Sacramento Events and Giving Goals: Join Chicas Latinas This July!

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Chicas Latinas’ 2018 “Starting Off on the Right Foot” Shoe Drive, benefiting D.W. Babcock School is underway!!! We have a goal this year to provide EVERY child at the elementary school with a new pair of shoes for the 2018-19 school year.

19149385_10154540598001821_71462256553571873_nTo help reach our goal, community members and businesses have partnered with us as sponsors, donors, and fundraiser event hosts ~ needless to say, we have a full calendar of events and opportunities to give!

Thank you to our 2018 “Starting Off on the Right Foot” Sponsors and Donors:

  • Northwestern Mutual
  • River City Phoenix
  • Sutter Roseville
  • Hugs Alternative Care: Collecting NEW shoe donations at their 2 locations!
  • Sacramento Republic FC: Collecting NEW shoe donations at Sac Republic Offices!
  • Heart Boutique: Collecting NEW shoe donations July 8-14!

Join us for Chicas Latinas night with Sac Republic FC on Saturday, Aug. 4! The price is $20 per ticket and is sure to sell out FAST! We’ll have tickets on hand to sell at our upcoming July event, or contact us via email/social to purchase tickets.

Proceeds benefit our Shoe Drive! 

Can’t attend, but want to give? Donate online: https://clshoedrive2018.eventbrite.com

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Please help us reach our goal of providing EVERY child at D. W. Babcock Elementary with a new pair of shoes for the school year (600 pairs)! July fundraiser events below, please join us and share!

July Dates, Sacramento:

Every other Sunday at 8 a.m., volunteer to Help Feed the Homeless with CAFFE at Cesar Chavez Plaza!

#TeamChicas meets every other Wednesday evening for run/walks.  Follow us on Facebook for timely updates.

TBD Scholarship Committee Mtg. (contact)

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Give, while you shop:

Chicas Latinas is linked to #amazonsmile! Shop for your
“Starting Off on the Right Foot” Shoe Drive donations at smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Chicas Latinas De Sacramento!

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Get Your Tickets For Chicas Latinas’ Night with Sac Republic FC

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There are some combinations that pair amazingly well, like chips and salsa, cheese and wine, and Chicas Latinas de Sacramento and the Sacramento Republic FC.

Chicas Latinas Poster ImgBoth Chicas Latinas de Sacramento and Sacramento Republic FC have a strong commitment to the Sacramento community: making passionate efforts to support the community in a number of ways! In August, Sacramento Republic FC  will join forces with Chicas Latinas in support of its “Starting Off on the Right Foot” shoe drive and create a wonderful opportunity for the students at D.W. Babcock Elementary in the coming school year.

On August 4 Sacramento Republic’s game against the Fresno Football Club will be more than just a game that fans should not miss because Sacramento’s soccer team is partnering with Chicas Latinas de Sacramento! The game will be held on a hot August night of August 4 at 8 p.m. will help raise funds for the annual “Starting Off on the Right Foot” shoe drive. A portion of each $20 ticket will go toward the purchase of NEW shoes for local elementary students!

For more information on tickets and donations email: info@chicaslatinasdesacramento.org

In addition to ticket proceeds benefiting the drive, there will be shoe donation bins available at the game. The Sacramento Republic is taking it one step further (no pun intended) by accepting NEW SHOE donations for the shoe drive at their SRFC Office located at 2421 17 Street in Sacramento. Please join us for a fun, summer night that will help us make a big difference!

Can’t attend the game, but still want to give to the children at D.W. Babcock Elementary School? Donate directly online via Eventbrite — 100 percent of monetary donations will be used to purchase new shoes for children in the local area.

Chicas Latinas de Sacramento with Sacramento Republic FC Event

Invite your friend’s and family via Facebook!

Saturday August 4, 2018 at 8:00 p.m.

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For more information on tickets and donations email: info@chicaslatinasdesacramento.org

 

Chicas Latinas’ Estrella del Mes: Junio/Star of the Month: June

Chicas Latinas de Sacramento has existed in the Sacramento community for nine years, thanks to the hard work and dedication of many amazing individuals. To celebrate Sacramento’s leaders, and our behind-the-scenes (s)heroes, we’re thrilled to highlight and introduce to the community our shining star for the month of Junio/June!

Chicas Latinas’ Estrella del Mes: Junio/Star of the Month: June

Sophia Agafonow

Sophia Agafonow – Former Board of Directors, treasurer 

How long have you been a part of Chicas? 

I was the treasurer for about three years and a founding board member, too.

Happy to announce that we’re going into 2014 with our 501(c)3 status.

What’s your favorite aspect of being a Chicas member?

I have been involved in service clubs for many years because it is extremely fulfilling, and I am happy to have the opportunity to encourage others to do the same and experience the feeling of being of service to other people in need.

What do you love about Sacramento?

It is a great community to live in and raise healthy families; it isn’t too small, or too big, which allows people to feel a sense of belonging.

What is one of your most fun, or memorable experiences volunteering with Chicas?

Introducing my good friend Susana Becerra to the group and finding out that it was a match made in heaven.

5 year Anniversary at Zocolo

Why did you join Chicas?

I understood the need to get more Latinas in our communities to think of ways of giving back. Our communities usually benefit often from the goodwill of others when going through rough patches [in life], so it is only fair for us to repay the generosity.

What has been your biggest challenge in life?

Leaving my beautiful country, Venezuela, and starting my life all over at the age of 25 in a different country, with different cultures and values. Fortunately, I met amazing people who welcomed me and made me feel at home.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and how would you use it?

Living always in the present! Only God knows how much time I spend worrying about the future.

What is your favorite quote and why?

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give,” Winston Churchill. We need more people to give more love, time, money, energy, etc., without thinking about what’s in it for them.

Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why?

London!! There is so much history and absolute respect for their culture, whether it makes sense, or not, like its monarchy, which is pure lovely madness.

What is your most favorite family tradition?

Celebrating Russian Orthodox Easter is my absolute favorite. My grandma cooked the traditional Easter cake, and colored and hand-painted hardboiled eggs that were later blessed by the Priest during service, which is longer than usual and no one is allowed to sit, followed by an unforgettable feast at home with friends and family.

Chicas Latinas de Sacramento’s June Schedule of Events

Walking into June feeling proud of ALL Los Hombres de Las Chicas who walked in HIGH HEELS to raise awareness and much-needed funds for WEAVE, Inc.  We extend many, many thanks to YOU, especially to Noah Lennon and his Sacramento Republic FC crew for participation in the high-heeled hilarity of Walk a Mile in Her Shoes! We look forward to seeing you ALL next year, along with some new man friends.

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Chicas Latinas celebrated its 9-year Anniversary during the happiest hour (happy hour)! We enjoyed sharing sparkling champagne with many wonderful chicas y chicos!  Thank you for your company, laughter, and memories! And, we are excited to start planning next year’s celebration for our 10-year Anniversary, which should be even bigger and better!

Chicas 9-year anniversary

We have some great fundraiser and donation drive events coming together this summer, such as the annual Sac Republic FC soccer event on Saturday, Aug. 4! The price is $20 per ticket and is sure to sell out FAST! So grab yours while you can!

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Chicas Latinas has obtained some NEW sponsors, Northwestern Mutual, River City Phoenix, and Hugs Alternative Care, for our 2018 “Starting Off on the Right Foot” shoe drive, benefiting D.W. Babcock Elementary School! We would also like to extend this rewarding and exciting opportunity to other local businesses. Please Contact us for more information! Or Learn more: How to Sponsor Our 2018 “Starting Off on the Right Foot” Shoe Drive

Help Wanted!

Do you love our Sacramento Crisis Nursery volunteer events as much as we do? Consider hosting one! We host nursery visits every other month, on Saturdays, and are looking for a few chicas to lead one (or two) volunteer projects in 2018! Our next event will be in June. And, we are currently looking for a volunteer to host for the month of August. Please email us to learn more: committees@chicaslatinasdesacramento.org

June Dates, Sacramento:

  • June 4: Marketing & Community Outreach Committee Mtg
  • June 6: #TeamChicas Running Group
  • June 11: Programs & Events Committee Mtg.
  • June 16: Sac Crisis Nursery, Theme: “Under the Sea”
  • June 20:#TeamChicas Running Group

Every other Sunday at 8 a.m., volunteer to Help Feed the Homeless with CAFFE at Cesar Chavez Plaza!

#TeamChicas meets every other Wednesday evening for run/walks.  Follow us on Facebook for timely updates.

TBD Scholarship Committee Mtg. (contact for meeting times)

TBD Chicas Latinas Board Mtg. (contact for meeting times)

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Give, while you shop:

Chicas Latinas is linked to #amazonsmile! Shop at smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Chicas Latinas De Sacramento!

 

Calling Los Hombres de Sacramento to Walk a Mile in Her Shoes!

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We’re asking the men in our lives to participate in Walk a Mile in Her Shoes 2018 on May 20 in Sacramento, to raise critical funds for WEAVE, Inc., Sacramento County’s provider of services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

WAM Registration is open — sign up, “Los Hombres de las Chicas!!!
👠 http://www.weavewalkamile.org/LosHombresDeLasChicas 👠

Screen Shot 2018-05-01 at 2.01.33 PMWhy is WAM important? Check out this Girls on the Grid article authored by Chicas Latinas de Sacramento member Kristal Reynaga: “WALK A MILE IN HER SHOES 2018: CULTURE, CONVERSATION, AND CHANGE!” She bravely shared her story, which highlights Chicas Latinas de Sacramento‘s efforts and advocacy in the Latin@ community!

WAM 2018 Details:
Sunday May 20, 2018
11:30 am – Festival Opens
1:00 pm – Walk Begins
3:00 pm – Festival Closes
Location: Walk a Mile in Her Shoes 2018 has a new location! Crocker Park.

Chicas we will be volunteering as our men walk. So sign up to volunteer with #TeamChicas at Walk a Mile: www.weaveinc.org/volunteer-wam  and add Group Name “Chicas Latinas”

FacebookJoin “Los Hombres de Las Chicas” Walk a Mile Team

Register:  http://www.weavewalkamile.org/LosHombresDeLasChicas 

Terry and NatalieCongrats to our Chicas Latinas’ Estrella de Mes: Abril / Star of the Month for April, Terry Ward!

Thank you for your contributions to Chicas Latinas and the Sacramento community. Check out Terry’s Q&A here to learn about why he joined Chicas Latinas de Sacramento, his giving accomplishments!

May Dates, Sacramento:

Thank you to all who supported our “Starting Off on the Right Foot” Shoe Drive, benefiting D.W. Babcock Elementary School, by attending our Loteria Paint Night fundraiser — donated by  Sacred Yoli Designs.

Space donated by La Venadita and photography and video by Lamogollon Photography & Anthony Villagran. 

Speaking of… “Starting Off on the Right Foot” Shoe Drive, benefiting D.W. Babcock Elementary School, you can NOW donate directly online via Eventbrite

And last, but not least, thank you to all who volunteered at Rebuilding Together Sacramento! We made a huge difference in a family’s lives.

Chicas Latinas’ Estrella del Mes: Abril/Star of the Month: April

Chicas Latinas de Sacramento has existed in the Sacramento community for nine years, thanks to the hard work and dedication of many amazing individuals. To celebrate Sacramento’s leaders, and our behind-the-scenes (s)heroes, we’re thrilled to highlight and introduce to the community our shining star for the month of Abril/April!

Chicas Latinas’ Estrella del Mes: Abril/Star of the Month: April

Chicas Latinas Board

Chicas Latinas de Sacramento’s #Network4Cause 2014

Terry J. Ward, Board Co-Chair & Scholarship Committee Member 

Assistant Vice President/Senior Financial Advisor, Merrill Lynch.

How long have you been a part of Chicas Latinas de Sacramento?

I’ve been an active member for about four years now.

What’s your favorite aspect of being a Chicas member?

Opportunities for tackling regional community challenges with a team effort.

#SupportTheGirls Anniversary Brunch 2015

What do you love about Sacramento?

I love the size and the diversity. The area is not too big, so as an organization we can have a large impact on local projects, yet there’s so much diversity in skill and thought here, that we can take advantage to build leadership and community.

What is one of your most fun or memorable experiences volunteering with Chicas?

I’ve had a lot of fun and memorable experiences while working with Chicas, but recently we went to Bishop Gallego Maternity Home. The program is sponsored by the church and it’s for moms with new babies. I love discovering new programs that I didn’t know existed as was the case with this program. We all met there, but I arrived straight from work with my nice suit still on. The other Chicas asked if I wanted to hold a baby and I jumped at the chance; of course, the little guy promptly threw up dinner leftovers all over my nice suit. I wiped it off and soldiered on. The Chicas handed out gift baskets to new moms that evening; we gave the moms a break for a bit and a good demonstration of unconditional love, which is sometimes hard to come by these days. This kind of grass roots activity can have a positive ripple effect in our community and I believe we all went to sleep that night better off for it (the moms, the babies, the Chicas group, the Church, and the community as well).

Bishop Gallego Maternity Home Stocking Drive 2016

Why did you join Chicas?

It seemed like a strong group of emerging community leaders worthy of support. So far, the Chicas have lived up to their potential and continue to amaze me with their leadership, efforts, and community enthusiasm.

What has been your biggest challenge in life?

So far, it was to complete my education. I had to fund and complete my college education on my own with little guidance.

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Chicas Latinas’ Scholarship Recipient Luncheon 2017

What are your interests and hobbies?

Running, traveling, and reading.

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Name one fun fact about yourself:

I once won some ribbons/awards at the California State Fair for my hand made jewelry exhibit.

What favorite quote do you live by?

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Gandhi

Terry and Natalie

“Starting Off on the Right Foot” Shoe Drive 2016

Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why?

Morocco because it has a lot of ancient history; it was occupied by Romans, Moors, Carthaginians, and now Islamic culture, so there’s an incredible amount of different architecture, etc. And, people were so welcoming, interesting, and passionate.

 

Rebuilding Together Sacramento: Spring Rebuild with Chicas Latinas

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26904648_10155062693946821_5281354993157350962_nTwice a year Sacramento volunteers join together to help make repairs on homes, or a nonprofit facility, during Rebuild Days – which are action-packed, rewarding events. There are opportunities for everyone – skilled and unskilled participants, volunteer house captains and volunteer coordinators, and material and financial donors.

Chicas Latinas is asking our members, volunteers, and community members to join us in helping to rebuild homes in the Sacramento area for families in need on April 21. Morning and afternoon shifts available.

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*Volunteers must be at least 16 years of age to volunteer. All are welcomed to join Chicas Latinas‘ team, look for our group name in the drop-down menu! Those who register with Chicas Latinas will be assigned to the same house.

No experience required. A T-shirt, food, and refreshments will be provided.

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Follow the event on FacebookJoin #TeamChicas’ Rebuilding Together Sacramento, Rebuild Team! Or Register, here: select “Chicas Latinas” from team drop-down menu

NataliaChavezCongrats to our Chicas Latinas’ Estrella de Mes: Marzo / Star of the Month for March, Natalia Chavez!

Thank you for your contributions to Chicas Latinas and the Sacramento community. Check out Natalia’s Q&A here to learn about why she joined Chicas Latinas de Sacramento, her giving idea, and accomplishments!

April Dates, Sacramento:

  • April 3: Programs & Events Committee Mtg.
  • April 4: #TeamChicas Running Group
  • April 5: Marketing & Community Outreach Committee Mtg.
  • April 7: Chicas Latinas’ Shoe Drive Donation Event w/ Sac Roller Derby
  • April 10: Chicas Latinas Board Meeting
  • April 18: #TeamChicas Running Group
  • April 21:  Join #TeamChicas’ Rebuilding Together Sacramento, Rebuild Team!
  • April 28: April Showers bring May Flowers, Sac Crisis Nursery Volunteer Day
  • DATE TBA: Chicas Latinas Paint Night, Shoe Drive Fundraiser 

Every other Sunday at 8 am: Volunteer and Help Feed the Homeless with CAFFE at Cesar Chavez Plaza.

#TeamChicas meets every other Wednesday evening for run/walks.  Follow us on Facebook for timely updates.

TBD Scholarship Committee Mtg. (contact for meeting times).

Thank you to all who supported our “Starting Off on the Right Foot” Shoe Drive, benefiting D.W. Babcock Elementary School, by attending our yoga fundraiser at Casa de Espanol! Hope to see you all again for upcoming Paint Night fundraiser — details TBA.

Chicas Latinas’ Estrella del Mes: Marzo

Chicas Latinas de Sacramento has existed in the Sacramento community for 9 years, thanks to the hard work and dedication of many amazing individuals. To celebrate Sacramento’s Latina Leaders, and our behind-the-scenes (s)heroes, we’re thrilled to highlight and introduce to the community our shining star for the month of Marzo/March!

Chicas Latinas’ Estrella del Mes: Marzo/Star of the Month: March

NataliaChavez

Natalia Chavez — Lead Coordinator of Chicas Latinas’ first Laptop Drive* 

How long have you been a part of Chicas Latinas de Sacramento?

I’ve been a part of Chicas since November 2016.

What’s your favorite aspect of being a Chicas member?

Meeting other women who have a desire to make an impact in the community.

What do you love about Sacramento?

I love midtown – there’s so many restaurants and bars within walking distance.

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Why did you join Chicas?

I joined Chicas because I had an idea that I wanted to pursue – collecting gently used laptops, refurbishing, and donating them to students who need computers at home. I pitched the idea to Chicas and they supported me and my idea!

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What are your interest and hobbies?

Salsa dancing, hiking, and traveling.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and how would you use it?

The ability to touch a book and consume all the information in the book. I wish I were a faster reader and this superpower would allow me to read all the books I wanted in an instant!

Name one fun fact about yourself:

I was a co-captain of my salsa team in college.

What or who inspires you?

People who take risks and aren’t afraid to fail.

Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why?

There’s so many places, it’s hard to name one.  I would say Cuba because it was completely different from other places I’ve traveled; Cubans were very friendly and the music was amazing!

 

*Chicas Latinas Laptop Drive: Bridges the digital divide by supplying pre-owned laptops to students who lack access to computers in the Sacramento region. There were 200 applicants, but only the top eight and most deserving youth received gently used and refurbished laptops. Chicas Latinas de Sacramento aspires to receive more laptop donations from community partners in the near future.

Chicas Latinas de Sacramento’s March Schedule of Events

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Pamella Tejada

Pamella Tejada

Congrats to our Chicas Latinas’ Estrella de Mes: Febrero / Star of the Month for Febuary, Pamella Tejada!

Thank you for all you do. Check out her Q&A here and some action shots of her volunteer and leadership work with Chicas Latinas de Sacramento.

With the leadership provided by our Estrellas, Pamella and Susana, Chicas Latinas members are working hard to finalize sponsors for our 2018 “Starting Off on the Right Foot” shoe drive, benefiting D.W. Babcock Elementary SchoolContact us for more information and/or to join in on the fun — deadline is fast approaching!

We have some great (and creative) fundraiser and donation drive events coming together for the spring and summer, including our yoga event on March 24!

✨ Join us at Get Barefoot for Babcock! Yoga Fundraiser, benefiting “Starting Off on the Right Foot!” Purchase your tickets here:  http://bit.ly/Barefoot4Babcock2018

Learn more: How to Sponsor Our 2018 “Starting Off on the Right Foot” Shoe Drive

 

If you’re more of the hands-on type, sign up to help Chicas Latinas members rebuild homes in the Sacramento community on April 21, with Rebuilding Together Sacramento! Registration is now open, with morning and afternoon shifts available. No experience required. A T-shirt, food, and refreshments will be provided. Men and women are welcomed to register for our team.

Follow the event on FacebookJoin #TeamChicas’ Rebuilding Together Sacramento, Rebuild Team! Or Register, here: select “Chicas Latinas” from team drop-down menu

Registration is also open for Weave Inc.’s Annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event and yes... Chicas Latinas will have a volunteer AND Hombre walking team! You’re not going to want to miss this ladies n’ gents. Chicas, sign up here to volunteer with us! Hombres, sign up here to walk with Los Hombres de Las Chicas!

Follow our team event on Facebook and share with the hombres in your life.

Help Wanted!

Do you love our Sacramento Crisis Nursery volunteer events as much as we do? — Consider hosting one! We host nursery visits every other month (on Saturdays) and are looking for a few Chicas’ who can lead one (or two) volunteer projects in 2018! Our next event will be in April. Email us to learn more: committees@chicaslatinasdesacramento.org

March Dates, Sacramento:

Every other Sunday at 8 am: Volunteer and Help Feed the Homeless with CAFFE at Cesar Chavez Plaza

#TeamChicas meets every other Wednesday evening for run/walks.  Follow us on Facebook for timely updates.

TBD Scholarship Committee Mtg. (contact for meeting times)

TBD Chicas Latinas Board Mtg. (contact for meeting times)

 

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Give, while you shop:

Chicas Latinas is now linked to #amazonsmile! Shop at smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Chicas Latinas De Sacramento!

Chicas Latinas’ Estrella del Mes: Febrero

Chicas Latinas de Sacramento has existed in the Sacramento community for 9 years, thanks to the hard work and dedication of many amazing individuals. To celebrate Sacramento’s Latina Leaders, and our behind-the-scenes (s)heroes, we’re thrilled to highlight and introduce to the community our shining star for the month of Febrero/February!

Chicas Latinas’ Estrella del Mes: Febrero/Star of the Month: February

Pamella Tejada

Pamella Tejada — Programs & Events Committee Member, and Lead Coordinator of Chicas Latinas’ annual “Starting Off on the Right Foot” Shoe Drive

How long have you been a part of Chicas?     

Two years and counting!

What’s your favorite aspect of being a Chicas member?

I love how everyone is committed to making our community a better place for EVERYONE. There is such unity between the members and unlimited support when we want to expand our ideas into reality. Chicas Latinas de Sacramento accepted and invited me without hesitation, and has allowed me to explore and give back to my community.

 What do you love about Sacramento?

I am originally from the Bay Area, but moved to Sacramento seven years ago when my husband got accepted to Sac State. The plan was to move back, but here we are seven years later just loving how easy it is to find hundreds of events in Sacramento. We have everything here: Sports (Sacramento Republic FC, River Cats & the Kings), outdoor adventures (fishing, skiing, hiking, camping), and a vast amount of foods from all over the world. And, then there is the community – so many friendly, hard-working and talented individuals – they make it hard to leave, too!

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What is one of your most fun, or memorable experience volunteering with Chicas? 

I fell in love volunteering at the Crisis Nursery, so much that I now run the events every other month. There is nothing more rewarding than being able to help guide our youth and doing so with other Chicas y Chicos. It’s an amazing feeling to work side by side with strangers who just want to help make the world a better place, by starting with our youth. We visit the Crisis Nursery and expose the children to various projects, and since I have a background in science, I try to incorporate a crafty science project to help spark their interest in biology and chemistry. Then, we make a healthy meal, but we put a twist to it by making it artsy; let’s be honest, it’s hard to get kids to eat veggies and fruits!

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Why did you join Chicas?  

I have always volunteered, since I love helping others. When I was younger, I volunteered in dance class, then as a young adult, it was helping feral cats. So, when I moved to Sacramento, I wanted to explore my options when a friend of a friend mentioned Chicas Latinas to me. I researched the website and went to a donation drive they were having one night and just knew that its mission was something that I could be of assistance. Ever since joining, I have been able to help out at various events, but it’s the group that has helped me become less timid and push me into assisting an even broader range of individuals.

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What are your interest and hobbies?    

I love being active and have always played some type of sport growing up. About two years ago I decided to try roller derby. I fell in love with the sport and was amazed by all the strong women involved. I definitely want to see how far I can get in derby, but for now I am enjoying the wild rush I get from practicing on the track with my teammates.

RollerDerby

 What do you love about being a woman?

I love how us woman are naturally fierce-some and it’s our determination within ourselves that brings out this amazing strength to overcome some unimaginable obstacles. I have gone through highs and lots of lows in life, but I use each experience as a lesson learned and that helps me grow into a stronger woman each time.

Name one fun fact about yourself:

I was born in Santiago, Chile, and immigrated to the great United States when I was 3-years-old. My grandparents escaped the holocaust and it was my grandmother that eventually made her way to Chile.


Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why?

I have been fortunate to travel worldwide and so far my favorite place has been Chile. I know I am probably bias here, but it feels amazing to walk down the street and have all these amazing, aromatic, homemade foods within arm’s reach. Everyone is extremely friendly and willing to help complete strangers, which is so inviting and calming. And, then to sweeten the experience, I get to see the remaining part of my family; people who I unfortunately do not see enough, but still welcome me with an open heart.