an invitation to be part of the good news


I am honored to invite you to join me as a mija, a member of the Circle de Luz giving circle. Joining a group of women from around the country to become empower young women as a part of this circle is one of the most powerful ways I make a difference in the world.

My investment is in the future of a group of young women who will more than likely be the first in their families to graduate from high school and pursue further education. My annual contribution supports their post-secondary education, but the connections that Circle de Luz donors and volunteers make with these girls—from the time its members are in seventh grade until they graduate from high school—are even more amazing.

Charlotte-based writer Jodi Helmer has been a Circle de Luz mija since the very first class. “I signed up to be a mija because it was a simple and powerful way to support a group of young women in pursuing their dreams of a college education,” she says. “In addition to signing on as a mija for the class of 2014, I also support the classes of 2015 and 2019. I am continuing my support of the organization—and the amazing young women who are following in the footsteps of the first graduating class—by becoming a mija for the class of 2020. Circle de Luz is an amazing organization that I’m proud to be part of and I know that my contribution has a big impact.”

Now, with our first class of Circle de Luz graduates about to start their freshman year at college, I am reminded of how important this work is. We are eager to find 65 women to answer this year’s call to the circle. The commitment is flexible; you can be as involved as you’d like. And you do not have to live in Charlotte (or even the United States) to join!

Please read on to learn more about Circle de Luz and our Class of 2020.


There is the hard news…

  • 51% of Latina girls get pregnant before the age of 20.
  • 44% did not graduate from high school
  • Only 13% of Latino students have 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 2020 from the seventh graders at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Charlotte, North Carolina. From now until the girls reach 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 65 mijas to provide this life changing opportunity to at least 5 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 2014-2015 school year at this time. To join the circle, please complete this Class of 2020 Letter of Commitment. We then ask that half of your year’s commitment be paid by September 15 and the other half by March 15, 2015 (don’t worry, we’ll send you a reminder when the time comes). You are welcome to mail it or scan and email it by following the directions on the form.

Interested but have questions?  Ask away!  I am happy to answer any questions you have about the program or mija experience!

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