Please consider being a M’ija

June 15, 2009 at 7:45 pm 1 comment

A walk in the woods with some of the Circle de Luz Class of 2014 girls

A walk in the woods with some of the Circle de Luz Class of 2014 girls

In the first four days after we launched our efforts to get at least 75 women to support at least 8 girls in the Circle de Luz Class of 2015, we have already had six women turn in their Letters of Commitment.  They are responding to these statistics:

Latinos have the highest drop out rate of all racial and ethnic groups. 

Dropouts have an average annual income of $22,000. High school graduates will earn an additional $300,000 over the course of their career. College graduates will earn $2.1million in a lifetime.

Adolescent girls who had a serious school failure- like dropping out- are significantly more likely to suffer a severe bout of depression.  In fact, thirty-three percent of girls who drop out later become depressed.  Researchers believe this might be because girls more acutely suffer the worst consequences after dropping out like higher poverty levels, higher dependence on public assistance, and lower rates of job stability.                                                           

 Latinas between the ages of 12-17 are more likely to attempt to take their life than any other group.  Twenty-five percent say they have thought about it.  Fifteen percent have attempted suicide. 

A third of Latinas who dropped out cited marriage or pregnancy as the reason.                                          

 Fifty-three percent of Latinas will become pregnant at least once before the age of 20.

And they are also responding to their incredible desire to make a difference in the life of a young girl.  Just as we were beginning to launch our efforts to have women joing the Class of 2015 effort, we heard from our partner school.  They had 25 girls they wanted to enroll in Circle de Luz.  We would need over 200 women to commit to the Class of 2015 to offer these girls the opportunities that their school would like them to have, believes that they need.  There are exactly 2 months between now and when we need to tell the school how many girls we can support.  Will you help us make this program possible for one more girl with your commitment? 

Here are the details:

This fall, we will select the Circle de Luz Class of 2015 from the current seventh graders at Ranson Middle School in Charlotte, North Carolina to begin the program.  From now until the girls reach high school graduation, we support them with mentoring and comprehensive programming to help them achieve their goal of graduating from high school and pursuing further education.  When they graduate from high school and enroll in the educational opportunity of their choice, we support them with a minimum of a $5,000 scholarship provided to them by women, we call them M’ijas, from all over the country that pool their resources in a giving circle for the six years the girls are finishing their secondary education.  Our goal this year is to have at least 75 women enrolled as M’ijas in the Class of 2015 by August 15, yielding a minimum of 8 scholarships. 

We need your help in radically empowering these young women to live the lives they have imagined.  M’ijas can have any background and can live anywhere.  As a M’ija, you make a commitment to donate a minimum of $90 a year for six years to the scholarship fund that will support the Class of 2015’s Hijas (our scholarship recipients who are selected as seventh graders).  You do not need to make your donation for the 2009-2010 school year at this time.  In fact, all we need right now is your Letter of Commitment.  We then ask that ½ of your year’s commitment be paid by September 15 and the other half by March 15, 2010 (don’t worry, we’ll send you a reminder when the time comes!).  All scholarship donations are placed in an interest bearing account designated for our Class of 2015 Hijas so interest can begin to accrue and provide them with an even more robust scholarship by the time they graduate.  The Letter of Commitment can be found here, and you are welcome to mail, scan and email, or fax it by following the directions on the form.  Please take a look at our video to understand why this effort is so important.         

 Thank you so much for considering!

Entry filed under: Food for Thought, Inspired, Revolution, Think, Speak, Act, What We Must Do. Tags: , , , , , .

A Strong Woman is a Powerful Woman What role can we/ should we play in our family’s nutrition?

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Jean Gullicks  |  June 29, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    Count me in, Rosie. I will sponsor a girl. My passion in life is educating girls. As you know, I have found sponsors for three Ethiopian girls and now will help you with your girls. Educating girls changes the lives of many.

    Reply

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In a Bookstore Near You

What does it mean to be beautiful in America? For years, pop culture has insisted that beautiful women are tall, thin, and blonde. So what do you do if your mirror reflects olive skin, raven hair, and a short build? Hijas Americanas: Beauty, Body Image, and Growing Up Latina offers a provocative account of the struggles and triumphs of Latina forced to reconcile these conflicting realities. Rosie Molinary combines her own experience with the voices of hundreds of Latinas who grew up in the US navigating issues of gender, image, and sexuality. This empathetic ethnography exemplifies the ways in which our experiences are both profoundly individualistic and comfortingly universal.
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