Empowering young Latinas is a priority for NCLR. This month, NCLR Lideres kicked off our effort to do this with the Entre Mujeres program.
NCLR Affiliates who are subgrantees of the program gathered in Dallas to launch the new gender-based program for high school girls.
The following Affiliates will be working with NCLR to carry out the goals of Entre Mujeres: Con Mi Madre of Austin, Texas; Hispanic Women’s Corporation of Phoenix; Mujeres Latinas En Acción of Chicago; New Economics for Women of Los Angeles; Sociedad Latina of Roxbury, Massachusetts; and the Mexican American Council of Homestead, Florida.
Each Affiliate had the opportunity to send one female student representative and one female chaperone to the Entre Mujeres kickoff. The six girls and educators were trained in the program’s curriculum, sometimes together and other times they were split up into separate groups.
Veronica Alarcon, the Entre Mujeres Program Manager, led the workshops with the female educators.
“The mission of Entre Mujeres is to empower Latina high school students to recognize their personal worth and strengthen their leadership abilities, self-confidence, and leverage their cultural assets to serve as agents of change in the Latino community and beyond,” said Alarcon.
NCLR will be providing these educators ongoing technical assistance, opportunities for professional development, and access to relevant positive femininity curricula as they implement the Entre Mujeres program in their schools and organization. Each educator will be responsible of guiding a cohort of 10–15 young women.
“I am really happy that I came to the Entre Mujeres training. I feel so reenergized to continue the amazing work we have started here for young women,” said Priscilla Maldonado, Program Coordinator at Con Mi Madre. “Coming here, I saw how much of an impact this made to my student, who accompanied me to this kickoff, and also for myself.”
The most important part of the Entre Mujeres kickoff were the activities the young girls had to participate in, which modeled the curriculum they will be participating in throughout the year. These activities included group discussions in circles, writing reflections in their journals, sharing their personal struggles as females, and creating a safe space for young women to share their obstacles both at school and at home.
Former Miss Oklahoma Latina Angela Vivar Romero was the special guest invited to facilitate the group discussions and model the Entre Mujeres group circles, which is part of the curriculum. Romero served on the NCLR Líderes Youth Summit staff from 2009–2013. Not only has Romero been very involved with the NCLR Líderes programming, she also manages the Diversity Academic Support Department at Oklahoma State University.
These discussions left many of the girls moved. They opened up to one another and even participated in an activity where they highlighted the qualities of an ideal boyfriend and healthy relationships. By the end of the event, each girl had the skills to help other young women in their cohort back home manage these discussions along with their educators.
“I’m leaving this event with many friends. I really bonded with the other five girls. We talked about our personal issues and really grew together in these past few days,” said Yadira Dominguez, youth representative for Con Mi Madre. “We plan to stay in contact throughout this program and I am really happy about that.”