Sunday, December 6, 2009

Club Leader Spotlight: Leah Martinez

Club leaders for our after-school programs are at the core of our girls' success. Much like the girls they reach out to, Club Latinitas leaders have overcome obstacles and broken stereotypes to become successful college students and outstanding citizens in their communities. They strive to set the positive examples young Latinas are so desperately in need for today.

Being a club leader is not only contingent upon following lesson plans and taking roll. Club leaders ensure safe and fun learning environments where every member including every club mentor and volunteer feels comfortable enough to gain knowledge, express themselves while growing to become empowered Latinas. Leah Martinez is a club leader for the Ysleta Public Library Branch in the Lower Valley of El Paso.

The UTEP student said she enjoys working with people of all ages, and knows teaching young girls will add her teaching experience.

"I like that the girls really get involved with the material and how honest they are," Leah said.

Despite the joy Leah said she has in leading the group of girls, she does confess to having a few predispositions before applying to be a club leader.

"I had already been in a teaching environment previously but with adults, so I expected it to be a bit difficult with pre-teen and teenage girls, Leah admitted.

But now, Leah said, the girls have blown her away with how well they participate and take active roles in the activities.

"The girls are open to discussion, writing and love taking pictures," Leah added.

Latinitas club leaders help bridge the gap between young Latinas and other peers their age. Providing a strong core for Latinitas volunteers and Club Latinitas members, leaders continuously put in the effort to assure all receive quality educational and culturally-focused experiences from club meetings. Setting an example and mentoring young girls, these leaders balance jobs, school, and club meetings, making them true inspirations.

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