National Hispana Leadership Institute - Celebrating 27 Years of Latina Leadership  
 
 
 
 




Latinas Learning to Lead Program


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Graduates of the Program

Latinas Learning to Lead Class of 2004



 

CLAUDIA AGUILAR from Springfield, Virginia, is a Senior attending the University of Virginia majoring in Sociology. She was selected because of her community service record, which includes: various projects through the Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc., philanthropy which includes “Make a Difference Day,” food and toiletry drives for battered women and a mentoring program for at-risk kids.



 

ROSINA ANAYA from Albuquerque, New Mexico, is a Senior attending the University of New Mexico majoring in Communications and Journalism. She was selected because of her community service record, which includes: mentoring and tutoring children at Taylor Middle School, participating yearly in the National Red Cross Blood Drive, Spring Storm Clean up program at UNM, and Enjare, a restructuring and cleaning of her church.



 

JENNIFER AVILA from Burbank, California, is a Junior attending California State University, Northridge majoring in Communications. She was selected because of her community service record, which includes: the Burbank Historical Society; working on the TV programming channel “Teens in Action” in Burbank; and volunteering for Tri-Valley Special Olympics, HOPE (Hispanas Organized for Political Equality) during their “Latina Action Day” and Adelante Mujer.



 

JACQUELINE AZPEITIA from Chicago, Illinois, is a Senior attending Northwestern University majoring in Political Science. She has volunteered at the annual Evanston Hispanic Youth Awards, the Special Olympics, Jonquil Children’s Center and Saint Nichol’s after school drop-in center. She has helped organize the Northwestern “Stop the Hate” Rally, sent letters of support to U.S. troops in Iraq, and served as President for Lambda Theta Alpha-Beta Psi Chapter.



 

YADIRA BENAVIDES from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, is a Senior attending Eastern Michigan University majoring in Language and World Business. She has worked with Eastern Michigan University subcommittees for Hispanic Heritage Month and recruitment and retention of Latinos. She founded a new Latin organization at Eastern Michigan and became the Press Secretary for the organization, in addition to serving as Program Coordinator of the Model United Nations Club.



 

FANNY CHAVEZ from Los Angeles, California, is a Senior attending California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, majoring in Industrial Engineering. She works with low income children in the Healthy Start program, and Culture Fest, a university-sponsored program to promote different cultures.



 

ELISA DIMAS from Albuquerque, New Mexico, is a Senior attending Cornell University majoring in Human Development. She was selected because of her community service record, which includes: working as an education intern at East Harlem School at Exodus House in New York City and tutoring children at Belle Sherman Elementary and Beynten Middle School in Ithaca, New York. She is currently interning in the Human Services Department through the New Mexico Fellows Program.



 

MARIA-FERNANDA ESPINOZA from Clarksville, Maryland, is a Sophomore attending University of Maryland, College Park majoring in Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics. She was selected because of her community service record, which includes: serving as Vice President of Hispanic Voices at Wilde Lake High School where she tried to increase cultural awareness of our community through fundraising events and tutoring programs. Currently, she is an ESOL mentor for the Howard Community Public School Systems, where she facilitates the cultural and educational transition of Hispanic students.



 

CRYSTAL FARRE from Kenilworth, New Jersey, is attending Kean University majoring in Social Work and Sociology. She was selected because of her community service record, which includes: Big Brother, Big Sister of New Jersey, Gear Up Mentor with Perth Amboy High School, Early Start Mentoring Program with UMDNJ, and Juvenile Conference Committee Member with the Union County Family Court. She is also a volunteer ESL teacher; works at the Children’s Specialized Hospital, is a Spanish tutor and sponsors the Hygiene Drive.

 

EVELYN GARCIA from Las Vegas, Nevada, is a Junior attending the University of Nevada, Las Vegas majoring in Political Science. She was selected because of her community service record, which includes: being a member of the Latino Youth Leadership Alumni, Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc., Soroptomist International, and the Latin Chamber of Commerce. She is also a member of the New Leadership Nevada Alumni and is Chair of the Special Events Committee for the Clark County Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition.




 

CARMEN GENAO from Brooklyn, New York, is a Senior attending Hobart and William State Colleges majoring in International Relations. She was selected because of her community service record, which includes: teaching ESL to migrant farm workers in Geneva and working with local New York City cabinet members to organize the celebration of Three King’s Day.



 

IRMA MEJIA from Los Angeles, California is a Sophomore attending Yale University majoring in Archaeology and Latin American Studies. She was selected because of her community service record, which includes: tutoring with the America Reads Program, being an active member of MEChA and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. At Yale, she is a student coordinator and alumni relations coordinator at the Latino Cultural Center and volunteers at a day care center during the summers in Los Angeles.



 

LUPE PEÑA from Mabelvale, Arkansas, is a Senior attending the University of Arkansas at Little Rock majoring in Early Childhood Education. She tells “Bilingual Storytimes” at Dee Brown Library, tutors ESL students, and serves as a confirmation teacher at St. Edward’s Catholic Church. Lupe also is on the Donaghey Scholars Program Student Committee, works on Encuentros de Promoción Juvenil, and is always eager to help on any service event.



 

PALOMA PEREZ from Davis, California, is a Junior attending University of California, Davis majoring in History and Spanish. She was selected because of her community service record, which includes: Davis Kid’s Triathlon volunteer, coordinator for Mr. Alpha Chi, volunteering at the Yolo County Women’s Shelter, and serving as coordinator for Stand Against Domestic Violence Purple Ribbon Campaign.



 

ESPERANZA PINTOR from Des Moines, Iowa, is a Sophomore attending Central College in Iowa majoring in Psychology and Spanish. She was selected because of her community service record, which includes: going to Washington, D.C. to meet with Congressional staff to advocate for the Dream Act and Student Adjustment Act. While at Dowling Catholic High School, she volunteered her time to the community through the Dowling Catholics Volunteer Initiative Program, Habitat for Humanity, Appalachia Service trip, and as a student ambassador, she participated in the Visioning Committee for Dowling. She was a part of the Leadership team who plans and organizes the White Privilege Conference that takes place at Central College.




 

JENIFER RASCON from Davenport, Iowa, graduated in May of 2003 from the University of Iowa with a BA in Elementary Education with a specialization in social studies and a BA in Communication Studies with a focus in media studies/film. She is currently attending graduate school at Western Illinois University to receive her MsEd in ESL/Bilingual education. She was selected because of her community service record, which includes the Iowa Latino Youth Conference, Eagles’ Flight Skate-a-thon for women’s health, volunteering at a homeless shelter and tutoring elementary students.



 

RINA ROJO of Lakewood, Colorado, is a Junior attending the University of Colorado at Boulder majoring in International Affairs and Political Science. She was selected because of her community service record, which includes: mentoring for Big Brother, Big Sister; and volunteering for La Raza and Habitat for Humanity. She is an active leader within the Latino community and her sorority, Pi Lambda Chi adopted a family and has overall set a good example for the community.



 

ELISA RUBALCAVA from Chandler, Arizona, is a Senior attending Arizona State University majoring in Journalism and Mass Communications. She was selected because of her community service record, which includes: her involvement and commitment as Co-Chair to the Hispanic Women’s Corporation Youth Leadership Program. This program invites 200 Latina high school students to attend workshops on higher education, financial literacy and self-image. Elisa also enjoys getting involved in community service events for Chicanos por La Causa, and her parish Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church.



 

KATRINA RUIZ from Miami, Florida, is a Junior attending the University of Florida, majoring in English and Spanish. She was selected because of her community service record, which includes: “Cultural Xchange” and mentor at Howard Bishop Middle School, The Apartment Poets poetry troupe dedicated to social and cultural activism, Women’s Leadership Conference, Lambda Theta Alpha’s Focused Urban Teens United and Ready for Opportunity (F.U.T.U.R.O.), Adopt-a-Street, and the Ronald McDonald House.



 

MONICA NICOLE SAENZ from McAllen, Texas, is a Senior attending the Southern Methodist University majoring in English. She was selected because of her community service record, which includes: volunteering at various community centers in low income areas of the city and working with at-risk children. She has spent numerous hours working at the Wesley-Rankin Community Center as well as working at the Salvation Army Women’s Homeless Shelter. She also helps host an annual softball tournament whose proceeds benefit Campfire USA, an after school program for underprivileged children in the Dallas Ft. Worth area.



 

MONICA ULLOA from Poway, California, is a Junior attending California Polytechnic State University majoring in Animal Science. Her community service record includes: helping serve at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Barbecue, being a 4-H group co-leader, and helping at the M.F.S.A. Family Day and the 26 Hours of College Life Program.



 

YARAVI VARGAS from Bellevue, Nebraska, is a Junior attending the University of Nebraska, Omaha majoring in Spanish and Architecture. She volunteers at the Latina Youth Leadership Conference at the University of Nebraska, Omaha that teaches junior high school females about the importance of staying in school, self-esteem, and gang prevention. She also established an after-school tutoring program at her neighborhood high school. She assists her local Boys and Girls Club and continuously participates in fundraisers for Latino scholarships.

 

ORIETTA VERDUGO from Coolidge, Arizona, is a Senior attending the Arizona State University majoring in Industrial Engineering. She was selected because of her community service record, which includes: volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club, the Breast Cancer Walk, Race for the Cure, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, Cesar Chavez Day of Service, AIDS Walk Arizona, Arizona Día de la Raza, Maggie’s Place, and Chicanos por la Causa.