One in five women in the United States is a Latina and, in Charlotte, Latinas are the fastest growing segment of our student population. Yet, one in five Latinas does not complete high school by the age of 29 and just 15% of Latina women have a college degree.
Poverty, language and cultural barriers play a part in this process. Latina children who speak little or no English may experience difficulties while adjusting to their school and may also have trouble learning how to effectively communicate with teachers, figuring out extra-curricular activities, and understanding daily cultural traits. This process can be overwhelming and interfere with their academic success.
Imagine how the landscape of our towns and cities will change if such a large segment of the population is undereducated?
The fact is that educational empowerment profoundly impacts economic development. The current reality does not match the future that Latina’s envision for themselves. In Listening to Latinas: Barriers to High School Graduation, a study by the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund, 98% of Latina students surveyed shared that they want to graduate from high school and 80% of students surveyed would like to graduate from college. The desire is there, the work ethic is there, yet the support and resources are not there.
With your help, we can change this reality.
At Circle de Luz we help girls graduate from high school and go on to post-secondary education. The girls participate in an intensive mentoring experience from tenth through twelfth grade, in addition to their class programming, called Adelante: College and Career Pathways. Through our Adelante program each girl is paired with adult mentors who work with them through the college identification, application, and acceptance process. They learn how to write effective essays, how to apply for FAFSA, how to seek out appropriate scholarships and, most importantly, how to choose a school that will allow them the best opportunity for success.
Today 100% of our seniors have graduated from high school, which is 30% higher than the national average for Latinas. Fourteen young Latina women comprise our alumnae group and twelve of these individuals are currently enrolled in a post-secondary education program; this is an 85% success rate in relation to our post-secondary education enrollment goal. Our students have enrolled at UNCC, Queens University, Guilford College, Emory University, CPCC, and Paul Mitchell Cosmetology School and one is serving in the U.S. Military.
YOU can be part of this movement!
By donating today you will be directly impacting the lives of young Latina girls in Charlotte, NC.
With the support of this campaign, Circle de Luz will create educational opportunities for underserved Latinas in the Charlotte Mecklenburg School District. Circle de Luz is committed to eliminating the education gap currently plaguing our Latina population, and giving them a fair chance to be educated and empowered women.
How else can you help?
If you are not able to donate today, there are many ways you can support our girls and their families.
- Are you an expert in a specific field? We are always looking for Workshop facilitators that can expose our girls to different fields of study, careers or can educate them on different topics that can enrich their lives.
- You can become a Circle de Luz Volunteer. We have different opportunities to volunteer with our girls or our wonderful events throughout the year. Find out how you can guide our girls to a better future, by signing up to a Circle de Luz volunteer
- You can become part of our giving Circle and pledge to donate $100 a year for 6 years that the girls are in the program. As a part of this giving circle you will automatically become a Mija for specific class and would pledge to donate $600 total.
- Spread the word! Share our message with your friends and family members. Follow us on social media and get to know each and every girl in our program. We love to have ambassadors that believe in the work we do, and can spread our message to reach a bigger audience.
About Circle de Luz
Circle de Luz is a program that has the potential to be startlingly effective in a profound way. Seeing the reality of a young Latina girl in Charlotte, Circle de Luz created a model that would not only impact the life of that young girl, but would change the future of an entire family. Latino families are invited to join our circle and have honest conversations about challenges, barriers and successes which have shifted their perspectives and will be essential to breaking the cycle of poverty.