Monday, October 27, 2014

Donate a college t-shirt and help a Latina inspire kids to get a higher education

Photo courtesy: Mana Academy Charter website

Libby (Zauzau) Atilano has a great idea on how to motivate students to go to college. The college coordinator wants to give students a new t-shirt for "College Day" at Mana Academy Charter School near Salt Lake City,Utah.

But we're not talking any t-shirt. She needs new t-shirts from any colleges and universities from across the country. That's where you come in.

Here's what Libby posted on our  Wise Latinas Linked Facebook page:

I have a project at hand and am wondering if any of you work at a university or can connect me to anyone who can help. I am the college coordinator at Mana Academy Charter School and I am asking universities across our nation to donate a couple of t-shirts (or any other promotional material) for a college day and thereafter for the students to wear on a designated day each month as a way to promote higher education at our school. 

We are a new school just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah and are dedicated to excellence and committed to closing the opportunity gap. The majority of our student population is Pacific Islander and Latino, it is important for us to preserve the culture of our students. We are dedicated to the preservation of culture and language. 
Libby (Zauzau)Atilano

We teach Tongan, Samoan, Hawaiian, Marshallese and Spanish. It is important for us to have culturally relevant pedagogy that pertains to the lived experiences of our students as well as nurture their intellect to be successful leaders of the community.

We are excited to prepare our our students for a college education and get them excited about their future. Please contact me about how you can help make our college day a reality. In the languages of our students, Malo 'aupito, Fa'afetai, Mahalo, Kommol, Gracias, Thank you! 

Con amor, Libby Here is my email if you have anyone that you can connect me to:


If you're reading this blog, I want you to donate at least one t-shirt from your Alma Mater and send it to Libby. That t-shirt may be the "spark" a student needs to get inspired to go to college after they graduate from high school.

College Day at Libby's school is December 5.  Send your t-shirt ASAP.

According to a Pew Center study, today more Latinos are enrolling in college. But it may be hard to believe there are still many Latino kids who don't think they are good enough for college. There are still students who think that lack of money and even their grades will hold them back from getting a higher education. There are still young people who have no hope.

Let's give them that hope and make a dream come true. Let's make Libby ZauZau's t-shirt project a big success.

Donate today! Contact Libby at

Rebecca Aguilar is a veteran journalist and founder of Wise Latinas Linked on Facebook and LinkedIn. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

PBS documentary profiles Latina trailblazer Major General Angelina Salinas

Angelina Salinas
Retired Major General
photo courtesy: USMC

The PBS documentary series, "Makers" features women trailblazers in the military. "Women in War" will feature Retired Major General Angela Salinas. She joined the Marine Corps in 1974, and became the highest ranking female officer in the Corps.

Major General Salinas was born in Alice, Texas to Mexican immigrants. She joined the Marines when there were few women let alone Latinas in the Marine Corps.

In this video, Salinas shares what it was like when she first joined, job opportunities, and where women fit in the military. She talks about how when she joined, women had to have a high school diploma but men could get in the Marines with a GED.

Salinas talks about the important role women play in combat, and gives advice to women who want to make the Marine Corps a career.

In 2006, Salinas became the first woman to command Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego. In 2006 she also became the first Latina to become a U.S. Marine Corps general officer, and sixth woman in the Marines to reach rank of brigadier general.

Major General Angela Salinas was the highest ranking female officer in the Marines when she retired in 2013.  Watch the "Women in War" documentary. Get empowered by a Latina who followed her passion in life.