On August 18, America celebrates the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees the right of women to vote. To commemorate and honor all women who fought and continue to fight for women to be civic political agents, Jolt Action is proud to announce the Arriba las Mujeres – Keeping it One Hundred Summer Leadership Institute. 

Arriba las Mujeres – Keeping It One Hundred will provide 25 young women of color ages 18-25 with training tools on digital organizing, media relations, social media, public speaking, issue-based advocacy, and civic engagement. The goal of the leadership institute is to expand opportunities for young women of color and deepen their understanding of the women of color who fought for political participation and leadership. The summer leadership program will be open applicants from anywhere in Texas.

Participants will take part in leadership webinar trainings on June 26, June 27, and June 28. They will be prepared to take part in one Jolt Action nonpartisan voter registration event and work together to create a series of civic education videos.

Arriba Las Mujeres Fellows

Alyssa Wallace

A 26-year-old mother of two, a student of political science, wife, photographer of women, advocate and someday, I’ll be a leader. I grew up in Laredo, Texas, a growing border town that really doesn’t get enough credit. At a very young age, I moved with my mother up to Wisconsin and was introduced to a completely new world. One where, as a Latina, I experienced racism and exposure to stereotypes at a young age. Stemming from this and upon returning to Laredo, I watched my mom work hard as a single mother to support me and complete college. This made me aware of the issues women face in an effort to become comfortably successful. She has inspired me through the years to keep fighting to be who I want to be.

Amy Sustaita

My name is Amy Sustaita and I am currently studying at the University of North Texas at Dallas, pursuing a degree in Political Science. My friend Herlinda Resendiz sent me a link to your organization, Arriba las Mujeres, and I immediately took interest! My first experience with civic engagement was in 2017 when I interned with State Representative Victoria Neave. It was during my time there that I witnessed how vital it was to engage the community in civic matters, especially the younger generation. I was so motivated and inspired by not only Victoria Neave, but my fellow interns and everyone in the office as well. My experience pushed me to study political science in the hopes that I could some how bring about change in the political world for those who need it the most.

Andrea Flores

Andrea Flores was born and raised in Dallas, TX. She is a first-generation graduate from Texas A&M University in College Station with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Communications and Journalism. During her studies at Texas A&M she was the first Latina to serve the institution’s Senior Class President.She has a strong interest in organizing young people, civic engagement/education and is ready to make a big change in Dallas. She is part of an inaugural class for a women of color fellowship called Movement Mujeres, which is a joint initiative between Deeds Not Words, the nonprofit led by former Senator Wendy Davis that stands for women’s equality, and Jolt, an organization that increases civic participation of Latinos in Texas to build stronger democracy and ensure that everyone’s voice is heard. Deeds Not Words and Jolt Initiative are two organizations in the state of Texas that are dedicated to organizing and developing the leadership of young women through an intersectional framework.

Bella Liano

I come from a border town which I love with all my heart, I want to make sure the truth of my beautiful city is not overlooked by the hate that some people have. When I went to my predominantly white college I had to learn the hard truth that racism and hate are still very prevalent. I felt like my voice could not be heard and that I could not express myself in the way I wanted to until I met friends who were experiencing the same things and introduced me to JOLT. Up until then I did not have an outlet to express my beliefs and want for change. I realized that yes I wanted to go into medicine but wanted to get the representation that I and the entire Latinx community deserved.

Celina Barajas

Throughout my simultaneous academic and employment achievements I have dedicated a substantial portion of my personal time to community service offerings in Dallas, Texas. My breadth of experience and academic prowess makes me a suitable candidate for Arriba Las Mujeres Summer Institute, which promotes professional development among a wide demographic within the local community it serves. I hope to gain and provide more information pertaining to voting for my students at Dallas County Community Colleges District as well as educate them to vote in order to make a difference for the future.

Devanne Garcia Orozco

I am a self-proclaimed activist and feminist that grew up in a multicultural environment in Houston, Tx. Growing up as a Latina Jewish woman I’ve been vocal about the diversity both my identities have to offer. I am a DACA recipient and a strong advocate for immigration rights. I have been working as a volunteer for multiple political campaigns, and social organizations. I am currently working on becoming an attorney to be a substantial aid to my community. I want to be a leader in my community who can bring knowledge and skill to help and improve my community. I believe that women especially women in Latinx communities should have the power to stand up and become a voice of change and this is a program that offers that commitment that made me interested in being part of it.

Elisha Fernández

I’m most passionate about talking about the rights of people of color, women equality, and bullying. I wrote a book with my sister when I was 11, and I’m working on two other books right now on my own. I’m a passionate artist and musician. I love to play the guitar, the piano, and sing and dance. Most people describe me as hardworking, creative, and loving.

Emily Gonzalez

 I was born In San Antonio, raised in Alief, Houston, Texas. I am a proud Mexican- American. At the age of 22 I am a self-proclaimed activist advocating against racism and women rights. I graduated High School with a Welding Certification because I knew the shortage of woman in this industry. Currently pursuing a degree in Political Science. As a survivor of sexual assault, I strive to work to help make our country safer for women and children. My goal is to gain a legislative seat and work hand in hand with people of color, women and the lgbtq+ community to rebuild a better government where everyone is equal. Being on the receiving end of racism and being under minded as a woman has only made my voice stronger. Working with Jolt has relit the beauty I see in my heritage and the independence I gained being a 2nd generation Mexican America, I’ve learned you can do anything if you pursue it with enough passion. 

Giselle Cólon

As a woman of color, I strive to lead and protect my community. I readily advocate for voting rights and do my best to empower marginalized communities. I easily assume leadership roles by assisting and empowering others. I want to become a stronger leader to continue to do what I am doing. I want to help my community as best I can. I eventually want to become a public defender and an excellent attorney. I believe this program will help elevate my career and empower the lives of others.

Giselle Lora

I am a queer Latina and rising sophomore at UT. I was born as the first child to immigrant parents and am the first in my family to attend college. Among my underserved community in south Fort Worth, there is this sentiment that our voices are not worthy of being heard, as they have continuously been discouraged by the lack of resources provided for black and brown people. However, at the age of 15, I became more interested in learning about the issues that directly affect the people that look like me or come from places like mine. Our communities have been undermined by those who are supposed to represent us. It has resulted in the discouragement of our people to progress with the limited resources we are given. It is something I hope that through higher education and the career I choose in my future, whether it be as an educator or politician, I can have some part in improving for future generations. I hope that through Arriba Las Mujeres, I am allowed to see varying perspectives of other Latinas at UT and Austin and to gain more knowledge about what I can do to contribute more to our communities.

Idalis Villegas

It means a great measure to me to be civically engaged to everything that is happening around us every single day. From the events I have seen & heard, it all creates a big impact in me. I have always been passionate about my community, city, state, the world. To speak on what goes on in your streets, positive or negative, you have had to live through them to understand its importance & I am a living proof of what that is. I hope to learn & continue to hear others so that we can come together for our communities & together we can make a difference. I would like to be part of this great opportunity to be a part of a growing change that is drastically needed. I have absolute faith that my thoughts will bring a light of hope to our future.

Jennifer Alcocer

I am an 18 year old Mexican American woman who loves to get involved in the community. I am a hard worker, overachiever, over thinker, and definitely someone who is selfless. I aspire to pursue a career in social work, so that I can work with the people in my community and help them to the best of my ability. I love getting involved and working to uplift others and bring people/communities together.I am interested in being part of Arriba Las Mujeres because I love witnessing women empower other women and work together so that we can get treated the way we deserve to be treated. I believe that we, as women, can take on any role that we want if we set our minds to it because we are strong and we have power.

LaShun Roy

I have worked closely with JOLT through voter registration efforts, and events. I believe empowered women empower women. I would love the opportunity to network and grow with other amazing women of color working hard to show that we do care and we do vote. I believe I would strengthen my leadership skills and learn more about creating a narrative that makes people want to get involved and take action.

Laura Vargas

I was born in Colombia, grew up in the Dallas area, and am a recent graduate of Rice University. This past year I really discovered my passion in working for the Hispanic community, and I was able to serve as co-president of the Hispanic Association at Rice (HACER) and intern with an education nonprofit, Latinos for Education. I’m participating in this program because it is a great opportunity to become involved with Jolt, meet like minded women of color in the area, and learn about civic engagement and advocacy.

Magge Nuñez

I am proud queer Salvadoran activist. For the couple of years I have been involved in several social justice initiatives from local, state, and federal level. I joined Arribas Las Mujeres Summer Leadership Program because there needs to be more representation of womxn of color in activism and positions of power. As a recent grad student, I have witnessed the lack of women of color involved in higher ed. This speaks volumes because it’s not because we do not want to be in higher ed, but rather the societal inequalities that impede us from. I am excited. I am motivated. And ready to help my community

Maria Rocha

I grew up in San Antonio, Texas, looking up to the Castro Brothers as my political role models. Here were two Latinos from my same hometown working in a presidential cabinet and the U.S. House of Representatives. They gave me hope, and I would eventually volunteer on Sec. Castro’s presidential campaign. Growing up, however, I did not have many Latina role models to look up to. I’m thankful that little Latina girls can see themselves in Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez and be inspired to run for office. I want to do my part to ensure they always have someone to see themselves in.

Maritza Muñoz

I’m a hispanic woman from Houston who is passionate about politics. I love traveling, music, and spending time with my friends, family, and pets.I have always been passionate about human rights issues and have started learning more about climate issues. I really want to be a part of the change of Texas politics and would love to learn how to effect change in my community and beyond.

Marliza Marin

My name is Marliza Anahi Marin. I was born and raised in El Paso, TX. I am the daughter of Mexican immigrants. I attended Texas State University where I graduated with three BA degrees in Political Science, History and Psychology in December of 2019. I currently work for MOVE Texas, a non-partisan non-profit that similarly to Jolt focuses on voter registration in underrepresented communities through civic engagement as the Leadership Development Assistant. I am interested in being part of Arriba Las Mujeres because I’ve had the honor of being a part of grassroots organizing multiple times now. As a young, latinx, daughter of immigrants, organizing has been a very different and new experience for me. I have learned so much being part of grassroots movements and I’m hoping to further my experience in social media, media relations and issue-based advocacy.

Mariam Laeky

Now more than ever, young, minority women in Texas have the potential to drive real change in our communities and programs that invest in us are pivotal to our work in 2020. Since beginning my work in civics in Texas, I have been blessed to have the opportunities to work in legislation, campaign organizing, and training/fellowships led by amazing organizations such Arena Academy, Annie’s List, and Movement School.t I am currently working as a Campaign Fellow for Rep. Eddie Rodriguez’s Senate Campaign and a Campaign Fellow for Rep. Colin Alred’s Congressional Campaign 

Ria Otwani

I am a pre-law rising junior majoring in management information systems at the University of Texas at Austin. I am passionate about working in the legal field, possibly in either litigation or politics. This summer, I am a part of the fellowship program for Eddie Rodriguez’s State Senate Campaign as a Student Project Coordinator, helping to manage relational data for potential voters. I am motivated and passionate about helping others and am eager to encourage political participation amongst minority women across the state. With several underlying problems of our government and community being exposed under a nation-wide media spotlight, I hope to play a positive role in the driving force of societal improvement and the reeducation process of all generations.

Suseth Muñoz

I am an immigrant, first-generation, low-income woman as well as an ESL learner. The intersectionality of these identities has provided their individual obstacles towards coming into this country, seeking higher education, and even less pursuing leadership positions. However, because of the work of social justice activists, I am able to be standing here today. We owe to them, to our community, and to ourselves to continue developing and pushing back against systemic barriers that continue to exist. Therefore, I am applying to be able to speak for not only my community but also all the other individuals that have the same identities as myself. I want the opportunity to be a visible representation for people that see themselves in me because the truth is that I am one in a thousand who have all of these characteristics, but what makes me different is that I have encountered individuals like myself who believed in me to make it here. However, the act of advocating and promoting social justice requires collective work as well as re-education

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