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Empowered Latinas Come Together To Empower Others
By Maggie Ramos

What is the story?  Today my story is about empowering fellow Latinas.  We are a minority that, more often than not, is left behind.  But on August 20th, MANA de North County San Diego gathered in San Marcos with many eager participants at ONE SAFE PLACE to host their First Annual National Latina Day Conference, aimed at Latinas empowering each other to move ahead in life.



Many talented and successful Latinas embraced the Conference in education and entrepreneurs.  They were all present to show the rest that iSí se puede!  [Yes, we can!],  as Griselda Beck, MBA, expresses it.  Beck is a big dreamer with many goals.  And one of her goals was to create an organization to assist other Latinas.


Beck was introduced to MANA de North County and quickly learned that the organization she had hoped to create one day already existed.  As a result, Beck became president of MANA de North County and brought to the table her dreams and her knowledge and talents in the area of marketing and leadership coaching.


The keynote speaker was Claudia Garcia Grasso, the CEO of ONE SAFE PLACE.  She shared her own journey as a Latina to become a lawyer, against the wishes of her parents, who only wanted her to get married and settle down.  Her story was inspiring!  It was the D.A. Summer Stephen's vision to create a Family Justice Center in North County, and it was realized at the beginning of July.  Claudia explained how the space is dedicated to serving victims/survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking, as well as elder abuse.  All design elements were carefully chosen to give a sense of protection and peace to those who come for help.  In addition, it is a 'one-stop-shop for victims to receive a wide array of services to meet their needs. 


I spoke with the co-founder of MANA of North County, Gabriela Hooshmand, and she, too, is very grateful for this day to finally be a reality.  It was also her dream to create an empowering conference for fellow Latinas.


I also met with Beatriz "Bea" Palmer, a MiraCosta College staff member who is constantly on the go for students.  Palmer is director of the Service Learning & Volunteer, teaches sociology, and is the first Afro-Latina president of Operation HOPE-North County.  Palmer explained that she took the opportunity to be a presenter at the Conference because she wanted to empower other Latinas.  Palmer recently finished her Master's degree and is now working on her doctoral degree at San Diego State University.  She is definitely an inspiration for the rest of us! 

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