In 2015, the ELLA Program graduated 11 Latina leaders. Throughout the program ELLAs learned a lot from our wonderful speakers such as Darcie Green (Civic Engagement), Guadalupe Rodriguez (Crisis Pregnancy Centers and Reproductive Justice), and Ruth Silver Taube (Wage Theft and Worker’s Rights). Google, Mayor Sam Liccardo’s Office, Kaiser Permanente, Planned Parenthood, PIQUE and the Katharine and George Alexander Community Center were few of the organizations that hosted our training sessions. (Thank you to our speakers, hosts, and supporters.) ELLAs also had the opportunity to explore advocacy by advocating for bills related to healthcare and education in Sacramento. They were also introduced to video production which can be used as an advocacy tool. Through the production of their video they became exposed to some of the issues that affect Latino/as such as Wage Theft, Latino/s in Media, Violence Against Women on College Campuses, and Crisis Pregnancy Centers. Relatives of the graduates, LCSV boardmembers, LCSV members, and community members attended the graduation ceremony in August. At graduation, LCSV premiered the winning video which was on sexual assault on college campus by Katiuska Pimentel Vargas, Bianca Garcia, and Laura Moya. Watch the winning video here!
“The Ella program helped me unravel the leaderships skills I had within myself. I was exposed to challenging issues and was granted the opportunity to take real actions to change them. As I continue my journey into my own community work, I continue to use the tactics and tools ELLA has bestowed on me to do my absolute best in any community work I’m involved in.” – Alejandra Reyes, Class of 2015
“Being part of the ELLA Program has taught me diverse skills in communication and public speaking through various networking events, public speaking at San Jose City Hall, and especially during interviews for the Video Project. Since the beginning, the Latina Coalition of Silicon Valley provided me with sisters and valuable mentors who not only supported me during the program, but always tried to help me reach my short-term and long-term professional dreams. Through networking and becoming invested in the work of various ELLA Board Members and alumns, I was fortunate enough to get hired as a News Intern at Telemundo 48. It is my dream to carry on the legacy and mission of the ELLA Program in my current position, by always striving to give back to the Hispanic community that has inspired me to work hard and achieve my goals.” – Fabiola Fernandez, Class of 2015
“The ELLA program helped me enhanced my leadership skills and develop a network with other inspiring Latina leaders. The mentorship provided through the program inspired me to continue advancing my career and educational goals. The professional development workshops provided me with the tools to continue my future goal to attend law school. I been able to develop beautiful friendships and get to meet resilient, powerful, and inspiring Latina leaders. Thank you LCSV for the opportunity to be part of this amazing program!”– Katiuska Pimental Vargas, Class of 2015
“Participating in the Ella program was both enlightening and educational. One of the many skills I was able to improve during the program was my networking skills. I made lifelong connections with other inspirational Latina Leaders that have served as mentors. I currently work for HIP Housing as a Home Sharing Coordinator working to improving housing and the lives of people in our community. With housing coast in the Bay Area constantly rising Home Sharing is one of the very few affordable housing options for many.” – Laura Moya, Class of 2015
“The ELLA Program was such a rewarding experience to have gone through! Prior to joining I was lost in the “real world” trying to navigate spaces as a young Latina professional. Being a part of the ELLA Program and getting introduced to the LCSV network felt like such a breath of fresh air! I was warmly welcomed into not just a network but a sisterhood of ladies that were excited to provide me and my fellow ELLA sisters with the tools and the support system needed to grow as leaders and as Latinas. I now feel more confident in the work I do because I know I’m not alone and I have a whole team of Latinas behind me!” – Maryela Perez, Class of 2015
“Through the ELLA program, I have established new friendships, connections and life learned lessons. Not only did I learn about the Latinos issues, politics, self-awareness but I was able to showcase my passion through the media project and civic engagement. Being part of the program has definitely impacted my interests in my career and involvement with my community. I highly recommend the ELLA program to every Latina out there because you will learn to empower yourself as Latina and create the change you want to see in the world. #PoderLatino” – Ruby Chavez, Class of 2015