Leadership training program for Latinas seeks mentors

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July 10, 2013

DES MOINES --  A new training program designed to empower young Latina women to become the next generation of leaders is seeking mentors to assist with the program.

The Latina Leadership Initiative of Greater Des Moines will launch its first class of 16 women, ages 20 to 30, beginning in September. The program will advise the women on how to grow personally and professionally. The curriculum will address areas that include empowerment, teamwork and community building, culture, language and social changes, public speaking, career advancement, development and networking, current issues that affect the Latina community, and how to run a meeting, plan a program and prepare a budget.

As part of the program, the young women will work with a mentor to cultivate their leadership skills. Applications are being accepted for mentors and are available through the LLI website at www.latinaleadershipinitiative.org under the Applications tab, or by calling 515-505-0676. The deadline to apply is July 19.

To be considered as a mentor, individuals need to have community leadership experience and be able to provide support, networking opportunities and other expertise for LLI participants. Mentors and class participants will be matched and will work together on a community service project.

“It is the expectation that these mentor relationships will give the young women new skills and connections, as well as provide them with real-life experiences, professional advice and real-world perspective,” said Alba Perez, co-chairwoman of the steering committee that oversees the program and chairwoman of the committee that created the curriculum for LLI. “We hope the end result is that class participants will have a clearer understanding of how the skills they learn can be applied to leadership positions in the community and to gain access to networking opportunities.”

Christina Fernandez-Morrow, project coordinator, said the experience also will benefit mentors, as it will make them aware of the talents among the Latina community and give them a better understanding of the issues that affect the overall Latino community.

Class participants will be responsible for initiating contact with their mentors. While class participation was limited to bilingual Latinas, mentors do not need to be female, Latino or bilingual to participate.

Contact Fernandez-Morrow at 515-505-0676 or latinaleadershipinitiativegdm@gmail.com for more information. Completed applications can be e-mailed to Fernandez-Morrow or mailed to the Latina Leadership Initiative of Greater Des Moines, P.O. Box 12178, Des Moines, Ia. 50312.


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