Engaged Latina Leadership Activist (ELLA) Program
The ELLA Program is a six-month leadership program created to help Latinas between the ages of 19-29 learn and gain leadership and civic engagement skills through a series of professional activities, resources and mentoring. The program consists of an intensive 3-day working retreat, a series of leadership trainings and an advocacy group project focusing on issues affecting Latinas, networking and a graduation ceremony.
The ELLA Program is a byproduct of Latina Coalition of Silicon Valley’s mission to create and sustain a network of professional women that support each other in the advancement of civic engagement and leadership – and implemented in partnership with the Santa Clara County Office of Women’s Policy. The program aims to develop future leaders that can tackle some of the most pressing issues impacting Latinas and supports the broader movement to empower Latina women in Silicon Valley.
The program consists of:
- Leadership Retreat – An intensive three-day retreat providing an introduction to civic engagement, leadership, and self-discovery.
- Latina Action Day – HOPE’s annual public policy and advocacy conference traditionally hosted in Sacramento, although 2021 will be virtual.
- Civic Training – A series of civic engagement training and workshops.
- Networking – Opportunities to network with local leaders and civically engaged Latinas through events and guest speakers.
- Final Project – A collective final project and presentation around an issue affecting the Latino community.
As with many great programs, the ELLA Program originated from an idea in the winter of 2007 by former LCSV Board Member Rachel Camacho. During that time LCSV noticed an increase in the number of young Latina members – primarily college students, recent graduates, and young professionals – seeking opportunities to develop their leadership skills and positively impact their community. As a response to this, the ELLA Program was formulated and mobilized in 2008 by Mrs. Camacho. The program has been successfully administered for 12 years and has graduated over 170 Latina women.
The program has been led by an LCSV Board member, the ELLA Coordinator and a committee ranging between 8 to 15 members consisting of board members, LCSV members, ELLA Alumni, and volunteers.
Currently, the program is supported by the following committed funders: The Castellano Family Foundation, The Santa Clara County Office of Women’s Policy, Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE), Comcast and YWCA of the Mid-Peninsula.