ATX | Ask Hispanic women achieving what they lacked on their path to success and you might be surprised that the challenges of academics and economics take a back seat to the absence of needed Latina role models –examples of those who have “made it.”
To celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept 15-Oct 15) Latinitas is bringing together mentors and young Latinas by hosting the 1st ever Latina Girls Conference, TECHchica, in partnership with Time Warner Cable and Austin Community College’s Eastview campus.
Saturday, October 6
Cost: $15 per girl.
Girls will engage in a “hackathon” like atmosphere developing a social media campaign to “change the world” and then implement it using blogs, video and podcasts.
“When we asked Hispanic girls in Latinitas’ programs what motivates them, they unanimously agree that they want to help others.” said Laura Donnelly Gonzalez, Latinitas, Founder, COO. “We are pairing their love of technology and media production with the desire to create a social media campaign that will do just that.”
Female bloggers, IT professionals and video producers from all over the city will walk girls ages 9-18 through these activities. During lunch, girls will be visited by a panel of women leading and succeeding in technology including local journalists, bloggers and technology executives from area businesses which will be filmed for a national web stream/simulcast to Latinitas’ El Paso chapter.
Latinos are still significantly less likely than whites to have a home internet connection (55% vs. 75%) due to several socio-economic factors including low levels of education and limited English ability. That lack of access reflects heavily in Latinitas where 95% of club attendees do not have a computer at home.
“Ten years teaching digital media education and publishing the only magazine made for and by young Latinas, Latinitas has seen a lot of technology innovation come from girls as young as 8 and we wanted to create a fun, supported, competitive environment where they could work collaboratively with a concentrated group of educators, technophiles and mentors.” Said founder Laura Donnelly Gonzalez.
Established in 2002, Latinitas, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, whose mission is to empower young Latinas through media and technology, has been a vital part of young Latinas’ lives through after school programs, teen internships, Saturday and summer camps, special events, and the very first online e-zine for young Latinas — www.latinitasmagazine.org. The bilingual magazine, written for and by young Latinas, provides a vehicle whereby these girls and young women not only see themselves positively reflected, but are also a part of the production.