For those of you who know me or have followed this blog for awhile, you know that I have a commitment to education and to justice and to those who face difficult circumstances and that, most recently, that commitment has played out with the forming of the non-profit, Circle de Luz. Launched in 2008, Circle De Luz radically empowers young Latinas by supporting and inspiring them in the pursuit of their possibilities through extensive mentoring, programming, and scholarship funds for further education. Circle de Luz not only gives girls the financial means to pursue an educational program of their choice after high school graduation, the organization also provides the girls with six years of dynamic programming and mentoring.
Why is Circle de Luz so important? Because Latina girls face incredibly challenging odds.
Latinos have the highest drop-out rate of all racial and ethnic groups.
A third of Latinas who dropped out cited marriage or pregnancy as the reason.
Fifty-three of Latinas will become pregnant at least once before the age of 20.
Latinas between the ages of 12-17 are more likely to attempt to take their life than any other group. Twenty-five percent say they have thought about it. Fifteen percent have attempted suicide.
Circle de Luz works directly with Latinas girls (we call them Hijas) for six years to empower them to purpose the futures of their imagining. Our programs range from college visits to how to talk to adults, horseback riding to pottery throwing, career panels to nutrition workshops, yoga classes to hikes, self-defense workshops to science experiments, among many other things.
And so for the second year in a row, I am running the Corporate Cup 5k in Charlotte on March 12, 2010 to raise money for Circle de Luz in an event we call Run Big Dream Big. Our Hijas have also been training for the event so I’ll be crossing the finish line with them. In addition to the Hijas, over 20 other participants will be joining with me in this effort to dynamically fund Circle de Luz’s programming for this year. Individually, we each want to raise at least $380 ($20 per girl in the program) and collectively, we hope to raise $10,000 to continue to offer rich programming experiences.
Can you help us go the distance for Circle de Luz? If so, visit my ChipIn page or mail a check made out to Circle de Luz to PO Box 2, Davidson, NC 28036 and just write my name in the memo line. Any amount is incredibly helpful! Circle de Luz is a non-profit organization, and you will receive a formal thank you note for your tax-deductible donation. Want to learn more about Circle de Luz? Visit www.circledeluz.org.