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Latinitas host girl empowerment fest

Photo Courtesy of Latinitas Facebook Page
The fourth-annual Chica Power Fest will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Business Administration Building.

A girl empowerment conference, aimed at building confidence in young women, will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. April 18 at the Business Administration Building on the UTEP campus. The conference is open to girls from 9-18 years old.

The fourth-annual Chica Power Fest will be hosted by Latinitas, a non-profit organization, and the UTEP chapter of Women in Business Association.

The conference will feature interactive workshops, inspirational speakers and offer a teen resource fair on the topics of girl power, confidence, body image and leadership.

Alicia Rascon, founder and executive director of Latinitas, said the purpose of the event is to boost young women’s self-esteem and bring to light the importance of education.

“It is important for young women to have these sources that will prepare them for college and help them build confidence in themselves,” said Rascon.  “We are happy to bring this event to the community for the fourth year in a row and hope to continue hosting it for many years to come.

The focus of the event is to encourage girls to build confidence,  to help them discover their voice and express themselves, and promote healthy lifestyles and to make wise decisions. An information fair will have booths featuring community groups and local youth resources.

Jennifer Tellez, junior organizational and corporate communication major, is working with Latinitas and the Chica Power Fest by making lesson plans and creating activities the young girls can engage in.

“The media today tends to make young girls believe that if they are not like models we see daily on the television or magazines, they are not considered beautiful,” Tellez said. “Models tend to have certain features that most young girls don’t identify with, so this is even more damaging to one’s self-esteem if they don’t look a certain way.”

The event will feature informative and inspirational workshops led by inspiring guest speakers and panelists, who will help girls learn about issues they may face and discover real solutions on how to overcome these challenges.

A fair and multimedia presentation will be offered by local female leaders on topics such as body image, confidence, peer pressure, media literacy, leadership, healthy relationships, cultural identity and bullying.

Leslie Ross, senior organizational and corporate communication major, said her society class for service learning will be giving group presentations on different topics related to body image and mass media during the conference.

“Our presentation will focus on how mass media affects young girl’s perception and body image. We will give tips on how to avoid those perceptions and allow girls to be happy in their own skin,” Ross said. “I’m excited about it because it gives me an opportunity to help mentor young girls.”

The empowerment conference expects to have about 100 girls in attendance.

Pre-teen and teen girls will discuss the challenges they face today and explore positive ways to deal with stress through hands-on creative expression activities such as poetry, acting, photography, art and song.

Young girls and their mothers will also enjoy dance performances, a fashion show and music entertainment toward the end of the conference.

“When you look at the statistics–suicide, teen pregnancy and high school drop-out rates are the highest among Latinas,” Rascon said.  “That is why we created Las Latinitas 13 years ago and host events like this, so we can provide resources and assistance to girls facing similar challenges.”

For more information,

Valerie Herrera may be reached at [email protected].

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Latinitas host girl empowerment fest