When touring the country to promote Hijas Americanas: Beauty, Body Image, and Growing Up Latina, Rosie, a former high school teacher, was struck by how few resources were being directed to address the challenges that young Latinas face:
41% of Latinas do not graduate from high school on time.
Latinas experience 2x the national average of teen pregnancy.
Half of the Latinas who are aged 25 to 64 and lack a diploma are unemployed.
Concerned about these issues and convinced that a unique community solution could change the count and consequence, Rosie gathered a diverse group of women and, together, they founded Circle de Luz, a nonprofit created to radically empower young Latinas by supporting their transformation through extensive mentoring, holistic programming and scholarship funds for further education.
Why We’re Impactful
We offer 60+ programs annually.
Since 2008, we have invested $390,000 in our participants.
100% of our participants graduate from high school.
Circle de Luz is compelling because of our comprehensiveness, special focus, and unique model. We use a powerful dual-prong model as a nonprofit and giving circle. We begin our work by selecting a small cohort group of Latinas in seventh grade, whom we then engage with through high school graduation. During the six years of the program, we offer the girls holistic programming guided by a comprehensive developmental model and thoughtful group and individual mentoring. Our programming covers three core themes, which are noted under the images below. No other youth development or educational program in our area spends six years with its members in such a holistic way.
What Our Hijas Say about Their Experience
“Circle de Luz taught me how to engage with others,” says Dania. A Circle de Luz Class of 2015 alumna and UNC-Charlotte student, Dania is studying communications. She loves organizing and spending time with her family.
“Circle de Luz matters because it transforms lives,” say Zuri, a Circle de Luz Class of 2016 alumna majoring in International Studies at Queens University. A black belt in Tae Kwon Do, she plays guitar, viola, and piano.
“Circle de Luz taught me to become myself and how to plan for a good future,” says Wendy, a Class of 2019 hija. Wendy loves to read and draw, and her favorite subject is science. She wants to be a nurse.
“Circle de Luz gave me the conviction that I will go to college and become someone,” says Alicia, a Class of 2020 hija. A One Direction fan, Alicia’s favorite subject is English. She hopes to work in publishing one day.
Learn more about Circle de Luz and how you can become involved.