LPM Staff

Latinas mentor young women

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The mentoring program Luminarias is looking for a few good Latinas.

On April 21, a free one-day workshop will be held for college-age Latinas and Latina professionals to participate in a series of mentoring activities. Each mentee is teamed with a mentor, matching social styles, professional interests, and/or hobbies.

Valle del Sol partners with Gamma Alpha Omega Sorority to present the program at Wells Fargo Conference Center in Phoenix.

The 6th Annual Latina Excellence Awards Luncheon is scheduled during the workshop. ASU sorority Gamma Alpha Omega created the awards to recognize and celebrate Latina leaders for their achievements and visions.

The theme of this year’s luncheon is “Circle of Influence: Professional building blocks for personal growth through service and leadership.”

Influence most often comes in the form of advice for young mentees, a benefit that Roxanne Bravo has enjoyed. She has participated in the Luminarias program for the last three years. At 24, the public relations coordinator for the Valley of the Sun United Way in Phoenix, was a junior at ASU when she decided to join Luminarias.

After joining the program, she found there was opportunity to take advantage of learning from more than one Latina professional.

“It’s different for everyone, but I think that everybody can benefit from more than one (mentor) just because every mentor is so different and can give you such different advice,” she says. “Sometimes you know who you can reach out to for specific things. I feel like I’ve filled out my list of contacts and within that I’m starting to look at various mentors.”

And she calls on them regularly.

“I always go to them for any little thing. It’s helped out a lot. I have these great Latina women to follow and take their advice. I’ve seen them go through it. I’ve seen how successful they are. It’s helped my confidence to knowing that I can definitely have someone as great as them to follow.”

Bravo has continued to pursue good advice through to her present position.

“In my job right now, Mary Lou Valenzuela is a mentor to me. I came to this job at United Way a couple months after my graduation from ASU,” she says. “She’s helped me learn a lot more within my field, stuff that I didn’t learn at ASU in the classroom.”

This often means learning to handle work and office relationships.

“I think everyone says you learn so much getting your hands dirty,” Bravo says.

One piece of advice she got was what organizations would be great for helping with one’s professional growth.

“Some organizations I didn’t even know of,” she says.

Anita Luera, Valle del Sol’s vice president of corporate relations, says young women graduate from college and get a reality check that their chosen fields don’t live up to expectations.

“We’ve tried to match the mentees up with whatever their passion is and try to work it out with their college degrees,” she says.

This helps to strengthen the mentees’ confidence, as well as giving mentors opportunities to share their passion about specific subjects.

“LUMINARIAS: CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE”
Latina Excellence Awards Luncheon
April 21, 2007
Well Fargo Conference Center
100 W. Washington St.
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
8:30 a.m. breakfast and check-in
Keynote speaker: CBS5 News Anchor and Latino Perspectives columnist Catherine Anaya
Space is limited. For information, contact Rebecca Armendariz, Valle del Sol, at (602) 248-8101 Ext. 686 or e-mail rebeccaa@valledelsol.com.

RECRUITING TO EMPOWER
Interested in participating as a mentor or a mentee? Contact Rebecca Armendariz at Rebecca@valledelsol.com or (602) 248-8101, Ext. 686. Deadline to register for this year’s program is April 2, 2007.

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