Future change-makers celebrate Latina History Day

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (KABC) -- Bold innovators! That's the theme for the 28th Latina History Day conference where about 1000 women came together for the annual event hosted by "Hispanas Organized for Political Equality," an organization also known as HOPE.

"Everything that HOPE does has two key ingredients, one is about civic engagement and secondly is ensuring youth are a part of everything that we do," HOPE's CEO Helen Iris Torres said.

The event recognizes outstanding young women who foster a spirit of civic engagement, like UCLA students Lauren Salaiz and Kiara Gonzalez Duran, who each received the "Future History Makers" award.

Both expressed feeling honored to be surrounded by women making strides in the political field.

"They're not only future change-makers, but they are current change makers, doing things every day in their daily life, to empower others, opening doors for Latinas like us," Duran said.

"I've come to realize that when you really do unite with other Latinas and other inspirational leaders, you can make a big difference," said Salaiz.

With a thriving network nationwide, HOPE's mission is to empower women politically and economically by providing career support, youth and leadership programs, workshops and much more.

"In the last 20 + years that I've been a part of the organization, I have seen Latinas assume power not only our state assembly and state senate but also in congress," Torres said. "More importantly I've seen Latinas rise up in the power in their local community."

HOPE aspires to make a positive impact and create change that opens doors of opportunity for women of all color.

"The people that I'm working with are guiding me step by step for me to be able to achieve my goals. It's a daily reminder of 'I want to be like that,'" Duran said.

"You have the opportunity to be around these other professionals and that boosts your self-confidence and I think that's the most important thing," Salaiz said.

www.latinas.org
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