The Arlington-based nonprofit organization, Latinas Leading Tomorrow (LLT) announced their latest financial contribution from the Arlington Women’s Civic Alliance (AWCA) to support LLT’s leadership training and college readiness programs. The $8,000 one-time grant from AWCA will contribute to LLT’s leadership and college-bound initiatives for more than 60 girls in grades 8-11 during the 2020-21 school year. The grant is one of two awards given in 2020 to organizations that align with AWCA’s mission of providing programmatic and financial support, as well as volunteer services to Arlington community projects.
“Latinas Leading Tomorrow is honored to receive this grant from the Arlington Women’s Civic Alliance to support our ELITE leadership program which encourages young Latinas to excel in high school and go on to earn a college degree,” said Madeline LaSalle, founder and Board of Directors Chair. “The impact of our ELITE program is gaining momentum as many of our LLT alumni are returning as college graduates and young professionals eager to share their stories and serve as role models and mentors to our young students. It means a great deal for our program to have the support from AWCA and women leaders who are invested in our community’s future.”
The ELITE leadership program addresses the growing needs of first-generation, college-bound, high-achieving Latina high school students through leadership development programs that connect students with Latina role models from a broad range of professions to guide students through the introduction of career options, self-discovery, cultural awareness, and help with the college application process. Overall, LLT has served approximately 1,300 students since its inception in 2004, and more than 150 students participate in LLT programs each year. Graduates from our areas high schools’ class of 2020 now attend George Mason University, Marymount University, Northern Virginia Community College, Old Dominion University, and Virginia Tech, among other universities.
The AWCA grant will specifically be used for:
- The E.L.I.T.E. Academy (Exemplifying Leadership in a Team Environment): A 10-session program held at Georgetown University that offers workshops and mentoring activities for 22 Latina students on topics such as leadership, business and social etiquette, personal branding, communication techniques, resume development, interview skills, public speaking, and financial literacy. The academy participants also take part in the College Connections Initiative.
- The College Connections Initiative: This program includes visits to selective four-year universities and Ivy League institutions for 40 high-achieving Latina students and their parents to encourage them to consider these as viable options during the college application process.
Candy Fowler, AWCA President said “The AWCA is delighted to support the efforts of Latinas Leading Tomorrow to expand the educational and career horizons of young Latinas in Arlington. Latinas Leading Tomorrow has an excellent track record of providing the support and experiences these young woman can build on to pursue their goals.”
Established in 2012 as a 501(c)3 organization at Wakefield High School and since then, has expanded to serve Latina students through its C.O.R.E. (Creating Opportunities to Reach Excellence) program at additional schools in Arlington (Thomas Jefferson Middle School and Yorktown High School) and Alexandria (George Washington Middle School and T.C. Williams High School). In addition, LLT offers a STEM mentoring program for middle school students also known as “Latina Labs,” that provides hands-on activities centered on STEM careers with opportunities to meet and learn from Latina professionals in STEM fields.