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HHF LOFT Launches Latina Public Service Academy

Hispanic Heritage Foundation

LAtinas is a Latina Public Service Academy Developed in Collaboration with Ana Cubas to Engage, Mentor and Prepare Young Latinas to Serve Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, CA, April 29, 2014 – The Hispanic Heritage Foundation’s (HHF) award-winning Latinos On Fast Track (LOFT) program hosted a reception to launch LAtinas from 6-9 p.m. (speaking program from 7-730 p.m.) April 29th, at Onyx Lounge, 118 W. 5th St, downtown Los Angeles.  The event served as an affordable, accessible fundraiser to launch the initiative focused on engaging high school Latina students with an interest in public service.  The initiative was developed in partnership with Ana Cubas with LOFT Los Angeles Leader Ana (Shelli) Victorino. Pilar Avila, CEO of New America Alliance and LOFT supporter emceed the speaking portion of the reception.  Actresses Aimee Garcia and Gina Rodriguez, Bell City Councilwoman Ana Maria Quintana, Hermosa Beach City Council Member Nannette Barragan, and other surprise guests attended.  Partners supporting the effort include New Leaders Council, Southern California Gas Company, New America Alliance, Southwest Airlines (Official Airline of LOFT), New American Leaders Project, Union Bank, Emerge California, AECOM, and the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA).

“This is a call to action for all of us in Los Angeles to ensure that women are represented in government” said Cubas. “Los Angeles should be a leader and trailblazer for women’s political empowerment, not a throwback to the 1930’s when the Los Angeles City Council had no female representation. During my candidacy, I pledged to establish a women’s leadership training institute to train young women from as early as high school to run for elected office.  I am proud to fulfill this pledge as a non-profit, non-partisan effort with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation.”


“This Academy is a no-brainer for the Hispanic Heritage Foundation and is long overdue, “said Emanuel Pleitez, Chairman of HHF and founder of the national nonprofit’s LA office. “Nearly 40 percent of Los Angeles’ students are Latinas and the makeup of our elected representatives should reflect that.  We believe strongly that the public sector should reflect those demographics and through LOFT we can help achieve that balance.”


Currently, Los Angeles has only one female elected official out of 18 elected officials, the lowest level of female participation of any major City in the United States.  Additionally, in the California State Legislature, only 25 percent of the Assembly members are women and 30 percent of the State Senators are women.


“If students can’t see what success looks like or what it takes to get there, it becomes infinitely harder for them to motivate themselves,” said Victorino, “We want this program to help these young girls to visualize the future, get inspired, and encourage them to achieve professional success in order to chip away at the gender disparity we currently see in public office in this city.”


LAtinas will provide government and public policy training and instruction to 22 female high school juniors and seniors from low-income communities in Los Angeles.  The Academy consists of three full day sessions and will include visits to municipal government chambers.  Each participant will have the opportunity to intern with a local female elected official and participate in a voter registration or political campaign.  The Academy has also established a Founding Advisory and Mentor Board comprised of Latina leaders in the Los Angeles area that will maximize the reach and impact of the Academy and become mentors to the participants. Applications for the Academy are closed. The inaugural participants will be announced at the launch event and the program officially kicks off Saturday May 3rd.


About HHF and LOFT

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation, a nonprofit originally established by the White House in 1987, inspires, prepares, positions and connects minority leaders in the classroom, community and workforce to meet America’s priorities.  HHF also promotes cultural pride, accomplishment, and the great promise of the community through public awareness campaigns seen by millions.  HHF is headquartered in Washington, DC, and has offices in Los Angeles, Miami and the LOFT Institute is housed at Michigan State University (Visit  Follow Hispanic Heritage Foundation on Facebook and HHFoundation on Twitter.


HHF’s award-winning LOFT (Latinos On Fast Track) leadership and workforce development program is divided into 10 “Tracks,” or industries, which are priorities for America including Innovation & Technology, Science & Healthcare, Engineering, Finance, Entrepreneurship, Education, Public Service, Law, Media & Entertainment, and Latinas.  Tens of thousands of students and young professionals are connected to each other and to mentors and resources; over 50 trainings, workshops, and informal Charlas are hosted across the country; creative initiatives are executed; and hundreds of minorities are placed into internships, mentorships, fellowships and full-time positions with Fortune 500 companies and government agencies.  Visit, and join to get on the fast track to leadership.  Follow LOFTinstitute on Twitter.

About Ana Cubas

Ana Cubas ran for Los Angeles City Council District 9 in 2013.  She raised $550,000 for both primary and run-off elections, setting a record for female candidates in the City of Los Angeles.  She ran a positive, grass-roots campaign focused on back to basics and the empowerment of communities that have been left out of City government.  Ana has devoted her life to public service.  She is passionate about helping low-income communities and has worked in the education, non-profit, and State and City government sectors since 1995. As an immigrant, and the first in her family to attend college, she knows first-hand the struggles of low-income families. Ana obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology with highest honors from U.C. Berkeley, and a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs and Urban and Regional Planning (MPA-URP) from Princeton University.  Visit Ana Cubas on Facebook.

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