Part of our 2015 Grantee Highlights series.
This year's Women's Fund grant to Centro Hispano has enabled the organization to expand its outreach to the Latina immigrant women in Knox County. Centro Hispano is a hub of education striving to empower and educate women through workshops, counseling, and one-on-one training.
The WF grant helped launch the new Raices Latinas, or Latina Roots, program. The launch event recruited 15 participants, and even more women of all ages are continuing to enroll and gain encouragement from other women in the Centro Hispano community. "We have seen that our ladies feel a sense of sisterhood as they relate to each other and build relationships with others to enhance their quality of life," stated Edith Coral Johnson, Director of Programs and Services.
The initial event was divided into two separate sections: a period of one-on-one counseling to determine the goals of each participant, and a period of fellowship and fun. "Everyone attending--both participants and counselors--enjoyed interacting with one another," Johnson recalled.
Each participant was periodically assessed to see if short- and long-term goals were being met. The initial group will be counseled again after 3 months to see where they are in relation to their initial goals.
The program hosted three presenters from the local community to educate the women on topics that will encourage healthy attitudes and lifestyles through fun and relevant discussions. The participants also learned crucial information about the free academic and life skills attainment programs offered by Centro Hispano. These programs, in turn, help equip and enable women to be positive role models for their daughters and younger generations of Latina women.
"No matter what the background of the ladies," said Johnson, "they all have a common goal: they want education to achieve their goal whether in career choices or simply to help their own children achieve their dreams. Centro Hispano feels honored to be a part of their journey." Centro Hispano's Latinas Raices program helped participating women to prioritize their goals as well as acquire academic and life skills that helped them think critically about the decisions they are making in life.
Centro Hispano expects to add approximately five women to the program by next month and will continue to do so as the program gains momentum.
“This was a great start to spark interest in and get connected with the community and to offer and receive services,” Johnson stated. The Women's Fund is thrilled with all that Centro Hispano has done with their program through this 2015 grant award and is proud to stand with them for every woman self-sustaining in Knoxville.