National Hispana Leadership Institute - Celebrating 27 Years of Latina Leadership  

2008 Latinas Learning to Lead

Latinas Learning to Lead Program

Sponsored by:


The Ford Motor Company

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2008 Graduates


Pamela Alvarado is a junior attending Central Washington University. Ms. Alvarado has done volunteer work with the Ellensburg community at a local clinic and food bank as well as on campus in student panels.



Rosa Alvarez-Velez is a senior at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Ms. Alvarez-Velez was selected because of her community service record, which includes: volunteering at local schools, organizing cultural and educational Latino issues as president of the Student Organization of Latinos (SOL), and encouraging members to become civically engaged in their community as the president of SOL. 



Erika Anchondo is a senior at the University of Texas at El Paso. Ms. Anchondo has done volunteer work with Dame La Mano, Child Crisis Center of El Paso, and the Rescue Mission of El Paso. Erika is also a student leader on campus. She is a member of the Student Alumni Association, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, University Democrats, Sigma Psi Eta Sorority and is a Senator At Large with the UTEP Student Government Association.




Maria P. BaÑuelos is a junior attending Lewis-Clark State College. She has volunteered at Head Start, STITCH, Christmas in April, Student Action with Farm Workers, I-Can and DREAM Act. Ms. Bañuelos is also an officer with the Organization of Latin American Students and Servants to Mexico.


  Karina Bermeo is a sophomore at Pennsylvania State University. Ms. Bermeo has participated for three years in the New York’s City Aids Walk. She has been a math tutor for third graders at High School North, and a volunteer teacher’s assistant at Kids World Family Day Care.

“I feel honored to have been chosen into the NHLI Latinas Learning to Lead. I know that my leadership skills will allow me to work hard during the one-week training. I will continue to dedicate my time and commit to this program after the training is over.”


Mayra Contreras is an incoming senior attending Santa Clara University. Ms. Contreras has volunteered at the Nativity School in San Jose Leadership Summer Camp, and tutored at Downtown College Preparatory School and the Dream’s organization. She is a member of M.E.C.H.A.



Nolvia Delgado is a junior attending Borough of Manhattan Community College and is a recipient of the Kaplan Educational Foundation Scholarship. Ms. Delgado is an active member of Brooklyn Young Democrats and Light of Life Youth group. She has done volunteer work at her church and local senior citizens center. She currently works as a Legislative Assistant to Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez.



Leticia Dominguez is a junior attending The Catholic University of America. Ms. Dominguez volunteered for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts by helping rebuild and clean houses. She has also played and interacted with children, and prepared children for bed at St. Anne’s Infant and Maternity Home. In addition, she visits the homeless community and serves food through Homeless Food Runs.



  Kisbel Fernandez is a junior at Baruch College. Ms. Fernandez was selected because of her community service record, which includes: volunteering at soup kitchens, participating at in the NYC Aids Walk and Asthma Walk, Meals on Wheels, and being a peer educator at Project Reach Youth, Inc. where she visited communities in Brooklyn. She also distributed information and contraceptives to the community as well as prepared presentations.  


Jessica Flores is a freshman attending the University of California, Santa Cruz. Ms. Flores was selected because of her community service record. She passionately interned at the Chicano/Latino Resource center at UCSC, tutored at the Santa Cruz High School and volunteered as a customer service representative at the Santa Cruz AIDS project office. 



Karen Flores is a freshman at the University of Arizona. Ms. Flores has volunteered at the Tucson’s Giving Tree Outreach program, Eller’s Philanthropy with Therapeutic Riding of Tucson (TROT) through the Hispanic Business Students Association. She has also participated in other leadership and volunteer opportunities.



Andrea Giraudo is a sophomore at the University of Georgia. Ms. Giraudo was selected because of her community service record. She tutored Latino students weekly at the local trailer park, and translated at Mercy Clinic for doctors and patients. She has assisted with food sorting at the local food bank and prepared dinners at the Athens Homeless Shelter.



Laura Gonzalez is a freshman attending Sacramento State University. Ms. Gonzalez has done extensive volunteer work with the Latino non-profit organization, Nuestra Casa, and for her campus student government, Associated Students Inc., in the office of Governmental Affairs. 



Sayra Gordillo is a sophomore attending the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Ms. Gordillo has participated in the Association of Latin American Students (ALAS), model United Nations, and Diversity Advocates. An immigration advocate, she is in the process of establishing a M.E.C.H.A. chapter on campus.



Alicia Marquez is a senior attending California State University, Sacramento. Ms. Marquez has tutored elementary school children, prepared income taxes, and acted as a resource to local high school youth to help them attain higher education.



Juana Matias is a senior attending University of Massachusetts,  Boston. Ms. Matias was selected because of her community service record, which includes: serving as undergraduate Student Senate/Body president at the University of Massachusetts Boston, volunteering for the reconstruction and development of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and interning at the Governor’s office. 



Rosela Roman is a junior attending Santa Ana College. Ms. Roman was selected because of her community service record, which includes: volunteering at Wise Place (Women’s Transitional Program), CHOC Walk Relay For Life, and March of Dimes. She was the Secretary of Associated Student Government and the Alpha Gama Sigma Sorority.



Alexis Ruiz is a junior at the University of Georgia. Ms. Ruiz was selected because of her community service record, which includes: organizing a resource fair for 90 high school students as a part of the coordinating committee of the ¡Si Se Puede! Latino Leadership Conference, and serving as a liaison between the local community and UGA students as a board member of the Economic Justice Coalition. She also is Vice President of the Students for Latino Empowerment.



Odalys Solares recently graduated from the Miami Dade College. Ms. Solares was selected because of her community service record that includes: coordinating the first Nordstrom/Miami-Dade Hispanic Women’s Conference earlier this year, organizing a business professional clothing drive and tutorial fashion show, and raising thousands of dollars for breast cancer, cancer and autism.



Jacqueline Tolentino is a sophomore at DePaul University. Ms. Tolentino was selected because of her community service record which includes: working with the Puerto Rican community in Humboldt Park and Participatory Democracy’s No Se Vende campaign. She has participated in door-to-door campaigns, marches and survey administration to the community to bring awareness to housing and gentrification.



Natalia Trinidad is a junior attending Creighton University. Her community service record includes interpreting for UNMC Sharing/Respect, mentoring with the Gates Millennium program, and tutoring English as a Second Language students.


  Victoria Watson-Nava is a senior at Colorado State University Pueblo. Ms. Watson-Nava was selected because of her community service record which includes: volunteer work at IHS of Pueblo, Pueblo Hispanic Education Foundation, CSU-Pueblo events, Real World Young Women’s’ Conference, and the Pueblo Christmas Toy Run. She is a mentor at Keating High School, as well as Vice President of Mujeres Unidas, a MAES Member, and community interpreter.