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An organization founded by Wakefield High School alumna is returning to its stomping grounds this September to give back.
Founded in 2004 by Latina students and Wakefield school counselor Madeline LaSalle, Latinas Leading Tomorrow (LLT) offers young women in the D.C. area free camps and programs focused on STEM as well as professional and leadership development.
Fresh from running a STEM summer camp that targeted first-generation Latina middle-schoolers in July, LLT will next offer an after-school program for girls at Yorktown High School, Wakefield and the Arlington Career Center.
“This program focuses on leadership development, mentorship, community service and creating a safe space for the girls that breaks down barriers many of them are facing,” board chair of LLT Rebecca Singhavong said.
Likewise, the summer camp last month also showed Latina girls what they are capable of, dispelling stereotypes about who can pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math, Singhavong said. About 70% of campers were first-generation and Hispanic students.
“It was pretty amazing,” said Singhavong. “At LLT, one of the main things we strive to do is break down barriers and stereotypes that Latina girls often grow up hearing, including the idea that STEM fields are only for men.”
Every day, campers participated in activities such as painting flowers, coding and 3D printing. They also met with women who have careers in STEM.
“All our programs are big on having role models, so the girls can see people who they can aspire to be,” Singhavong said.
Singhavong credited Marymount University professor Diane Murphy for her help ensuring this year’s camp was in-person, after it was held virtually for a few years during Covid. The camp was also made possible by a grant from a NASA program, NASA Inspires Futures for Tomorrow’s Youth.
In addition to camps and after-school activities, LLT offers a virtual professional development program that teaches personal branding and provides LinkedIn profile training and resume help, Singhavong said. Every LLT program is completely free.
“We are often dealing with families who would normally not have access to programs like ours because of funding concerns or accessibility,” Singhavong said. “Many of our campers came from fairly far distances each day to get to Marymount because their communities do not have any type of program like this.”
Singhavong — who is first-generation herself — said she has only been with LLT for a year, however, the organization has been running multiple programs for young Latina women for over 10 years.
Its mission, she says, is to combat a common stereotype that she has seen and faced herself: one that Hispanic women are meant to be caregivers and not dream of having professional careers.
“We focus on just girls because many Latina women are taught to be caregivers from a young age, but we want them to focus on themselves and what they want to do in their future,” Singhavong said.
Good Wednesday evening, Arlington. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier today…
(Updated at 6:35 p.m.) Black and Hispanic students remain more likely to be suspended from Arlington Public Schools than their peers, according to new data. Specifically, Black students make up…
Whether it’s T. Swift tickets, cash money, or a prime parking spot, most DMV-area residents agree that time is actually their most valuable currency. A universal experience of car owners…
A large, $18 million stormwater vault underneath Cardinal Elementary School in the flood-prone Westover neighborhood is now complete. The vault responds to community concerns that arose after significant flooding washed over…
At Generation Hope, we’re dedicated to supporting teen parents in college as they work toward earning their degrees. We are in need of caring child care volunteers for upcoming events on Saturday, October 21st (in Washington, DC), and Saturday, November 4th (in Arlington, VA). Join our growing volunteer community and support us at an event this fall!
At all of our events, we provide free onsite child care for the children of the teen parents we serve, creating a nurturing environment for the kiddos while their parents learn valuable life skills and build community.
If you enjoy working with children and are looking to make an immediate impact in your community, please visit https://www.generationhope.org/volunteer to learn more.
Join us for Arlington’s biggest civil rights & social justice event of the year. The banquet is back in person at the Arlington Campus of George Mason University.
Our keynote speaker this year is Symone Sanders from MSNBC and former Chief of Staff for Vice-President Kamala Harris.
The Master of Ceremonies is Joshua Cole, former state delegate, NAACP President, and local pastor.
Tickets/seating are limited. Purchase your ticket today! Sponsorship opportunities available.
Live standup comedy starring John F. O’Donnell (Comedy Central)
Friday, October 20
Headliner: John F. O’Donnell
John was a correspondent on the radical comedy news TV show, “Redacted Tonight,” for 5 years. Recently, he released his debut one-hour standup special,