The Hispanic Women’s Conference provides professional development and leadership to Latinas every year. This year’s theme is focused on mentoring, community service and change.
Jose Cardenas: Earlier this month the Hispanic women's corporation hosted the annual Hispanic women's conference in downtown Phoenix. More than 1,000 Latinas from across the country attended. Some of the special guests were U.S. secretary of labor Hilda Solis, and television producer Nely Galan. Although every year the conference offers Latinos opportunities for career Development, this year's conference reached out to young high school students, encouraging them to do community Service. Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez has more.
Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez: The Hispanic women's conference provides leadership and professional development to thousands of Latinas here in the valley every year. Each annual event is titled after a new mission. This year's conference was titled "latina power, rising to Service and change." This year's event marked the 24th anniversary of the Hispanic women's conference. It was a two-day event organized by the Hispanic women's corporation, a nonprofit organization of Latina entrepreneurs. The conference has always provided workshops and exhibitions to help Latinas pursue their career goals. Event organizers say this year they wanted to focus more on closing the generation gap among Latinas, and their commitment to community Service.
Maria Reyes: We have health and community Service, green, going green, really speaking to our theme which is rising to Service and change. How can we start helping our youth learn about servant leadership, what it means to be in community Service? The changes we can make in our community, one of us or many of us working together.
Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez: As part of the conference, a youth leadership program was organized for high school students. Hundreds of high school Latinas learned about college, met successful Latina business Willamette and got advice from other Latinas, like ASU graduate Nancy Herrera.
Nancy Herrera: It's rewarding. It feels really rewarding. Very beautiful to be there with them, because they're searching for that something to grab on, some mentorship or leadership, something for them to follow.
Woman: If you review and prepare, you will do well.
Maria Reyes: When they're getting ready to work with someone one to one, 1 to many, or in groups, what can they draw upon that they've learned here that will help them in those leadership moments? And in those moments where they can impact change in their communities, their families?
Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez: Organizers say that ultimately the conference is about Latinas mentoring Latinas to succeed.
Jose Cardenas: This year's conference awarded an estimated 290 thousand dollars in scholarships to 50 students, ranging from high school students enrolled in community colleges, to undergraduates, graduates, and medical students. It is one of the largest amounts the Hispanic women's corporation has ever given out in scholarship money.