New leadership training program recruiting Latinas to empower their communities


By Veronica Martinez

EL PASO – A soon-to-be-launched leadership development program called L.E.A.D. (Lead, Educate, Advocate, Develop) is recruiting Latinas who are committed to developing leadership skills to address socio-economic and educational needs of El Rio Grande region for an eight-month program next year.

The project between several UTEP programs and the local non-profit organization Wise Latinas aims to identify 10 regional women with drive and initiative who wish to empower their communities and become community leaders, say the organizers.

“We’re looking for people who are not just interested in themselves, but people who have the quality of thinking about how to improve the lives of others,” said Dr. Guillermina Nuñez, Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program and a member of the L.E.A.D. planning committee. Other organizers of the training are Dr. Areli Chacon, UTEP director of the master’s program of Leadership Studies, Cynthia Marentes, director of Community Engagement at UTEP, and Liz Chavez, president of Wise Latinas International.

 Participants will meet once a month for a one-day training workshop with experts and academics who have expertise in developing budgets, fundraising, project design, media outreach, conflict resolution and dressing for success. During the workshop, participants will be asked to identify their needs and priorities as part of the training that concludes with a leadership certificate from UTEP.

Nuñez said the organizers are hoping to attract women who are interested in addressing issues in the areas of housing, childcare, mental health and education. The women selected for the program will also gain experience in conference planning and involvement in fundraising events.

The eight-month program starts in January and costs $250. It will prepare women with leadership skills that they will then apply to develop a community project.

 “We’ve had people who are interested in creating banking opportunities or how to train women so they can own their own companies,” Nuñez said. “We’re asking (the women who) apply, ‘what is it that you would like to propose, what’s your idea?” 

The workshops will be held the second Saturday of every month in different facilities throughout the city. The 2017 program launches in January and ends in December with a summer break during which the participants will work on their project.

The deadline to apply is December 21. Access to the online application can be found at

 For additional information contact Lizette Saucedo, vice president of Wise Latina International at 915-999-4990,

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