News

2016 Latinas Leading the Way Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Latina Leaders of Kern County announces 2016 Latinas Leading the Way Honorees

June 14, 2016 – Latina Leaders of Kern County (LLKC) is proud to announce the names of the 2016 Latinas Leading the Way Honorees. They are Isabel Bravo, Director of Environmental, Health and Safety at the Wonderful Citrus Company; Gabriela Mello, Vice President of Government and Community Relations for Wells Fargo; and Lourdes Nilon Vargas, Director of Corporate and Foundation relations at CSU, Bakersfield. The women were selected for their exceptional professionalism, achievements, and commitment to our community. They will be honored during a semi-formal awards banquet on Saturday, July 16, 2016 at the DoubleTree by Hilton.

Isabel Bravo is the third of four children born to Mexican immigrants from the state of Michoacan.  She grew up in Delano, California and is a first-generation college graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from California State University, Bakersfield. Bravo enjoys giving back to her community by being involved with Latina Leaders of Kern County serving as a leader and mentor for the Youth Leadership Program.  She also donates her time to professional groups that help support the advancement of Latinos and Women in her industry.

Gabriela Mello represents Wells Fargo in all aspects of community outreach, identifying and referring business opportunities and maintaining the company’s initiatives to support small business and underserved populations. During the course of Mello’s 22-year banking career, she has held various positions with Citibank and Wells Fargo, where she started as a bank teller and now leads Wells Fargo’s government and community development efforts for the region. Mello is very involved in the community, serving on several boards for nonprofits in California. Mello attended Hartnell College in Salinas and California State University Fresno earning her Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies.

Lourdes Vargas Nilon has over 14 years of experience in organizational management, community relations and engagement, fundraising, philanthropy, and management of local, state and federal programs.   She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Public Administration from CSU Bakersfield.  Nilon has recently accepted a position as Director of Corporate and Foundation relations with CSU, Bakersfield. Prior to that, she held the position of Manager of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals with the Bakersfield Memorial Hospital Foundation for almost 6 years. Nilon has also served on multiple community boards and committees including, Hispanic Excellence Scholarship Fund board member with CSU Bakersfield, Latina Leaders of Kern County speaker and volunteer, and Pi Alpha Alpha National Honor Society President, to name a few.

“We are excited to honor these three outstanding women who give their all to help develop Latinas in our community,” said Norma Rojas-Mora, LLKC President.  “It is the mission of LLKC to foster leadership, identify and develop opportunities for Latinas, and to influence key issues affecting our community. We believe these three individuals exemplify this, and we are looking forward to highlighting their achievements at this year’s awards banquet.”

The LLKC Latinas Leading the Way awards banquet is sponsored in part by California Resource Corporation.  For sponsorship opportunities and event tickets, visit www.kernlatinas.org/latinas-leading-the-way/.

2015 Latinas Leading the Way Press Release

Latina Leaders of Kern County announces 2015 Latinas Leading the Way Honorees

June 5, 2015 – Latina Leaders of Kern County (LLKC) is proud to announce the names of the 2015 Latinas Leading the Way Honorees. They are Camila Chavez, Executive Director for the Dolores Huerta Foundation (DHF); Sylvia Picazo, Office Administrator for the Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (KCHCC); and Lisa Robles-Kent, Executive Secretary of the Bakersfield College (BC) Foundation. The women were selected for their exceptional professionalism, achievements, and commitment to our community. They will be honored during a semi-formal awards banquet on Saturday, July 11, 2015 at Bakersfield Country Club.

Chavez is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of DHF where she oversees training for low-income community members in the areas of leadership and organizing skills specific to civic and electoral participation.  She believes that it is our responsibility to take advantage of every opportunity to develop leadership in ourselves and our communities by building consensus around a common set of principles, values and priorities.   Chavez is a graduate of Mills College in Oakland, CA.

Picazo is the Office Administrator for KCHCC where she works to promote Hispanic and minority-owned businesses in Kern County, and those that cater to, or employ Hispanics in our community. She states that she believes in giving the best of herself to her community, something that she instills in her children so they can become self-sufficient, hardworking, and honest individuals who will help make our community a better place.  Picazo is a graduate of Bakersfield College.

Kent is the Executive Secretary of the Bakersfield College Foundation where she is passionate about providing opportunities to the underrepresented youth in our community. She serves as an advocate for LLKC on the BC campus. Her goal is to introduce and expose the youth to new things including a broader thought process, the tools for success, and what it takes to achieve their future goals. Robles-Kent is a graduate of California State University, Bakersfield.

“We are excited to honor these three outstanding women who give their all to help develop Latinas in our community,” said Norma Rojas-Mora, LLKC President.  “It is the mission of LLKC to foster leadership, identify and develop opportunities for Latinas, and to influence key issues affecting our community. We believe these three individuals exemplify this, and we are looking forward to highlighting their achievements at this year’s awards banquet.”

The LLKC Latinas Leading the Way awards banquet is presented by Bright House Networks, with additional support from Kern Federal Credit Union.  LLKC 2014-2015 programs are proudly sponsored by Wells Fargo. For sponsorship opportunities and event tickets, visit www.kernlatinas.org.

Bakersfield Magazine Cover

The cover of the September issue of Bakersfield Life Magazine features our President, Norma Rojas-Mora!

The Housing Authority, Latina Leaders of Kern County, and the numerous other organizations you dedicate your time to are thankful!!

We are proud to have our girls look up to you!!

In the Community!

Check out our Facebook page for tons of new pictures.  Latina Leaders of Kern County loves to volunteer and assist the community.   https://www.facebook.com/pages/Latina-Leaders-of-Kern-County/159002597627812

University of California, Santa Barbara

The seventh and final session of the 2014 Youth Leadership Program consisted of taking Kern County sophomores and juniors to the University of California, Santa Barbara. The young women toured the campus, spoke to college students, and ate lunch in the commons. The students then went to the beach for dinner and team building.

The goal of this session is to address real world college experiences, academics, opportunities and challenges.

Youth Leadership Program

During the fifth session, sophomores and juniors visited the Cesar Chavez Monument in Keene, CA. Paul Chavez spoke to the group about La Causa, History, and believing in oneself.

The goal of the session is for the young women to learn more about their culture, their community, and civic engagement.

High School Seniors

Thank you to the Manager of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, Lourdes Vargas Nilon.  She took the High School Seniors of the Latina Leaders Youth Program on a tour of the hospital!

LLKC 101

Join us for LLKC 101!!!

Latina Leaders of Kern County will be holding an event on March 27th, 2014 from 5:30-7:00pm at the University of Laverne, 1201 24th Street.

We will be answering questions such as, “What is LLKC?” “What does LLKC do?” “Do I have to be a woman and/or Latina to be in LLKC?” and many more.

Light refreshments will be provided.  For RSVP’s or questions call 661.979.3005.

High School Seniors Learn About Community Service

Dolores Huerta, Audrey Chavez, Bakersfield Burrito Project, and Andrae Gonzales spoke to the Latina Leaders of Kern County Youth Leadership Program High School Seniors.  They discussed the importance and impact of community service.  Some of the young ladies stated they were both inspired and honored to meet the community leaders.  With a few sessions left in the program, the ladies will be living what they learned and serving others.

Latina Leaders of Kern County Members Honored

This past weekend, five of the Latina Leaders of Kern County were honored at the 2014 Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Inauguration.

Blodgie Rodriguez, is the 2014 Chairwoman of the Board.  Her hard work and dedication to the community is both appreciated and admirable.  With her enthusiastic nature and positive attitude, we know Kern County will continue to prosper.

Norma Rojas-Mora, Magda Menendez, Olivia Garcia, and Mari Perez-Dowling were also recognized and thanked as they took their oath for the coming year.  All four possess a passion and commitment to Kern County, that will foster leadership, identify and develop opportunities for Latinas, and influence key issues affecting our community.

Latina Leaders Volunteering

Latina Leaders of Kern County volunteered for the Children Joining Children event.  The organization brings together Kern County foster children for a day of ice skating, creative projects, hot chocolate, mentoring, and so much more.  The day was filled with excitement and the ladies were happy to be a part of it.

Latina Leadership Youth Program

Recently, the Latina Leadership Youth Program celebrated another graduation.  The program runs annually through donations and volunteers. The program reached over 85 high school students and had over 20 Latina Leaders assisting them.  Experts were brought in to speak to the youth regarding leadership and their futures.  Field trips to the Cesar Chavez Monument, UCLA, and USC were both empowering and inspiring.