City of El Monte Hosts Leadership Conference to Inspire 200 Young Women

  • El Monte City Councilwoman Victoria Martinez, El Monte Police Dept. Captian. Michelle States, South El Monte Vice Mayor Angelica Garcia Delgado, community activist Verna De Los Reyes, and United States Marine Corps 2nd Lieutenant Maria S. Chavez served as role models.

by Chelsea Dickerson
March 14, 2013 • 763 views

The City of El Monte, together with many dedicated community partners, hosted Inspire: A Young Women’s Leadership Day on Saturday, March 1.  The conference aimed to teach approximately 200 local young women strategies on how to be effective leaders and provide encouragement that will propel them into a bright and vibrant future.

The conference featured prominent female leaders whose roots are planted in El Monte/South El Monte, and are now successful in their chosen industries. They served as inspirational role models to the young women, and recounted their own personal stories and provided tips on how the young women could create their own success stories and achieve their dreams. This includes keynote speaker Dr. Maribel Garcia, who, as Superintendent of the El Monte City School District, is now running the schools that were the source of her education.

One panelist, 2nd Lieutenant Maria S. Chavez from the United States Marine Corps shared her inspirational story of overcoming obstacles and serving as a female officer. The audience was inspired and moved to tears by her story.

The conference was open to 7th- 12th grade girls who attend the El Monte Union High School District, El Monte City School District, and the Mountain View School District.

Breakout session topics included learning ways to be a confident young woman in today’s society, wellness and how to have healthy body image, etiquette in today’s world, and managing your image in social media. One participant attending the “Real Women. Real Beauty” workshop presented by AltaMed Health Services said, “I loved hearing that I am beautiful. No one has ever told me that before.”

This special event was hosted by the City of El Monte, in partnership with California State Senator Ed Hernandez and Assemblymember Ed Chau.  These two legislators provided scholarship money to allow 10 attendees to attend the upcoming Adelante Mujer Latina conference, with community partners providing scholarship funds for an additional 15 participants to attend the conference held at Pasadena City College.

Local community organizations also participated, including AltaMed, Pacific Clinics, Sempra Energy, Rio Hondo College, Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles, El Monte/South El Monte Chamber of Commerce, and the California Center for Public Health Advocacy.

“Putting on this conference was a truly collaborative effort between all of these dedicated community partners to support these young women in this critical time in their lives,” said El Monte Councilwoman Victoria Martinez.  “We want to show these young women that they can grow up and be successful and amazing just like these women who did it before them.”

The conference was developed by Councilwoman Martinez after she attended other local leadership training seminars and realized that the El Monte community was very under-represented in the audience.  She decided to take action and bring this vital information and resources directly to the community she serves.

Attendees were asked to give back to their communities at the event by bringing bring two canned good items.  All items raised were donated to the Emergency Resources Association, a local nonprofit organization providing basic needs such as food, shelter, and clothing for families in crisis.

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