Published : Friday, March 30, 2018 | 3:57 PM
For young Latinas looking toward a better future, the upcoming annual Adelante Mujer Latina (AML) conference at Pasadena Community College on April 21 will be the place to be.
The event, sponsored by Adelante Youth Alliance, is held in part to encourage young women to continue to pursue higher education and open a space where they can feel comfortable to share their dreams.
The organization’s mission is to “educate and empower youth to develop their academic, career and leadership potential…and identify and implement career plans, advance to college or trade training, secure employment, and become productive members of their communities, (who are) willing and able to give back.”
At PCC, meetings are held once a month by the Teen Committee who convene and voice their opinions on what they would like to see at the conference.
“I remember I had that feeling inside where I wanted to express myself,” said writer Mandie Montes, who told the PCC Courier she learned about the group via her mom years ago. “Having found a space where adults consistently care and believe in you is really special.”
“When I saw women of color who got their Ph.D. from renowned institutions, it helped me see that I could go to graduate school,” she said. “Stereotypes impact you but seeing those women helped me realize that I have the gift of being able to say, ‘I’m capable.’”
The AML conference has opened new possibilities for the young women, as they can see women in their life not as competition but as a support system they can always lean on.
“AML is a ‘call to action’ for all of us to support and celebrate each other’s gifts, passions, challenges, goals, and accomplishments,” said former chair of Adelante Mujer Latina Stella Murga, to the PCC Courier. “This is what it’s really all about—believing in and supporting our youth and each other.”
As a 19-year-old Latina who attends PCC and hopes to go to film school at New York University, Montes said she tries to pay attention to “the opportunity to become stronger in my own skin through the help of other women.”