National Hispana Leadership Institute - Celebrating 27 Years of Latina Leadership  

Latinas Learning to Lead Program

Sponsored by:


The Ford Motor Company

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Graduates of the Program

Latinas Learning to Lead Class of 2005


Ivet Aldaba, from Las Vegas, Nevada, is a Junior attending the University of Nevada, Las Vegas majoring in Communications and Counseling.  She was selected because of her community service record, which includes: gift wrapping for low income families, Bowl-A-Thon to raise money for breast cancer, "This is my life", a pregnancy prevention program, and serving as a facilitator for the Latino Youth Leadership Conference.


Guenny Barriga, from Port Chester, New York, is a Junior attending Fordham University majoring in Accounting and Business Administration. She was selected because of her community service record, which includes: serving as a translator for day laborers at meetings and providing them with answers in regards to their civil rights. Guenny was an active member of the Accounting Society at her college.



Brenda Bautista, from Chicago, Illinois is a Sophomore attending Denison University majoring in Political Science and Economics. She was selected because of her community service record, which includes: volunteering at the Southeastern Ohio Legal Services, co-chairing the immigration strategy team of the Organization of the North East, being Treasurer of Denison's Fuerza Latina, serving as a Latino community representative on the Denison Student Senate, and tutoring at Centro Romero.



Miyenu De Montis, from Miami Beach, Florida, is a 2005 graduate from Miami Dade College-Wolfson Campus and will be continuing her studies at Florida International University as a Junior majoring in Business Administration.  She has worked as the Historian, Chair of Community Service, Chair of Multicultural Day and a Senator for the Student Government Association; is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society and a Student Ambassador for Miami Dade College. She has organized events at her campus including Multicultural Day, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and the Thanksgiving Drive for the Dominican Foundation.


Mirtha Lizette Estrada from San Francisco, California, is a Junior attending San Francisco State University majoring in International Relations. She was the past Chairperson for the National Issues Commission, YMCA Youth and Government Program in California, has volunteered at the San Francisco food bank, St. Anthony's dining center, a soup kitchen, and mentored and tutored a second grader. 



Roselis Frias, from Union City, New Jersey, is a Senior attending Kean University majoring in Social Work and Psychology. She was a mentor in the Gear-up Program, Assistant Treasurer of the Association of Latin American Students at Kean University, and participates in the Hispanic Association of Higher Education.



Teresa Grado, from Kansas City, Kansas, is a Junior attending Harvard College majoring in Government. She was selected because of her community service record, which includes: the United Way Youth Action Council and student recruitment for the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative.



Mariana Kihuen, from Las Vegas, Nevada, is attending Georgetown University majoring in Government and English. She tutors at-risk minority students at elementary schools in D.C.; summer volunteer for the Democratic National Committee and the Nevada State Democratic Party; is a member of the Georgetown University Judicial Hearing Board and M.E.Ch.A. de Georgetown and representative for the National Association of Hispanic Publications; as well as a motivational speaker at numerous Latino youth events throughout the U.S.



Lynna Martinez, from Cleveland Ohio, is a Senior attending The Ohio State University majoring in International Studies and Spanish. She has worked with the Boys and Girls Club of America, the Esperanza Scholarship Fund, Habitat for Humanity, served on the Hispanic Student Advisory Council at Ohio State, served as an Executive Board member and Programming Committee Chair for Alpha Psi Lambda, the nation's first co-ed Latino interest fraternity, and is a member of Folclor Hispano, a student-based dance ensemble at Ohio State.



Melissa Montoya-Torres, from Sacramento, California is a Sophomore attending the University of California at Davis majoring in History. Her community service record includes: interning with Senator Deborah Ortiz, serving as a 4th grade class helper, participating in Alternative Break exploring poverty in San Francisco, volunteering at a homeless shelter, a food bank in San Francisco and a Christmas gift give-away.



Maria Luisa Parra-Sandoval, from Las Vegas, Nevada is a Sophomore attending the University of Nevada, Las Vegas majoring in Political Science. She has volunteered in the following capacities: voter registration, UNLV Student Organization of Latinos Dream Act Campaign, the Cambridge Community Center, El Dia de los Ni–os at the Clark County Government Center, Gear Up, and on the Kappa Delta Chi's "This is My Life" program.



Ana Perez, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is a Junior attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee majoring in Architecture. She has participated in "Freedom by Design," a project led by architecture students with the purpose of remodeling a church in the south side of Milwaukee, and served as a volunteer at Centro Guadalupe and at Head Start in Madison.



Gisel Ramos, from Provo, Utah, is a Junior attending Brigham Young University majoring in French and Spanish Translation. She has volunteered at the Hunger Banquet, and the Special Olympics in Provo, Utah. Also, she has written and recited poetry for conferences in Utah and Mexico, tutored students in Spanish and French, and worked on public relations in the Mexican Student Association at BYU.  She is currently attending workshops to be an interpreter in hospitals and in the court system and performs in Mexican and Peruvian folk dances at BYU.


Aisha Rivera, from Tampa, Florida is a Senior attending the University of South Florida majoring in Microbiology.  She was selected because of her community service record, which includes: member and Vice President of Internal Affairs of the Latin American Student Association (LASA), Judeo Christian Health Clinic medical interpreter, a USF College of Medicine research assistant; Meffitt Research Center student researcher and the McNair Scholars Program.



Carolim Rivera-Rosario, from Humacao, Puerto Rico is a Junior attending the University of Puerto Rico at Humacao majoring in Social Work. She has worked on services directly related to her church, such as visits to the elderly at different asylums, singing in the church choir, collecting clothes for the people affected by hurricanes on the island and preparing different topics to present at religious retreats for the young.



Alejandra Rodriguez, from Brownsville, Texas is a Sophomore attending the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southwest College majoring in Nursing. She has volunteered for the Beeping Easter Egg Hunt with the Texas Commission for the Blind, Buena Vida Coat and Toy Drive, and Día de los Niños, an exciting event where migrant pre-school children had the opportunity to explore a world of adventure through hands-on activities at the local museum.



Leticia Rodriguez, from Pacoima, California is a Junior attending Stanford University, majoring in Political Science. Her community service record includes: Community Service Work Study Intern for Valley Economic Development Center (VEDC), and for Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 715; tutor and mentor for elementary school children in East Palo Alto; tutor for Adult English Language Learners at Stanford and Pacoima; and ballet folklórico at Stanford University.



Selina Gallego Rodriguez, from Tucson, Arizona, is a Junior attending the University of Arizona majoring in Sociology. She was selected because of her community service record, which includes: mentoring youth at Hohokam and Valencia Middle School with Tucson's United School District's Mexican American/ Raza Studies Department, Outreach Coordinator for the Cesar E. Chavez Conference and the Chicano por La Causa's Xinachtli Youth



Daisy Talavera, from Avondale, Arizona, is a Sophomore attending Arizona State University majoring in English. Her community service record includes: President of the Team Trio organization, student government Senator, Alternative Spring Break in Tijuana, Mexico to build homes for the poor and a St. Louis the King parish youth group facilitator.



Lynn Thomasson, from Potomac Falls, Virginia is a Junior attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill majoring in Journalism. She was selected because of her community service record, which includes: writing for Endeavors Magazine and Science Carolina, English as a Second Language Instructor, and serving as a student leader for the Carolina Office of Leadership Development.



Rocio Villalobos, from Austin, Texas, is a Senior attending the University of Texas at Austin majoring in Early Childhood Education-Bilingual. She was selected because of her community service record, which includes: tutoring at several Austin schools such as Metz Elementary and Ortega Elementary and working for the East Austin environmental justice group PODER for the past year and a half.