Organization helping Latina teens get into college - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Organization helping Latina teens get into college

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

For Ariadna, moving to the United States 12 years ago was challenging.

During that time, Ariadna never gave much thought to going to college.

"I knew my family didn't have the money for it so I knew it wasn't a possibility for me to go to a nice college when I graduate high school," said Ariadna.

In 7th grade though Ariadna realized she would be able to one day don a college cap and gown.

"Our hope is that all of our girls pursue some sort of higher education and have the ability in life to be able to make choices that are really exciting to them and that aren't limited by any of their current realities," said Rosie Molinary with non-profit Circle de Luz.

"When I got chosen for Circle de Luz, they helped me and inspired me to start thinking of the future," said Ariadna.

The 11th grader whose last name isn't provided because of the program's privacy policy, has been a part of Circle de Luz since it was started in 2008.

"At the time Latina women had the lowest rate of higher education a pretty low rate of high school completion and a high teenage pregnancy rate," said Molinary. 

Those statistics led Rosie Molinary to partner with Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools in order to reach Latinas early.

"What we do is provide really intensive mentoring holistic programming and future scholarship funds."

The girls are a promised a minimum $5000 scholarship upon graduation.

To raise that money, mentors and donors are needed.

"Right now we are in a recruitment drive for 50 to 60 Mijas so we can have five to six new girls join the program in the fall," said Molinary. 

Mijas is a Spanish term of endearment for girlfriend.

Ariadna says thanks to her Mija, she is now in the process of choosing which college to attend.

"I want to go to the one that would best help me with my major which is biology and hopefully after college I can get into med school."

Mijas are women from all over the country who believe in the power of education, who want to make a difference, and change the count. They make a commitment to donate a minimum of $100 for each of the six years that their class of girls is in the program, which is 7th grade to 12th grades. 

That money is used to award a scholarship to every Circle de Luz hija (what they call the young women in our program) upon high school graduation and enrollment in a further educational opportunity.

You can help them by becoming a Mija, one of hundreds of women across the country participating in the Circle de Luz giving circle, making a dramatic difference in the lives of some wonderful young women.

The organizations needs at least 50 Mijas to provide this life changing opportunity to at least 5 new hijas. 

Mijas can have any background and can live anywhere.

For more information log on to http://circledeluz.org/

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