For almost five years, the Board of Circle de Luz has been building something really special. And while every year feels monumental in the life of our organization, it seems 2013 is already shaping up as the year that changes everything. In 2013, we’ll add our fourth class and we’ll also hire our first professional staffer, taking us from the minor leagues of really well-done non-profit run completely by volunteers to that transcendent place where we can suddenly do so much more for our girls and community because we have a dedicated person working on it, hour by hour, Monday through Friday. This feels so significant, so important and a long time coming as we have powerfully worked on this program since March of 2008.
By Rosie Molinary on February 4, 2013
If you are new to the blog, you may not know much about Circle de Luz. Formed in 2008 in response to significant challenges that young Latinas face, Circle de Luz is a Charlotte-based non-profit that radically empowers young Latinas by supporting their transformation through extensive, mentoring, holistic programming and scholarship funds for further education. Immersed in an experiential culture of learning, Latinas served by Circle de Luz demonstrate resilience, confidence, and authenticity as they complete high school and pursue further education.
We begin working with Latinas in seventh grade and they move through our program as a cohort group until high school graduation. Each Circle de Luz class experiences monthly programs that empower them to be more academically successful, prepare them for their futures, expose them to unique opportunities, encourage them to be responsible for their health and wellbeing, and allow them to contribute to their communities. Each Circle de Luz class has a leadership team of class captains and a support group of women (whom we call m’ijas, inspired by the Spanish term of endearment for girlfriends). Our m’ijas, who hail from all over the country and are from all backgrounds, serve as volunteers and mentors to our hijas (what we call the young women in our program, inspired by the Spanish word for daughter) and also commit to giving an annual gift for the duration of their class’s participation in the program. All of the annual gifts from our mijas create a scholarship fund for our hijas. When our hijas graduate from high school and enroll in a post-graduate educational experience, they receive a minimum of a $5,000 scholarship to help them with their education. Think of being 13 years old and knowing that more than 50 women so believe in you that they have put their money where their mouth is to insure that you get all the support you need to graduate from high school and pursue further education. It’s a pretty incredible thing and we’re seeing that with our hijas– our oldest group is now in 11th grade!- today.
On April 27, we will all- our leadership, our girls, some m’ijas and other friends of Circle de Luz- put on our running shoes once again to complete Run Big Dream Big IV, an annual run designed to teach our girls that they can plan, train for, and complete anything they put their mind to it while giving those of us who love this program an exciting way to support what we believe in. Yes, I will be running 3.1 miles in order to put my shoes where my mouth is, but it is more than that. I am also asking everyone I know to support this effort on behalf of the miles I will be running. Can you commit anything– from $5 to $500– to Circle de Luz and help us achieve our goal of raising more than $10,000 with this run? If you would rather write a check, you can make it out to Circle de Luz and mail it to PO Box 2 Davidson, NC 28036 (just put RBDBIV and Rosie Molinary in the memo line). These funds will ultimately help us continue to offer this amazing life experience to these amazing young women.
Thank you so much for your consideration!
*Circle de Luz is a 501c3 non-profit and you will receive a tax receipt/ thank you note for your donation.