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By: Stephanie Eunice
Angela Rosas has been volunteering since the age of fourteen. And over time, she began noticing that many of her fellow Chicanas weren’t giving back to the very organizations that helped them.
"Often I hear people say that they are struggling themselves and have nothing to give," explains the 28-year-old Mexican-American, "but everyone has something to give, whether it's time, money, a meal, a lesson or just comforting words."
So in April 2009, Angela founded Chicas Latinas de Sacramento, a social group in Sacramento, California, that coordinates volunteers who want to give back to various organization. The impetus to launch her group stems not only from a desire to see her community connect in an affirming way, but from the hope of learning more about Latinos.
"I was inspired to reach out to my community because of my own lack of cultural knowledge," Rosas confesses. "I'm a fourth-generation Latina. I spoke Spanish as a toddler, and I wanted to learn and explore my culture in a supportive and positive atmosphere."
Rosas also hopes to dispel the negative stereotypes of poor, uneducated or incarcerated Latinos. "This negative image is not who we are," she laments, adding, “it's important to correct that message, not just for others, but for ourselves through the kinds of outreach that our organization does."
Chicas Latinas now boasts 150 members and provides regular volunteers to nonprofits, fundraisers, drives, shelters, crisis nurseries, ESL education and cultural events that serve the Latino community. "The overall goal," says Rosas, "is to make these positive resources accessible to Latinos in the Sacramento area."
Get involved at ChicasLatinasdeSacramento.com
Stephanie Eunice is a writer based in New York City. She is a new contributor to Las Fabulosas.
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