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Career building can be tough for anyone, but for Latinos and Latinas just getting started, it can be even more difficult. Part of the challenge is a lack of networking opportunities, says Andrea Guendelman, co-founder of Latinx (an oft-preferred gender-neutral term for Latino/Latina) job search platform BeVisible. As Guendelman explains, nearly half of Hispanics in postsecondary education attend a public two-year school or community college; that can mean weak connections to internships and other career builders. These three Colorado groups are providing the professional contacts (and skills) to help.
Mission: Users of bevisible.soy, a Latinx community-focused job site launched in 2016, can create personal profiles, connect one-on-one with peer mentors, and search for meetups and conferences. This month, the company will also be hosting a “hack the hiring process” event at the University of Colorado Boulder, where CU students, faculty, and BeVisible members will discuss how to improve resumés and prepare for interviews.
Success Story: Last year, after moving from her native Texas to Boulder, 32-year-old Victoria Perez posted a message on her BeVisible profile describing her interest in the tech field. Thanks to an introduction on the site, a few weeks later she was working as a contractor for Boulder QA, a web, mobile, and software testing company.
Mission: Through its annual power summit, Latinas Lead—an initiative of the Latino Community Foundation of Colorado (LCFC)—connects young Latinas with leading women in tech, communications, and the nonprofit world. This year’s summit, the second LCFC has hosted, gave 120 attendees a chance to score professional headshots and attend a workshop about how to advance your career by building a strong online presence.
Success Story: Twenty-six-year-old Emily Treece says this year’s summit introduced her to open positions with area nonprofits like LCFC and inspired her to continue pursuing a career in the field after hearing speakers like Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodriguez—founder of feminist online platform Latina Rebels.
LATINAS INCREASING POLITICAL STRENGTH (LIPS)
Mission: In its effort to prepare high school and college students for leadership roles in the civic arena, LIPS provides entrants with professional development classes on topics like public speaking. Twice a year, the program also takes groups of 10 to 12 Latinas between the ages of 16 to 21 on a three-day trip to Washington, D.C., where they meet face-to-face with Colorado legislators to discuss issues such as reproductive health.
Success Story: Hilda Nucete, a 2008 program graduate, credits her LIPS experience for fostering her interest in progressive Latinx politics. Today, she’s the program director of Conservation Colorado’s Protégete, an initiative that helps Latinx combat environmental issues in their communities.