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“Latinas Achieve” Program Announces Spring Calendar


By Sheryl E. Taylor

The University of Houston-Downtown’s (UHD) Center for Latino Studies, in collaboration with the University’s Office of Alumni Relations, is launching a new mentorship program, “Latinas Achieve,” to empower Latina women for academic and professional success. The Center is in the College of Humanities & Social Sciences.

“Research shows that students who see themselves and their communities represented in the curriculum feel more invested in their learning, achieve higher levels of academic success, and even graduate at higher rates than students whose experiences remain on the margins,” said Dr. Bonnie A. Lucero, director of the Center for Latino Studies and associate professor of history. “More than half the UHD student body is Latino/a/x, and Latina women are our institution’s single largest student demographic. Given these data, Latinas Achieve centers Latina experiences within the University’s co-curricular programming, fostering a greater sense of belonging for Latina students on our campus.”

Each semester, the program hosts a series of events focused on Latina experiences, which includes networking opportunities, leadership trainings, cultural enrichment and learning opportunities featuring Latina scholars and activists, socials, and more. The program is even working with external partners to bring new scholarship opportunities to Latina students at UHD.

By attending these events, Latina students will:

  • Hear from Latina role models on how they overcame some of the most significant challenges facing Latinas, including balancing school and family, economic struggles, and social and cultural expectations of womanhood.
  • Gain access to Houston’s finest arts and cultural establishments, network with some of Houston’s most successful Latina professionals, entrepreneurs, and community leaders, to develop important leadership skills, explore new career possibilities, and build community with other Latina students.
  • Network with some of Houston’s most successful Latina professionals, entrepreneurs, and community leaders, develop important leadership skills, explore new career possibilities, and build community with other Latina students.
  • Explore new career possibilities.
  • Build community with other Latina students.

This year’s program includes seven key events designed to provide opportunities for Latina students to learn, build relationships, and develop their academic and professional trajectories in a supportive, culturally-sensitive environment.

“Latinas Achieve” Event Schedule

The Art of Networking
Thursday, January 31
6 – 8 p.m.
UHD O’Kane Gallery
Informal mixer at the opening reception of the art exhibition: Latinx Art & Identity, from the collection of Harriett and Ricardo Romo.

Latinas in the Legal Profession
Wednesday, February 13
12 – 1:30 p.m.
One Main Building, Room N1099
Informal discussion with Latina Judges, Lawyers, and Legislators, organized and moderated by Houston attorney Gracie Saenz.

Justice for Jakelín
Thursday, February 1410 – 11:15 a.m.
Academic Building, Room A707
Program honoring the memory of seven-year old Jakelín Ameí Rosmery Caal Maquin who was killed in U.S. Border Patrol custody, with special guest scholar and activist, Dr. Clelía O. Rodríguez.

Latina Power Purse Program
Saturday, February 23
8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Academic Building, Room A300
A leadership training for Latinas.UHD students who attend this training are eligible to apply for special scholarships through the Power on Heels Network. Register today to attend this event.

A Night at the Symphony
Thursday, February 28
7 p.m.
One Main Building, Room N1038
Meet at the Center for Latino Studies at 7 p.m. for refreshments with mentors followed by a Houston Symphony concert featuring Eschenbach and Josefowicz. For a free ticket ($41-$125 value) to this event, sign-up using the password: LatinasAchieve.

Multiracials & Civil Rights
Monday, March 4
12 – 1:30 p.m.
Academic Building White Oak Room
A talk featuring prominent Afro-Puerto Rican legal scholar Dr. Tanya Katerí Hernández. Read more about Dr. Hernández’s most recent book.

Ice Cream Social
Tuesday, March 26
2:30 – 4 p.m.
One Main Building, Room N1099

“Latinas Achieve” relies on the support of a powerful network of Latina professionals, entrepreneurs, and community leaders. Pursing a broad range of careers in the public and private sectors, this group includes data scientists, lawyers, engineers, corporate executives, city government employees, non-profit managers, business owners, financial consultants, marketing specialists, artists, writers, and others. The mentor team also features a number of prominent UHD alumnae, including Miriam Morales, president of the UHD Alumni Association.

Thanks following mentors are making the upcoming events possible:

  • Attorney and former councilwoman Gracie Saenz has coordinated with some of Houston’s most prominent Latina lawyers, jurists, and legislators to share their experiences in the legal profession with UHD students on Feb 13.
  • Entrepreneur and Non-Profit founder Ivette Mayo and her Power on Heels Network is bringing crucial leadership training with the goal of closing the pay gap. UHD students who attend the Latina Power Purse program on Feb. 23 are eligible to apply for scholarships through the Power on Heels Fund, which has earmarked several awards especially for UHD students.
  • Human resources and diversity executive Helen Cavazos, who also serves on the Houston Symphony’s Hispanic Advisory Board, facilitated a gift of 40 free tickets for Latina students to attend the February 28 concert free of charge, courtesy of Emily Nelson, Director of Education and Community Engagement at the Houston Symphony.

“Latinas Achieve” launched in fall 2018, with its Inaugural Mentor-Mentee Mixer, featured a leadership activity led by Mary Rodríguez, UHD alumna and director of Learning Innovation and Design at Baker Ripley.

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.