We need YOU to be a part of the good news!

Today, I am inviting you to become a part of Circle de Luz by becoming a 2019 mija.  You might be inclined to stop reading right there.  But please don’t.  My participation in Circle de Luz feels like one of the most important things I do.  As a giving circle member, I get to invest in the future education of a young woman who will more than likely be the first in her family to graduate from high school and pursue further education.  While contributing to someone’s education is really powerful, what I know to be true is that it is the daily work that Circle de Luz performs— from the time its members are in seventh grade until they graduate from high school- that is most amazing.  Last month, one of our girls shared these thoughts with us…
Five years ago… I got called up to the main office… I was sure I was in trouble.  As I sat in the room with seven other girls I barely saw around the school, three beautiful ladies who radiated strength and confidence walked in telling us we had a bright future ahead.  At first, I did not believe it.  Why me?  Those were the thoughts running through my mind.  Now I know why I was chosen.  Beautiful ladies around the country have gathered and seen the potential we Latinas have and decided they wanted to be part of our lives.  We are all beautiful on the inside and out and all you ladies gave me the confidence to believe those words everyday.
It is moments like these that remind me how important this work is.  We are eager to find 60 women who will answer this year’s call to the circle.  The great news is that you can be as involved or uninvolved as you like.  You can choose to be just a financial donor or actually attend events with the girls— it is totally your call.  And you do not have to live in Charlotte to make an impact!  Not sure if Circle de Luz is the right place to dedicate your resources?  Consider this…
There is the hard news…

Fifty-one percent of Latina girls get pregnant before the age of twenty.

Forty-four percent did not graduate from high school.

Only thirteen percent of Latino students had a college degree.

And the good news…

Girls with long-term plans or educational aspirations have more hope for the future, are less likely to get pregnant, and become more engaged in school and related activities—all factors making it more likely that they will graduate from high school and make it to college.

Research has shown that a relationship with a caring adult helps students stay in school and graduate.

We want to invite you to be part of that good news.

Circle de Luz is a non-profit focused on radically empowering young Latinas by supporting their transformation through extensive mentoring, holistic programming, and scholarship funds to help further their education. You can help them by becoming a mija (a Spanish term of endearment for girlfriend), one of hundreds of women across the country participating in the Circle de Luz giving circle, making a dramatic difference in the lives of some wonderful young women.

In September, we will select the Circle de Luz Class of 2019 from the seventh graders at James Martin Middle School in Charlotte, North Carolina. From now until the girlsreach high school graduation, we will support them with mentoring and programming to empower them to achieve their goals of graduating from high school and pursuing further education. When they graduate from high school, we will support them with a minimum $5,000 scholarship provided to them by our mijas.

Mijas are women from all over the country who believe in the power of education, who want to make a difference, and change the count. Mijas make a commitment to donate a minimum of $100 for each of the six years that their class of girls is in the program. That money is used to award a scholarship to every Circle de Luz hija (what we call the young women in our program) upon high school graduation and enrollment in a further educational opportunity. We believe in making philanthropy accessible and the $100 amount is roughly the amount of one lunch out per month.

We need at least 60 mijas to provide this life changing opportunity to at least 6 new hijas.Mijas can have any background and can live anywhere. Will you consider joining this powerful group of women making a difference?

You do not need to make your donation for the 2013-2014 school year at this time. To join the circle, please complete the Letter of Commitment. There is no financial commitment due now– our mijas pay 1/2 their commitment each September and the other half each March. You are welcome to mail or scan and email the Letter of Commitment by following the directions on the form.

As a bonus, any new mija that signs up before June 10 will be entered into a drawing to win the dress of their choice from Brooklyn-based designers Karina Dresses!

What questions do you have about Circle de Luz?  I am happy to answer any and all of them, and it would be my great honor to have you join the circle!
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