Together For Latinas, Inc. (TLA, formerly known as The Latina A.R.M.Y. Inc.), a nonprofit 501c(3), was established in 2009 to support the positive life development of young Latina girls. The Together For Latinas program model, La Mariposa, was designed to “celebrate and empower young Latinas by providing inspirational role models and introducing powerful life skills for personal excellence”.
TLA developed a two-session group program model, which was facilitated by a trained Together For Latinas staff and/or volunteer role models. Sessions were generally held 6-8 weeks apart. Girls were engaged in exploratory discussions and activities in four main skill areas (JARS); Journaling thoughts and feelings, banishing negative thoughts – Affirmations, setting personal boundaries – Rules, and Setting, planning and achieving goals. Our ultimate goal at TLA is to enhance outcomes with struggling, low-income, first and second generation Latina girls ages 12 to 18. However, we have successfully provided workshops for girls of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
To date, we have conducted workshops for over 1,000 girls in local middle schools, high schools, community colleges, and centers. The demand for our workshops has dramatically increased, and the need for an enhanced and scalable program model to respond to community needs led us to develop La Mariposa.
“The Latino population, already the nation’s largest minority group, will triple in size and will account for most of the nation’s population growth from 2005 through 2050. Hispanics will make up 29% of the U.S. population in 2050, compared with 14% in 2005.”
Shocked and disappointed that very little was being said or done to address these issues, founders Nancy Roldán Johnson and Carmen Marcano-Davis came together to create an effective program that helps young Latinas to make better choices and to become their own advocates. They realized that accomplished Latinas living in the United States are in a unique position to deliver a message of inspiration and hope to these young girls.
* U.S. Population Projections: 2005-2050 by Jeffrey Passel and D’Vera John, Pew Research Center, February 11, 2008