Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Staff Spotlight- Marisol Guzman

Staff Spotlight- Marisol Guzman

Marisol began working with Latinitas as a Public Relations Intern in the Fall of 2009. Volunteering as an intern, allowed her to get a feel for the hard, yet vital work that goes behind Latinitas’ enriching programs and made her understand the importance of helping and empowering Latina youth. Since then Marisol has received a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations, with a minor in Spanish, from the University of Texas at El Paso and has continued on board Latinitas’ mission as the Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator. She is fulfilling this position through the AmeriCorps VISTA program and is responsible for creating club curriculum along with training and coordinating club leaders and volunteers.

Intern Spotlight-Marcela Aguirre

Intern Spotlight- Marcela Aguirre

Marcela Aguirre is a senior Communication Studies major and French minor at UTEP. She is currently working as a Public Relations Intern for Latinitas. Marcela is currently involved in various honor societies, the National Communication Student Association Student Club, the Brazilian Culture Center, and Catholic Campus Ministry at UTEP.  As part of her extracurricular activites, Marcela enjoys dancing ballet, reading, tutoring young children, attending sporting events/concerts, and learning new languages. She decided to intern with Latinitas because she really likes the mission statement of Latinitas and because she wants to gain the experience of working in public relations for a non-profit organization. Marcela thinks that  an organization like Latinitas is important because she thinks that "it is important for young girls to be encouraged to be creative and to be encouraged to fulfill their dreams and desires." Marcela's future goals are to obtain a double master's degree in International Relations and Global Communication and eventually work in public relations for the United Nations or for a NGO.  

Member Spotlight- Elizabeth Gonzalez

Member Spotlight: Elizabeth Gonzalez

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.

Donor Spotlight- Ayer Photography

Luis Rodriguez, owner of Ayer Photography, donated his services to Latinitas this past August. He provided Latinitas with a photo shoot for 3 teens who won a back-to-school makeover and photo shoot through an essay contest. We interviewed Luis to see what he has to say about Latinitas.

How did you hear about Latinitas?
I heard about Latinitas because of a contest for empowering woman in which they had a professional make-up session, followed by a professional photo session. I was asked to be the photographer for this contest.

What made you decide to become a supporter for Latinitas?
I try and involve myself with the community as much as possible. By doing this shoot, I feel I'm involved in something greater than I.

What has been your contribution as a donor? 
As a donor I've contributed with a complimentary photo session for three Latinitas and a premium lustre 8x10 photo print of the best shot for each model.

What do you like the most about Latinitas?
I like the fact it expands beyond El Paso, including a strong presence in the Austin / San Antonio area.

Why do you think it is important for our community to have an organization like Latinitas?
I believe it is important to have programs to help elevate the confidence in young latina woman so they could be better prepared to handle obstacles in the future.

As your final remark, is there anything specific that you would like to say about Latinitas?
I just want to thank everyone responsible for choosing me as a donor. I appreciate the gesture, and I am here to help in the future if need be.

Teen Latinitas Fest

Latinitas helped girls ages 13 and up bring out their creative side with the Teen Latinitas Fest on Saturday, November 13 at KOI Studio Productions. This workshop provided hands-on training with photography, audio recording, graphic design, film making, and poetry.  Staff and Volunteers from KOI Studio Productions and Latinitas partnered to provide this free training workshop for young teens so that they could gain knowledge in digital technology. It also helped the girls develop their self-esteem and cultural pride while learning and having fun. This is the second year that Latinitas has partnered with KOI Studio Productions to provide this fun and engaging workshop for the community of young girls in El Paso.

December 2010: Upcoming Events


What: Winter Wonderland Fashion Show Fundraiser
When: December 10, 2010
Time: 11:00-2:00 pm
Where: Camino Real Hotel Ballroom
Order Tickets Online:

What: Latinitas Teen Writing Workshop
When: December 11, 2010
Time: 3:00-4:00 pm
Where: Judge Marquez Public Library (610 N. Yarbrough)
Grades 9th-12th

What: Latinitas Saturday Camp
When: December 11, 2010
Time: 1:00-3:00 pm
Where: Judge Marquez Public Library (610 N. Yarbrough)
Grades 4th-8th

What: Alliance for Latinitas Meeting-Volunteer Orientation
When: December 13, 2010
Time: 5:30-6:30 pm
Where: Latinitas El Paso Headquarters (1359 Lomaland)

Donor Spotlight: Klothes Lime

Donor Spotlight: Klothes Lime

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?
I had the pleasure of working with Alicia and the organization at my past employment at the Nonprofit Enterprise Center.

What made you decide to become a supporter for Latinitas?  
My office was a few doors down from the Latinitas' offices. I saw the organization at work first-hand on a daily basis. I was impressed how the organization leverages their interns and volunteers so efficiently and takes advantages of programs available throughout the community. The organization operates in an efficient manner and I knew that although my donations may not be considered substantial gifts, the dollars will go a long way.
What has been your contribution as a donor?
As I was starting my business, my first business expense was a donation to Latinitas. It was a symbol of support to come as well as a blessing for my new venture. On Saturday, November 13, Klothes Lime hosted a benefit shopping day for Latinitas, half of the proceeds for the entire day were donated to the organization.

What do you like the most about Latinitas?  
I love the that the organization is constantly seeking new partners and new avenues to gain support.
Why do you think it is important for our community to have an organization like Latinitas?
As a Latina women, I know that I would have greatly benefited from an organization like Latinitas. Growing up, as any other young adult, I dealt with insecurities and the negative pressures that surround us. It is important to empower our youth and bring positive experiences into their lives that will encourage them to be strong, active citizens in our community.
As your final remark, is there anything specific that you would like to say about Latinitas?
El Paso is privileged to have a chapter of the organization in our community. Alicia and the Latinitas team are dedicated and hard-working individuals with a passion to make El Paso a better community. It is vital that we support the efforts of individuals like this because they are hard to come by.

Member Spotlight: Stephanie Clark

Member Spotlight: Stephanie Clark

Stephanie Clark is a senior at Americas High School. She is currently working as a Teen Reporter for Latinitas. Stephanie is involved with her school newspaper and yearbook. She also takes part in student council, the Key Club, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), and Phi Chi which is an honor society for students in forensic sciences. Stephanie decided to intern with Latinitas after her exciting experience with Latinitas' camp this past summer. She believes that through this internship she can be a leader towards younger girls. Stephanie thinks that a program like Latinitas "is important for young girls, because as young girls there are times where we become very absorbed in society, and we become molds that society has created for in place of who we truly are. Latinitas puts girls back on the track of self discovery as young girls learn how to be beautiful in their own skin, stand up for what they believe in, learn to do what's right and so much more. It's extremely important for girls to have this form of representation." Her future goals are to graduate from high school and go to El Paso Community College to earn an associate's degree. She then plans to transfer to Texas Christian University to obtain a bachelor's degree in Communications. She also wants to get a master's degree in Communications at the same university. Stephanie would like to work as an anchor or reporter during her college years.

Meet Latinitas Intern: Melissa Espejo

Meet Latinitas Intern: Melissa Espejo
Melissa Espejo graduated from UTEP with a double major in Marketing and International Business. She is currently working as a Marketing/Advertising Intern for Latinitas. Melissa enjoys reading, going to the movies, playing sports, and learning new languages. She is also currently working as a cheerleading coach for middle and high school girls. Melissa decided to intern for Latinitas because she wants to develop her professional skills while volunteering for a non-profit organization. She thinks that an organization like Latinitas is important because she thinks that " youth in general need positive guidance while their personalities are being formed. They need positive role models to serve as an example to them and positive activities to get involved with." Melissa's future goals are to get a master's degree in Marketing, which she plans to study overseas. Her overall goal is to make a difference in society.

Meet Latinitas Club Leader: Jasmin Palomo

Meet Latinitas Club Leader: Jasmin Palomo

Jasmin Palomo is a Media Advertising undergraduate student. She is currently working as a Club Leader with Latinitas. Through her positive leadership with Latinitas, Jasmin has become a role model for the girls. We decided to interview Jasmin to learn more about her interest for Latinitas. 
How did you become interested in Latinitas?  I was impressed with the kind of work the organization deals with. 
What do you like most about Latinitas?
That it makes girls proud to be who they are and that it helps them to be proud to be Latina..
Why do you think an organization like Latinitas is important for young girls? 
Girls need positive role models, creative outlets, and something productive to occupy their time. This is beneficial for any girl. 

Winter Wonderland Fundraiser

Snowflakes, Christmas trees, and hot chocolate are some things that come to mind as winter gets closer. However, fashion should also come to mind as the Winter Wonderland Fundraiser gets closer. On December 10, Su Voz Latina Magazine will be hosting a fashion show at the Camino Real Hotel to benefit  Latinitas.  The event will take place from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, and it will feature designs from local fashion boutiques. The idea behind this fashion show is not only to help local female business leaders get exposure and network, but to help support Latinitas' vision and mission statement; which is to empower Latina youth. Businesses can purchase a vendor booth that includes 2 tickets or they can just purchase the tickets separately. It must be noted that Su Voz Latina Magazine chose Latinitas among a large pool of candidates to sponsor them through a fundraiser.  As a result, the magazine created this fashion show in which all proceeds will go directly to help Latinitas' girl empowerment programs and scholarships.  Don't forget to mark your calendars to attend the Winter Wonderland Fashion Show in December!
Tickets can be purchased at