Series semester long programs are designed to support necessary skills needed for migrants.For the past 10 years, the YWCA Southern Arizona has the leading organization in Tucson that serves Spanish speaking immigrant women, and for many years the only organization in Tucson that serves undocumented women. Specifically, the YWCA’s Latina Leadership Institute (LLI) is a series of semester-long programs designed to empower and equip immigrant women for economic self-sufficiency and community leadership.
On average 160 women per year graduate from one of the LLI programs. The programs are culturally specific, bilingual and peer-led. The following provides a summary of each of the LLI programs:
Mi Vida (My Life)
Bilingual, semester-long personal development and empowerment program for Spanish-speaking immigrant women. Mi Vida is designed to help women undergoing trauma overcome obstacles in order to achieve financial independence. This program helps women find their voice and increase their self-esteem through a series of workshops. Workshops involve the use of the arts and creative expression. The program includes a literacy component in which participants practice their English reading skills and explore books on personal development. The two books that [are] used in the course include, “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz and the “Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle.
Mi Carrera — Desarrollo Profesional (My Career — Professional Development)
Bilingual, semester-long professional development for Spanish-speaking immigrant women who are seeking to, open a business, advance professionally, start a new career and advance their leadership skills. Women receive training on developing a personal brand, SMART goals, financial literacy and overview on how to open a business. The program includes basic computer skills workshops for participants needing to develop computer skills. Mi Carrera also includes a literacy program in which participants practice their English reading skills and study Stephen Covey’s work on goal setting.
Promotoras Rompiendo Cadenas (Community Leaders Breaking Through Barriers)
Year-long training institute in Spanish for women who wish to become advocates for other women experiencing gender violence. The Promotora program includes training in leadership, community organizing and legal rights for immigrants. Participants receive training in prevention/intervention in domestic violence, sexual [assault], and stalking. Participants also participate in “know your rights” training for immigrant communities. This is a hands-on leadership training course in which participants cultivate and practice their leadership skills while they raise social awareness on gender violence and issues that impact immigrant communities.
Hija Y Madre (Mother and Daughter)
Bilingual semester-long program to equip adolescent girls with the knowledge, skills and resources to develop healthy and to avoid unsafe sexual behaviors that put them at risk for HIV, STI’s and [unplanned] pregnancy.
English as a Second Language
Semester-long English as a Second Language (ESL) courses (two levels, beginner and advanced).
Program collaboration with Pima Community College Adult Education. Semester-long GED course taught by Pima Community College Adult education instructors. Two levels of GED courses are available.
The programs held by the YWCA LLI are engineering a pathway to economic success and self-determination for immigrant and refugee women and their families.
For more information about YWCA Southern Arizona: Latina Leadership Institute (LLI) you can visit them here: www.ywcatucson.org/Latina-Leadership-Institute