Pasadena City College hosted their 17th annual Adelante Mujer Latina Conference on Saturday to encourage young Latina women to pursue a higher education.
The conference began with an introduction by Lisa Hernandez, newscaster for ABC7, who told the audience, “Although I was the daughter of migrant farmers, I accomplished my goal of attending UCLA, my dream school.”
Hernandez spoke about her struggles to get where she is today to give young women an example that if they work hard they can achieve what they want.
Her introduction was followed by Stella R. Murga, executive director of the Pasadena Youth Center who spoke to a full auditorium about believing in yourself and working hard.
Adelante Mujer Latina is a non-profit organization and program of the Pasadena Youth Center. The event was sponsored by companies such as State Farm, Disney, Banamex, AT&T and Union Bank.
The conference held a series of workshops on various topics such as business, creative arts, healthcare, finance and banking, mother and daughter relationships, preparation for college, science, law and order, personal and community development and the future of politics.
The introduction had a series of guest speakers including Veronica Garcia, engineer at Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne who shared her motivational story about how she became valedictorian of her high school and went on to study at MIT.
Each of the speakers came from humble beginnings and were daughters of migrant farmers.
One of the personal development workshops was presented by Julie Marquez, vice president and relationship manager of Union Bank.
She spoke to an intimate group of young women about managing their finances and learning how to budget their money.
Marquez said that for students going into college and those who are just starting, learning to budget their money is a very important factor.
Lizett Bobadilla, educational opportunity counselor at Cal State Los Angeles, spoke to a group of first generation students who plan to go to college, about preparing themselves. Her experience of getting a bachelor degree was specifically inspirational to the audience.
“You have limitless possibilities by having a fresh start” Bobadilla said when encouraging the group to take advantage of all the possibilities they have.
Some workshops targeted specific fields that were of interest to the audience such as writing, engineering and teaching.
Author, editor and writing consultant Thelma Reyna gave a workshop on writing the stories inside of us.
“It never matters what our beginnings are,” Reyna said, when speaking about finding the success in whatever field they want to study.
Overall, the women speaking in the conference sent out the positive message about not letting obstacles in life prevent them from attending a great college or university, and making a better life for themselves.
“It is up to you to be responsible and make the best of your college education,” Bobadilla said.
The Adelante Mujer Latina program will have other events throughout the year. More information can be found on pasadenayouthcenter.org and aml-pyc.org.
Genesis Miranda can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.