As we continue to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and commemorate the Hispanics who are making history and opening doors for the community, I thought it was important to take a closer look at those mujeres who are using social media to empower, mentor, and improve the life of other Latinas.
For those of us who are building our businesses with social media platforms, there are a few women who stand out. Thanks to their hard work and the belief that together we can go places, these leaders have helped develop a community of Latinos and Latinas that is constantly growing and thriving.
There are also the women who advocate for important causes, using their platforms to educate about special needs and other conditions that are surrounded by myth, lack of information, and stigma. Each one of these women have touched me, taught me, and empowered me in more ways than I could imagine. That’s the reason I want to recognize them here, even if in a small way.
As you can imagine, these seven women are not the only Latinas making an impact using online platforms; there are many others who are continuously improving and touching people’s lives. I’m sure you probably know other Latinas and Latinos that are making a difference in your own community — those heroes touching lives “behind the scenes” that you rarely see on TV or anywhere else.
To those who take us out of our comfort zone and make us reach new levels, I say ¡gracias! Thanks for making a difference and giving your time and effort for the greater good of Latinos in the United States.
Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!
Dr. Angelica Perez-Litwin 1 of 7
Dr. Angelica Perez-Litwin is the Founder and CEO of ELLA Leadership Institute, publisher of NEW LATINA, and creator/manager of the Latina Leadership Network, an online community with over 3,300 Latina professionals. She holds a bachelor's degree from Columbia University and a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Fordham University. She has a deeply personal and professional understanding of the challenges that U.S. Latinas face in achieving career success.
Angelica has made it her mission to help and empower Latinas through her platforms, but also as a mentor for the past 25 years. She has leveraged online technology and social media networks to promote career advancement and connection among professional Latinas. You can follow her on Twitter:
@DrAngelicaPerez & @NewLatina | Photo courtesy of ELLA Leadership Institute.
Eliana Tardio 2 of 7
Eliana TardÃo is the mother of Emir & AyelÃ©n, both of whom have Down syndrome. Eliana's bilingual blog, Eliana Tardio, raises awareness about Down syndrome, and she has become an advocate for parents of children with special needs. She also writes for several online publications about her experiences as the Latina mom of two kids with special needs, providing what she calls "the most important advice for anyone: Hope in love." Named as one of the Top 100 Mom Bloggers by Babble and also one of the Top Blogueras 2013, Eliana's advocacy work has earned her many awards from around the world. You can follow her on Twitter:
@ELIANATARDIO | Photo courtesy of Rachel D. MÃ¡tos.
Francesca Escoto-Zavala 3 of 7
Francesca Escoto is using social media to expand her reach and help Latino entrepreneurs create long-lasting, successful businesses. Her private coaching practice is dedicated to helping women and entrepreneurs become masters of their skills. She is also an Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner, helping her clients make the right choices and encouraging their progress toward life changes. Francesca is a teacher at heart and loves empowering Latinas to succeed in business and in life. You can learn more about her at FrancescaEscoto.com. You can also follow her on Twitter:
@WAOFrancesca | Photo courtesy of Francesca Escoto.
Laura Tellado 4 of 7
Laura "Laurita" Tellado is a writer and health blogger. She's passionate about raising awareness about Spina bifida and quality-of-life issues, particularly through her blog, Holdin' Out for a Hero. She is the director of the Latinos in Social Media (LATISM) Central Florida chapter and won the "Best Latina Health Blogger" Award at the LATISM 2011 Awards. She was also one of the Top Blogueras 2013 by LATISM. Follow her on Twitter:
@Laurita86 | Photo courtesy of Laura Tellado.
Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D 5 of 7
Viviana Hurtado is a veteran journalist and the founding editor of the award-winning website, The Wise Latina Club, where she analyzes trends and current events in news and feature pieces. A voice of the modern Latina, Viviana has been an authoritative yet inspirational keynote speaker for the Hispanic market, women, and new journalism at schools, non-profit organizations, corporations, and the White House.
Viviana is also the co-founder of Latinas for Latino Lit (L4LL), an education and literacy organization run by her and Monica Olivera, who publishes MommyMaestra. Their mission includes raising literacy rates and educational achievement among Hispanic students through pedagogically sound and culturally relevant content. Learn more about this initiative by visiting their site. You can also follow her on Twitter:
@vivianahurtado & @wiselatinaclub | Photo courtesy of Viviana Hurtado.
Monica Olivera 6 of 7
Monica Olivera is the founder of Mommy Maestra, a blog dedicated to education, homeschooling, and Latino education and literacy. She writes about all things education and shares ideas and educational resources in English and Spanish that are available for those of you raising bilingual children.
Monica is also the co-founder of Latinas for Latino Literature, along with Viviana Hurtado, and is one of the creators of the Latino Children's Summer Reading Program, one of the first online programs created specifically for Latino families. Follow her on Twitter:
@LatinMami & @Latinas4LatLit | Photo courtesy of Monica Olivera.
Ana Roca Castro 7 of 7
Ana Roca Castro is a social entrepreneur and the founder of Latinos in Tech Innovation and Social Media, LATISM, the largest organization of Latino professionals engaged in social media. She is also a serial entrepreneur, currently cooking up several projects with amazing women who have become not just partners, but sisters.
Ana is the brain behind the LATISM National Conference, which just celebrated its 5th year, and the Top Blogueras Retreat, which helps Latina bloggers connect with professionals and leaders who can help them reach their goals online and offline. Photo courtesy of Ana Roca Castro.