Category Archives: Latino Leadership

The Dream is Now


It’s Time.

We need to fix America’s broken immigration system, giving undocumented youth and their families the chance to earn their citizenship.

We move closer to having Comprehensive Immigration Reform!  I just saw the documentary The Dream is NOW and cried the whole way through.  Take the time to see the documentary and sign the petition.  It is NOW  we need to make our voices heard. Call your Senators and Members of Congress to make sure they know how you feel.


Support Immigration Reform & Concepts from The DREAM Act | The Dream is Now.



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Common Core Standards are here and you need to know what they are!

There is a revolution in education and students, parents and teachers need to get with it! Have you heard of the Common Core Standards? The Common Core Standards set up a single set of clear educational standards for English language arts and mathematics for each grade level. Teachers are getting ready to implement these standards in the classroom in the coming years. As a parent and a student you need to know what they are and how they affect you. The most exciting piece of this is that these new standards are designed to make sure that students graduating from high school are prepared for college, work and success in the global economy. More on this in the NCLR report “Raising the Bar: Implementing Common Core State Standards for Latino Success. The mission of this movement involves having clear, understandable and consistent Standards students need to master in each grade so that teachers and parents know what they need to help them. As a student or as a parent you need to take a look at the expectations for the coming year. Click here for the official Common Core standards Initiative, an awesome website with all the information you need to know.

Yesterday I attended a really interesting lecture from the Latino Policy Forum called “Supporting the Success of Latino Students: the New Standards” by Dr. Aida Walqui. One of her main points is parents and students need to understand the economic need to attend college. Without at least some college, students will not be able to compete in the global economy. At the meeting the Latino Policy Forum released a new report: Shaping Our Future, Building a collective Latino K-12 Education Agenda. It is the roadmap and the research that we need to move ahead.

We all need to make education an obsession for our Latino community.

Advise of the week:

• Make a copy of the Common Core Standards for each grade you are going to study.

• Parents, students and teachers together have a step by step plan to make your goals

• Knowing what teachers expect to cover in the coming years will give you the guidelines to help your student or yourself.

• Knowing the standards will help you when you talk to a teacher about how you are progressing.

• The new standards are geared to make sure that you are prepared for your dream of college and to be successful not only locally but globally.

The more you know, the better you are so take a look at the Common Core Standards.


Filed under Getting into college advise, Latino Leadership, Latino News & Stats

New rules for undocumented students announced

Last Friday the news started to trickle out that President Obama had an executive order to defer action on the deportation of young undocumented students.  It was with joy that many of us received this news.  It has been 10 years since the Dream Act was proposed in the United States Senate by Senator Durbin. It is about time something be done on such a travesty.  It is a stop band-aid measure and what we need is comprehensive immigration reform pero algo es algo.

Through the years we have followed the twists and turns of this proposal and long awaited reform.  As educators we have long faced the injustice of the systems that excludes people.  It’s tough to be undocumented and to keep the faith in a country that wants to deport you if they find you. I have seen so many young people losing hope because they are undocumented and this gives us some hope. Some of the most outstanding driven students I know are undocumented. I have held hands and cried with people desperate to go to school and contribute to the United States but can’t because of a number.  I remember a couple of students that discover to their shock that they are undocumented when they applied to college.   Imagine living in a world that you can be caught and torn from your family at any moment.  It still bothers me that the Obama administration stepped up the deportation of one million people in the last 3 years. I am not naïve to understand that the November election played into this decision.  The Latino vote is critical in many swing states  so let’s continue flexing our muscle for the things we want.

Under this directive, individuals who demonstrate that they meet the following criteria will be eligible for an exercise of discretion, specifically deferred action, on a case-by-case basis:

1) Came to the United States under the age of 16;

2) Have continuously resided in the United States for at least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and are present in the United States on the date of this memorandum;

3) Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;

4) Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;

5) Are not above the age of 30. (From government website)

If you are undocumented student or know someone, pass this advice along.

  • Proceed with caution. It is still very early in the process so ask a lot of questions before you proceed.  This is a temporary measure for only two years. Official information from government click here.
  • Document your presence in the US. Take a class, take some photos etc.
  • Check with a lawyer.  Many people take the advice of friends and family members that might not know what they are talking about.  It is money well spent to consult a lawyer, a real lawyer, not a notario or others.
  • Keep going to school.  If you think about it, this is a reward for staying in school.  Get your GED if you don’t have a high school diploma.  There are programs in your area that can help you.
  • Find at least a class and enroll.  This will look very favorable in your application and you can prove that you were here.  Great time to perfect your English to thrive in the US.

Buena suerte and know that continuing in school will mark the difference in your life no matter what happens.

Ana Maria Soto

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Girls Rock the Mall in Washington DC

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 I have to share with you an incredible experience I had this past week.  I was in Washington DC to take part in the largest gathering of Girl Scouts in history  in Washington DC.  250,000, yes, quarter of a million, Girl Scouts gathered for Girls Rock the Mall on Saturday June 9th at the sacred grounds of the Washington Monument!  My own sister, Lidia Soto-Harmon, CEO of the Girl Scouts Council in the Nation’s Capital created and presented the event to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts!  I was privileged to shadow my sister for the entire day of activities.  Imagine the responsibility of such a large event and she was the woman in charge. During Girls Rock the Mall, Lidia addressed the crowd 3 times, gave interviews to major national and international media outlets, and monitored the safety of the crowd with grace and enthusiasm. WOW! What an amazing leader! I was so proud to have my daughter and my nieces to see her in action. She truly is inspiring!

The Girl Scouts are celebrating 100 years of service to the world.  Women could not even vote 100 years ago!  It took one woman, Juliette Gordon Low to stand up and begin an organization that has given so much to the world.  I share the Girl Scout Law because it has summaries what we all need to do. Find a way to take part with the Girl Scouts by volunteering, running your own troop and having your girls participate. You and your young girls will learn values and leadership skills on a path to success.

On my honor, I will try:

To serve God and my country,
To help people at all times,
And to live by the Girl Scout Law.

The Girl Scout Law

I will do my best to be
honest and fair,

friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring,
courageous and strong, and
responsible for what I say and do,
and to
respect myself and others,

respect authority,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place, and
be a sister to every Girl Scout.

As my sister Lidia reflected on leadership her words and actions resonated with me.  Leadership is about others, not you. It’s about pointing to a vision, a better place, and inspiring others to give of themselves. If everyone would bring out the best in others, in making others great, imagine the world we could have. My see my sister Lidia as such a leader.

Congratulation to the Girl Scouts on 100 year anniversary and especially to the favorite Girl Scout of all, Lidia Soto-Harmon!

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10 things to know about going to Community College

So you are going to community college!  Good for you.  So many people take this route but it can have its pitfalls. Here are the top 10 things you need to know about your choice. Get all you can from the community college and move on in your college career.

  1. The dropout rate at community colleges is dismal.  Only 1 in 4 students actually graduates from a community college! Don’t be one of the dropouts.  Check out an article here that explains some of the issues with community colleges.
  2. Prepare your move from the first day. Make sure you start preparing your move to a 4 year university and you have your plan in place.
  3. Choose your college for yourself not what your friends are doing. Take charge of your life; it is your responsibility. Friends, Mami and Papi are not in charge of your life, you are!
  4. Be determined to succeed in getting your bachelor’s degree.  Once you decide your target transfer college and your mayor, you need a little planning.  On the college website, look for the transfer guide and print it.  This is your map.  Take the classes that are listed on the transfer guide only.
  5. Register for your classes the first few minutes they come available.  Many of the classes you need fill up quickly. Find out the best way to get in.
  6.  Don’t give up easily.  If you don’t get the class you need, take initiative and ask for an exception from an administrator or teacher.  You will stand out from the crowd if you ask.
  7. Make college the priority.  Clear the decks and take it seriously. Lower grades do not transfer.
  8. Get a job that fits your goals, not the other way around.  Find a job that allows you to study or a boss that is supportive of your mission.
  9. Find the college counselor and make them your friend.  Introduce yourself and leave your résumé with the counselor.
  10. Get into a college success class.  Many colleges offer these courses for you to learn how to make it in college.  This course should offer opportunities to work on your transfer plan.

Buena Suerte!

Ana María Soto

La College Guru

Write to me at


Filed under Getting into college advise, Latino Leadership, Opportunities & Events

Share Power by Marlene Gonzalez


1.-Model Success. Look around your organization; study the leadership methods of great leaders and how they share power to empower other.

2.-Determine Competency Level. Focus on a few critical competencies or behavior. It allows you to invest the right amount of time and energy.

3.-Set Clear Expectations. It is critical to set expectation and direction; as well as mutually agreed to goals, date lines and desired outcomes.

4.-Communicate Boundaries. It helps the person understand his or her limits and restrictions when accountable for the project.

5.-Allow Cross-Cultural Pollination. Share ideas, options and discrete feedback as often as possible to increase awareness, creativity and flexibility for different ways of thinking and doing things.

6.-Give them a Chance. Give employees opportunities to grow in their areas of expertise, and in general business knowledge that enables them to act in the best interest of the organization and its customers.

7.-Get Out of the Way. Give people room to maneuver; but be vigilant, being too hands off may have negative effects. You need to strike for a good balance.

8.-Encourage Risk Taking. Giving power to people also means risks. Help them get out of their conform zone and take educated risks. Make a conscientious effort to have employees gain experience, recognition and validation for their contributions.

9.-Be a Match Maker. Help them make the right connections by introducing them to people, networks, or contacts that may help them along the way.

10.-Create a “Power Sharing Environment”. The right environment supports people achieve their highest potential and be capable of acting on their own initiative.

Marlene González, is founder and president of Life Coaching Group LLC. She is a leader in the cutting edge industry of executive coaching, consulting and training. Her organization is dedicated to “developing leaders as a catalyst for corporate growth and a source of intellectual capital”™. Educate Latina is so proud to have her as a contributor.


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Ten tips to rock it at work




  1.    Follow your bliss. It is not the path to becoming rich. However, that does not mean that you must spend your life doing a job you hate in order to earn a good wage.
  2.  Acknowledge tradeoffs. There are some sacrifices you would have to make such as relocating, traveling or working the night shifts.
  3.  Produce more. Those who produce more results are paid more.
  4.   Combine the best of two worlds. At work males are more practical, take more risks and complete more projects; women look for approval, support and connection.
  5.  Ask for a promotion, project or special assignments. Men feel more comfortable asking for promotions and have higher job aspirations. By and large, they are still the family breadwinners. Women don’t receive more promotions because they don’t ask for them.
  6. Take on bigger responsibilities. Those who assume more responsibility earn more than those who have a more limited perception of their roles.
  7. Travel extensively on the job. Traveling for work is unappealing to many people because it takes them away from their families, so companies pay more to those who are willing to hit the road.
  8. Tenure matters. Continuous years of service in a company make a difference in organizational pay scale.
  9.  A line of work makes a difference. To earn more, choose your line of work carefully. Women in male-dominated fields advance more quickly and earn as much or more. Women who are in supporting roles, manufacturing or services earn less.
  10.  Be self-assured. Self-respect comes from your strength, not from your fears or weakness. Self-esteem comes from believing and trusting yourself. And self-worth comes from knowing what you are worth.

Marlene González, is founder and president of Life Coaching Group LLC. She is a leader in the cutting edge industry of executive coaching, consulting and training. Her organization is dedicated to “developing leaders as a catalyst for corporate growth and a source of intellectual capital”™. Educate Latina is so proud to have her as a contributor.

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Picture Success! by Marlene Gonzalez

1. Design Your Future. Take the time to write a clear picture of what happiness and success is for you. Write your values, goals, roles and actions you want to accomplish next year. People fail because they aren’t absolutely clear about their goals.

2. Embrace Top Priorities. For example: If you want to qualify for a promotion access your strengths and weakness, and set to work on one or two skills that would have the biggest impact on your career and improve your chances to qualify for a better position or a new job.

3. Set Aside Quality Face Time. The connectedness today is different to what it used to be in the past. Some reasons are working longer hours, higher expectations and technology. For example, family members and coworkers are not spending quality time together, but relaying more than ever before on technology to coördinate activities, and check in with each other by texting.

4. Make Strategic Choices. Remember you have 12 months, 365 days and 8760 hours. Make strategic choices about how you employ the time you have in your life.

5. Establish Effective Planning Routine. Use a good tool, use technology. For example plan for the most important events for each of the roles in advance such as vacation, meetings and conventions just to name a few.

6. Create Ways to Get Things Done. Develop an ongoing process of prioritizing and accomplishing things. Every night, make a list of what you want to accomplish the next day. Have a master list, a monthly list, a weekly list and a daily list.

7. Seek for Synchronicity. It is very powerful to synchronize calendars ahead of time. A priority matrix helps set clear expectation about whom and what events you will be attending; this prevents you from missing important events or disappointing people. If you will not be attending an important event say so, make an apology, and avoid being manipulated or feeling guilty about it. If possible make it up to that person next time.

8. Anticipate Risks. Great results do not happen by accident. Instead, successful people take risks; use detailed and flexible plans to plot their course and direction of their personal and professional lives as companies do.

9. Celebrate. Do not miss the opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge everyone’s participation when a milestone is accomplished, show appreciation and thank them.

10. Be Flexible. Even with a good plan there are things that will take you off course. Be Flexible. Success requires adaptability, flexibility and the constant monitor of results and continually adapting to changing conditions. After all it is your life and you and only you determine what makes you happy and successful.

Marlene González, is founder and president of Life Coaching Group LLC. She is a leader in the cutting edge industry of executive coaching, consulting and training. Her organization is dedicated to “developing leaders as a catalyst for corporate growth and a source of intellectual capital”™. Educate Latina is so proud to have her as a contributor.

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