To empower Chicanas Latinas through personal, educational, and professional advancement.
In 1977, three Latina students at the University of California, Berkeley – Yolanda Ronquillo, Dr. Olga Terrazas, and Margaret Santos –saw first-hand the struggles facing Latinas in higher education, particularly those who were first generation college students. Recognizing that they needed to provide a system of support for these students, the women founded the Chicana Latina Foundation to support each other and future Latina college students.
From our inception, Chicana Latina Foundation offered scholarships to Latina students. In early years the founders and staff would sit around a kitchen table reviewing applications and building community with volunteers recruited from our families and friends. Soon, we realized the need to expand our circle of impact so we launched our community interview and review process, giving alumnae and Latinas an opportunity to reach back to the powerful women coming up along them.
In 2006, we integrated our annual Leadership Institute into the annual scholarship program in order to build community power and strengthen a network of connected, activated Latina leaders.
Since our beginnings we have awarded over one million dollars in scholarships to more than 600 Latina students, over 90% of whom were the first in their families to attend college.
Latinas have ancient, diverse and unique cultural histories. Our cultures have influenced the entire world through our music, dance, art, food, literature, architecture and spirituality. While we respect our Latino culture and honor the nurturing of our families, we are both carriers and breakers of tradition.
Our Strength and Power
As Latinas we are women who have survived and thrived for centuries by developing attributes and skills, our Latina values guide us in establishing and maintaining relationships that reflect respect, fairness, cooperation and pride in our culture and heritage. Drawing on our cultural roots, we learned to create harmony to survive the changes, challenges and conflicts we face.
Our strengths make us powerful and influential in the workplace, community and socio-economic environments. We are ambassadors who form alliances among diverse communities for the advancement and betterment of all.