As is our custom in March, Women’s History Month, we recognize four Arizona Latina Trailblazers whose leadership has resulted in enormous positive change for our community. This time around, we honor Narcisa Monreal Espinoza, Angie Tewksbury, Anna Tovar and Guadalupe Verdugo Huerta. Perusing Joan Westlake’s capsule biographies of these women, I am struck by two humbling thoughts: (1) all of these people have made, and are making, history on account of the immense reach of their activities, and (2) how incredible it is to cram so many good works into a single life!
It would be easy to feel totally inadequate in comparing ourselves with these towering personalities, but in her essay about mentorship (My Perspective), Monica Castañeda reminds us that aspiring to positions of leadership is not a one-way proposition. All these formidable leaders were once mentored by others, and gained prominence by learning and listening to others who helped them acquire the skills of leadership. And, Monica says, successful leaders “reach back.” Satisfaction comes not from a position of dominance, but by enabling others to achieve the status of leaders as well. So, we are hoping many of you will join us on March 27 at the Phoenix Art Museum between 5:30 and 8 p.m., not only to pay tribute to this quartet of amazing women, but also to help yourself discover that there is a little bit of Trailblazer in all of us.
This issue also includes a feature on some up-and-coming trailblazers, the InvenTeam from the Girls Leadership Academy of Arizona (GLAAZ), whose design for an inflatable water-safety shirt has earned them a place at MIT’s EurekaFest. Latinos in general, and Latinas more specifically, are severely under-represented in the STEM professions. The success of GLAAZ and other programs designed to interest Latinas in STEM fields is very encouraging, and keeps us aware that there remain many more trails to blaze.