Natalie Lizardo-Sarellano received the CLF Scholarship in 2008, while attending Los Medanos College as she was contemplating why she was even enrolled in school in the first place. She was invited to a scholarship workshop by Rosa Armendariz, and instantly connected with Olga Talamante, CLF Executive Director. CLF validated her experience as a queer woman of color with deep historically rooted trauma and has embraced her with her rough edges. CLF remains committed to Natalie’s growth as a Latina professional providing ongoing mentorship and advice.
Through the Leadership Institute and through her continuous work with CLF, Natalie has learned the necessary life skills to navigate college and her professional career. Since 2008, she moved on and graduated from UC Berkeley, receiving a bachelor’s degree in Sociology with an emphasis on Education. Natalie earned a Teacher Credential from REACH Institute for School Leadership, and she is currently teaching Ethnic Studies at ARISE High School in Oakland. In 2017 Natalie returned to academia to earn her master’s degree in Educational Leadership at Mills College to continue the legacy of Latina Leadership that she shares with our diverse communities.
In addition, Natalie has been a key player in forming the CLF Alumnae Association as one of the founding members. In her own words Natalie shares the impact that CLF has had on her and her commitment to the organization: “When I am with the CLF hermanas, I feel fierce and inspired. I decided to help form the Alumnae Association, because it connected me with other mujeres who also want to build CLF to its fullest potential.”
Natalie joined the CLF Board of Directors in 2017.