change we can take part of instead of you know sitting home on a Saturday doing nothing, there are so many ways you can dedicate your time to. I have learned more about what I want to become in life and how I can create change towards issues I feel strongly about.
How has Latinitas helped you? How have you benefited from your involvement?
I think the creators really do a phenomenal job, I can only think of ways they have helped me endlessly, Latinitas truly has opened up my journalism experience. I applied to the Princeton Summer Journalism and was accepted, It was a not only a beyond thrilling educational experience but I was able to interact with other students and professionals who share the love for journalism. Alicia also helped me apply for the Texas Women's Conference in Houston and that was another amazing opportunity I was able to take part of. Latinitas has taught me how to become a better writer and I learn every day, It allows me to blog about my thoughts and opinions and some place were I can simply express myself. I think it has benefited me in every aspect of my education and goals I have, and changed my perspective of the impact I want to do in life.
What do you hope to accomplish in the future? Any specific goals?
I plan to study English and or political science at a four year college. (Hopefully the college of my dreams) But I really want to broaden my horizons in the East Coast. Write for the paper at the college and really soak up everything I can in college by internships, clubs/groups etc. And then become a awesome journalist! It would be beyond amazing to see myself write for the New York Times, but I think most importantly in my time in El Paso really push for academic change in the minds of students, and who knows, maybe I'll be working for a non-profit group like Latinitas (fingers crossed) The point of all of this is to take what I learned from Latinitas and apply that in my future.
On November 13, Angela Sustaita, who is the owner of Klothes Lime Buy-Sell-Trade Fashion, helped Latinitas through a fundraiser at her store. For this fundraiser, 50 percent of the proceeds went towards Latinitas' girl empowerment programs and scholarships. Because of Angela's positive contribution to Latinitas, we decided to interview her. Here's the interview with Angela:
How did you hear about Latinitas?
What made you decide to become a supporter for Latinitas?
What do you like the most about Latinitas?
That it makes girls proud to be who they are and that it helps them to be proud to be Latina..
Girls need positive role models, creative outlets, and something productive to occupy their time. This is beneficial for any girl.
Tickets can be purchased at http://www.suvozlatina.com/
Friday, October 1, 2010
Guests: Marisol Guzmán, Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator, Latinitas, El Paso, TX, www.latinitasmagazine.org ; Eliana Grijalva, Reporter, Latinitas, El Paso, TX, www.latinitasmagazine.org ; Ireri Unzueta, Member, Salud: Healing Through the Arts, Chicago, IL, newroutes.org/projects/salud ; Adriana Velásquez, Member, Salud: Healing Through the Arts, Chicago, IL, newroutes.org/projects/salud
Listen to the interview on-line: http://archivosderb.org/?q=en/taxonomy/term/18
Sunday, April 18, 2010
By Ouisa D. Davis
We say that the future is in the hands of our youth; that is even more the case in the current age of technology and human advancement. Some of the most pressing problems of our world and our community can be identified and addressed with the eyes of the young; eyes that are clear and bright and optimistic.
Each year, Global Youth Service Day celebrates and mobilizes the millions of children and youths who improve their communities each day through service and service-learning. April 23-25 will be the global celebration of youth changing the world.
Established in 1988, GYSD is the largest service event in the world and is celebrated in more than 100 countries. Targeted toward children and youths between 5 and 25 years old, the world's most critical issues will be addressed by the young in partnership with families, schools, community and faith-based organizations, businesses and governments.
The goals of the campaign are to mobilize youths to identify issues in their communities and develop solutions, to encourage organizations to provide for youth involvement and volunteer opportunities, to encourage media and policy-makers to promote and enable the young to become assets and resources in their communities. In this way, our young people begin a lifelong adventure of service and civic engagement.
Schools and civic organizations are eligible for funding, training and technical support to effectively engage in issue-development, critical analysis and planning to improve our community.
Each year, millions of young people in more than 100 countries participate in GYSD. In 2009, more than 1,200 El Paso youths from local high schools, colleges and community groups participated in GYSD by recycling e-waste, planting trees, giving food to the homeless, and cleaning up parks and graffiti around town.
More than 320 projects are already planned in the U.S., 17 in Texas alone. The United Way of El Paso County spearheads the Global Youth Service Day activities in our community.
One project is Latinitas' Amigas in Action, a service-learning project gathering girls and young women into after-school study groups to identify community needs, develop programs to address those needs and create media projects. Utilizing writing, photography, desktop publishing, graphic art, Web design, filmmaking and audio production, these volunteers will develop multimedia campaigns to raise community awareness and complete written, photo, art, film, online or audio projects distributed online, at schools and to the media.
Across the nation, young people are dreaming community gardens and parks, revitalizing neighborhoods, organizing 3K runs, developing campaigns to fight childhood obesity, planning to promote environmental initiatives and working with local governments to develop policy. One high-school group plans a day-long music fest, featuring youth bands, to raise money and awareness for their year-long project.
It is a good thing to challenge and include our youth in long-term planning for our community; after all, it is their world that they save. And community service activities are always required on college applications.
To register an event, serve on the Global Youth Service Day Coalition, or to participate in a project, contact Nicholas Fernandez at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (915) 999-1468.
Ouisa D. Davis is an attorney at law in El Paso. E-mail: Ouisadavis@yahoo.com
Saturday, March 13, 2010
EL PASO -- Latinitas will open its first leadership institute this week in the hope of giving women a stronger voice in the community.
According to its Web site, Latinitas is a nonprofit organization "focused on informing, entertaining and inspiring young Latinas to grow into healthy, confident and successful adults." Its digital magazines are made for and by Latina youth.
The leadership institute will start at 9 a.m. Saturday at the organization's headquarters at 1359 Lomaland.
"The girls will attend monthly workshops on leadership methods, decision-making skills, goal setting, public speaking, civic engagement and volunteering," said Alicia Rascon, Latinitas director and co-founder. "I definitely think young women now understand
The participants will attend monthly classes, go on field trips, meet positive woman role models, learn about their cultural heritage, build confidence and explore their own strengths through exercises and activities, organization officials said.
"We want to help them identify and cultivate their own leadership abilities," Rascon said. "The national levels for the Latino community are very high for dropout, suicide and teen pregnancy rates. We want these young women to overcome those challenges and become agents of change."
Membership is open to female Hispanic high-school students, but space was limited to a group of no more than30. Rascon said the students will benefit more by working in smaller groups.
"With a small group, the girls can get to know each other and work better," Rascon said. "We can focus and work with these girls to be more involved in their community." Rascon said the students will complete 20 hours of community service and two service projects.
"I am excited for this institute, because growing up, there wasn't a lot of opportunities for leadership," Rascon said. "I'm glad to offer this to girls now."
Pink Rivera may be reached at email@example.com; 546-6156.
By Mia R. Cortez
Posted February 3, 2010
El Paso teens Eliana Grijalva, Sara Elizabeth Sanchez and Zyanya Dickey are aspiring journalists. They plan on pursuing degrees in journalism after graduation and are getting their feet wet now by writing for Latinitas, an e-zine founded in Austin in 2002 by Alicia Rascon and Laura Donnelly-Gonzalez.
“There’s not much stuff for journalism in El Paso and I thought it was cool that the magazine gives you a chance, so I got involved,” said Grijalva, 16, a student at the Da Vinci School for Science and the Arts. “I never had any real experience in journalistic writing, but I’ve since learned how to interview, meet people I would never get to meet before and get my name out there as a writer.”
Grijalva is part of Teen Latinitas Council, a group of about 15 girls that meets once a month to discuss articles and blog postings on Latinitasmagazine.org. On the site, writers post articles in six general sections: 411, Fun, Latina Beat, Your View, Real Life and Her Story. Subcategories include beauty, body, money, technology, entertainment, culture, geography and “Mi Barrio.”
First of its kind
Latinitasmagazine.org started as a class project by then-UT Austin students Rascon and Gonzalez.
“At the time we felt there was a lack of media that affected young Latinas,” said Rascon, co-founder and CEO of Latinitas, Inc. “We met with a youth advisory board and received feedback that girls were not feeling represented in their community. The publications ‘Hispanic’ and ‘Latina’ targeted an adult audience; there wasn’t anything specifically for young Latinas. So after the class, we continued on with the project – it was the first of its kind.”
Rascon and Gonzalez also hoped to inspire and mentor young Latinas.
“I was a Chicano Studies minor, and I knew that Hispanics have the highest teen pregnancy rate and lowest high school completion rate,” Rascon said. “We wanted to give them advice as to how to overcome (statistics) and use media as a tool for empowerment.”
Volunteer hours pay off
Latinitas is a nonprofit that thrives on grants, community donations and volunteers.
“The first year, we were able to start the website and pay for our domain with a benefit concert,” Rascon said. “All the writing, editing, designing was done by volunteers.”
For six years in Austin, the site was maintained by hard-working volunteers. Rascon moved back to El Paso in 2008 and started up a Latinitas community in her hometown. Gonzalez still heads the Latinitas community in Austin.
Now the organization brings in $150,000 annually, Rascon said. About 25 percent goes to maintaining the website, and a large part of their funding goes to educational programs, but they are able to offer some staff and paid internship positions.
Latinitasmagazine.org receives about 30,000 hits a month and works with 3,500 middle and high school girls in the publication process – they write articles, take photos and edit. Their reach extends beyond Austin and El Paso to three other Texas cities, plus Las Cruces and Silver City. They were recently featured in an article in Spain and have received letters from Latinas around the world.
In November, Rascon was one of four recipients chosen nationally to receive a new Latina Rising Star award from the National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI) at the organization’s annual conference.
“Our goal is to serve more girls in more areas regionally,” Rascon said. “We would like to start a print edition; we’re wanting to make our content more accessible to girls who may not be able to access our site online.”
“It’s been really exciting to be able to start pursuing what I want to do so young,” said 17-year-old Zyanya Dickey, a student at Mission Early College High School in Horizon. “I got involved because I thought it was great that they allow teenagers and young adults to join their community.”
Dickey is interested in pursuing a career in magazine or radio. She currently helps edit stories for the Latinitas site.
“Editing is fun – reading other people’s work, you see different perspectives and ideas, but it’s a teaching experience as well,” Dickey said. “And writing is one of the most important means of expression, no matter what language you speak. There’s so many possibilities, it’s really fun.”
Sara Elizabeth Sanchez, a 17-year-old student at Loretto High School says her dream is to write for Newsweek Magazine or a leading newspaper such as the Washington Post.
Last summer, she participated in a Latinitas journalism internship and has continued to write for the e-zine.
“It has definitely improved my journalistic writing style and it has inspired me to speak and write what’s on my mind,” Sanchez said.
To learn more about Latinitas and the local programs offered, visit Latinitasmagazine.org.
Monday, March 1, 2010
“Latinitas made me feel proud of my culture, something I had been waiting for since I was a girl. I am now studying at LBJ’s Math and Science academy with plans to be a doctor. I know Latinitas has made me a more confident person.”
Denise Riojas, age 16
“I want to work in magazines now. I like the writing, but can do design too. The club helped me learn you could publish online first.”
Brianna Walker, age 16
“I want to be a musician, but Latinitas told me you have to make a business plan and write it out on Powerpoint, make a logo and all this digital stuff on a website so people know your tour dates. Our band is called No Exit now.”
Jacinda Smith, age 15