Club helps mentor young latina girls


Corie De Anda

Hermanitas members meeting in their old classroom

Having good mentors to up look to when growing up is important. They can provide important life skills and share their experiences when things seem impossible. Some people are lucky to have someone they can look to for advice, but others have a hard time finding this figure. Our campus has recently added a club that can give support and tips to teens who do not have a person in their life that they can look up to for advice. Hermanitas is a club for all Latina girls who would like assistance with planning their future with keeping to their hispanic roots.

A part of the National Latina Organization MANA, Hermanitas is a national mentoring program that provides young Latinas ages 11-18 with educational and skill-building opportunities, leadership development and mentoring.

“MANA de North County is a non-profit organization, a local chapter of the national organization MANA, which was founded back in 1974,” Madrina of the Chapter Corie De Anda said.

I think it’s awesome for high school girls to be a part of a national organization for Latina women.

— Corie De Anda

After being a success in Valley Middle School, Hermanitas opened a club on our campus last year. Each chapter of the club has a Madrina who plans and oversees the activities and is the one who mentors the girls. The person who oversees the Hermanitas chapter in the surrounding area is De Anda. She has been working with the organization for years now, and enjoys being able to help out the young girls.

“I think it’s awesome for high school girls to be a part of a national organization for Latina women!” De Anda said.“I personally feel a passion to mentor Latina teens because in my 35 years of teaching students in grades K-12. Most of my students were from Spanish-speaking families and I saw a great need to work with the girls who have much potential to be successful in life, but didn’t have the opportunities or coaching that they needed to fulfill their dreams and aspirations.”

The club at our school also chose its leaders, which includes the junior president Dulce Martinez, junior vice president Julia Novoa and secretary, treasurer and event coordinators juniors Alba Reyes and Amy Flores.

“I believe that Hermanitas has taught me a lot about the future, Reyes said. “I want to find new places to volunteer at as a group in places where each of our career paths fit in, so we can experience what each girl is interested in.”

All of these positions are held by the members, and were voted into their positions. The Madrina who runs the program helps organize events outside of school like community service and college visits. the purpose of the club is to prepare the ladies for the future which will most likely include going to college, so the club tries to provide as many resources to help them as possible.

“We look into what scholarships, what career paths, and what colleges are right for us,” Reyes said.

The club has a wide variety of topics that are covered, including mental health and relationships. During the meetings, a speaker usually comes in to talk to the girls about their profession, which also usually correlates to that month’s topic.

“Our goal was always to start mentoring girls in seventh grade and follow them all the way to senior year to make sure they succeed and enter college, De Anda said.