I spoke this past Friday at an education summit for Latino middle school and high school students in eastern North Carolina. Looking out at these 700 faces with life ahead of them, I was overwhelmed by a profound sense of both responsibility and possibility. These kids have dreams and hopes. And in the next handful of years, life might try to interfere. They’ll move; family members will pass away; a subject will stump them; a teacher will challenge them. They’ll fall in love for the first time and wonder if that’s all that matters. They’ll start thinking about the cost of college and wonder if it is really worth it. They’ll get tired and want to just start what they think life is. Life could start to hurt, and the right medication might seem to be a flavored liquid or a potpurri of pills- or worse. And because we live in a global community, because every single kid in this world is our kid, because what we put out into this world comes right back to us, we need to do more than just hope for the best for the kids of the world.
When I was touring to promote Hijas and to share the discoveries in Hijas with others, I was struck by how many people asked what they could do to help positively affect the lives of young Latinas. Wanting to have a tangible offer to give in every community that I visited, I researched what was out there and the possibilities and came together with a group of diverse women to form Circle de Luz, a unique scholarship program that unites women of all backgrounds across this country in supporting young Latinas in their dreams. Join us in this dynamic effort to embrace these young women, empowering them to realize their potential. This fall, we’ll award the inaugural scholarships to seventh graders who are in the Class of 2014. Imagine being in 7th grade and learning that you already have at least a $5000 scholarship coming to you upon graduation from high school. How does that impact the next six years of your education? How does it change your life? These are the stories we’ll watch unfold in the Circle de Luz. I hope you’ll join us in this incredibly important effort.