2017 Participants

Amada Montelongo
San Jose State University, Justice Studies
Arizona State University, Masters in Criminal Justice

Cinthia Zamora Arenas
California State University, Chico, Sociology

Elizabeth Vasquez
University of California, Santa Barbara, English

Estela Lozano
Brandeis University, Health, Science, Society, and Policy, & Latin American/ Latino Studies

Fatima Esquivel
San Francisco State University, Family and Consumer Sciences


A big thank you to the 2017 ELLA Chair, Cristina Garcia, for dedicating her time and leading the 2017 class!

Laura Alvarez-Santos
Boston University, International Relations

Loraina Flores
City College of San Francisco, Women’s Studies

Marlene Juarez
Gavilan College, General Ed.

Monica Orozco
San Jose State University, Communications

Sandy Vasquez
San Francisco State University, Criminal Justice

Stephanie Segovia
Sonoma State University, Chicano and Latino Studies
University of San Francisco, Masters Higher Ed. and Student Affairs

ELLA Video Projects

The ELLA final project is to develop a video PSA discussing issues that impact Latinas.

During their 6-month participation in the ELLA Program, we challenged ELLAs to get in groups and create video project PSAs – each focusing on a different issue affecting Latinas in Silicon Valley. We provided them with a video trainer, expert speakers on the subject, as well as coaching & mentoring and let them manage the rest! The winning video was judged by a panel of community members & experts and announced at graduation. Each group member received a $200 (each) scholarship from Latina Coalition.

Check out the videos below!

Economic Advancement of Latinas in Silicon Valley
Congratulations to the scholarship winning group! Fatima Esquivel, Stephanie Segovia, Monica Orozco, and Loraina Flores

Women & Girls Justice for Latinas in Silicon Valley


Each year, Engaged Latina Leadership Program (ELLA) participants, partake in a 3-day intensive working retreat where they have the opportunity to disconnect, recharge and grow. We are happy to share their feedback with you. Checkout just a handful of testimonials below.

“The ELLA retreat pushed me to step out of my comfort zone in so many ways. I was taught to not only examine what I consider my weaknesses but to also look at my strengths. This is something so many of us aren’t very comfortable with.”

“It was nice to be in a space where I am surrounded by a group of women who are capable and willing to take on the world. I’m so incredible thankful to be given an opportunity to grow and learn with them and can’t wait to see what this program will bring!”

“Attending the ELLA retreat was a unique, powerful experience for me. To discover that there are so many powerful, successful Latinas and also like minded Latinas whom I’m embarking on this journey with within my home range was very inspirational and has set the foundation for what I’m hoping is my future success.”

“The ELLA program is just what I need to help me connect with strong, ambitious Latina women during the young professional stage in my adult life. Thank you Latina Coalition of Silicon Valley!”

“I came to the retreat feeling unsure if this was for me. From the very beginning to the last moment, I felt welcomed and valued. Hearing from other professional Latinas was of great encouragement to continue my journey as an advocate for women rights. I look forward to the rest of the program and it’s support in my professional growth.”

End of Year Testimonials

“I feel like i’ve grown so much in the last few months in which I’ve felt more confident in speaking my voice. I’ve found my new growth weave into my personal and work life.”

“This program has been great at allowing me to meet so many wonderful people who share many of similar aspirations and goals. It has allowed me to find my voice and grow confident in speaking out.”

“As a recent college graduate, the ELLA program has allowed me to continue to develop skills in professionalism, networking and community involvement. Overall, this program has given me a group of role models who now feel like family.”

“I sincerely have grown so much in ways that I did not anticipate or expect. I’ve met so many powerful women who are pioneering positive change in various communities. I am always proud to say that I’m participating in this program because this is a space where I truly feel like I’m my best self.”

“The ELLA program is so unique that Latinas a space to feel comfortable but also room to grow and learn from others. There are not many spaces like this so I am very grateful to have this opportunity.”

“I am very grateful to LCSV and to ELLA for allowing me to share a space with such amazing women. For allowing me to share my personal story and making me feel at home. I had never had the opportunity to be surrounded with individuals with similar backgrounds and were able to relate and understand me. This program helped me grow as a strong Latina Women. I learned skills networking skills that will last a lifetime. I will continue to give back to my community and address issues affecting it. Lastly, I will forever hold LCSV in my heart for all the laughs, great memories and friendships I gained during this leadership program experience.”

Be sure to check back for more news on the 2017 class and stay up-to-date with the latest Latina Coalition and ELLA program updates via our Facebook and Twitter! As always, you can email for ELLA related questions and for general Latina Coalition questions.