Ella Institute and the Latina Think big event

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481579_521300007932654_1026540337_nFour accomplished Latina speakers set the uplifting and inspirational tone for the Ella Institute and the Latina Think big event, held last month at the prestigious Barnard College of Columbia University, in New York City.

 The featured Latina speakers included Natalia Oberti Noguera, Founder & CEO, Pipeline Fellowship; Kety Esquivel, Vice President and lead of Fenton’s Western region digital practice; and Samantha Marquez, 16-year-old scientist, innovator & entrepreneur.

These four proud Latinas each have taken the initiative to think outside of the box and pave the way for other Latinas. They have taken bold risks that have led them to an enviable path of leadership, innovation and ambition. Latism proudly sponsored this event because it is hearing from pioneers like these that helps to build and expand the pipeline of future Latina leaders.

Besides the featured speakers, other guests at the event included industry leaders from the private and public sectors, professionals, social media influencers, Columbia University alumni, academicians, authors and artists. To keep things interesting and lively, each speaker was given 16 minutes to present their unique vision. The extraordinary tone of the event was set by the charisma and spark of these strong women and their fascinating and insightful presentations resonated with the entire audience.  Each had her own story, but all noted the importance of a solid education, dealing positively with social disparities, assimilation, and breaking gender gaps as critical to future success for Latinas.

Dr. Angelica Perez-Litwin, another speaker said, “Success for Latinas is challenged by lack of organization barriers, gender stereotypes, ethnic prejudices lack of support and mentorship.”  Dr. Litwin conveyed a message of courage and leadership within the Latino community and emphasized how much the U.S. is in dire need of more diverse leadership. “It is not a Latino issue is an American Issue,” she said.

The overarching message that touched most people’s hearts was that with intelligence, intuition and drive anything is possible. The importance or mentoring was a major theme and it was made clear that mentors could make the most difference by sharing their knowledge in order to help young people navigate through life on the path towards their dreams.  The right guidance is what is going to shape the future of the younger generation in Technology, Science, Business and the Arts.

Picture by Smugmug.com

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