Young Educated Ladies Leading

Young Educated Ladies Leading

April, 2015 — Highline College



To empower and motivate our young women of color to excel in academics and to accept nothing less than excellence from self.


  • Critique life, education and careers social norms that inhibit young women of color from being recognized for their success.
  • Highlight the achievements in spite of the obstacles/barriers that they face.
  • Contextualize their self-identity socially, culturally, historically, and politically by giving the women of color a sense of self and value of self.

Your Presence is an Essence

agenda View Adult/Chaperone Agenda

8:00 - 8:40 am Registration and Breakfast
8:40 - 9:00am Introduction and Welcome with Emcee Debrena Jackson Gandy
9:00 - 9:50am Keynote Address: Dr. Caprice Hollins
You Are… Brilliant, Gorgeous, Talented and Fabulous!

As women of color we are constantly bombarded with negative messages.  Society tells us we are aggressive when we are assertive, lazy when we are hardworking, that we are angry when we speak up, that we are acting white when we are brilliant, that we are not enough of one thing and too much of another.  These messages and many more become internalized in our unconscious minds creating self-doubt and fears that can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy if we aren’t intentional about countering the messages, taking risks and stepping into who we are meant to be.  Because the truth is you are powerful beyond measure.  During this keynote, Dr. Hollins will share lessons she learned along the way in transforming herself from a shy little girl who had the disease to please to a woman who earned her doctorate degree in psychology, owning a successful business, and becoming an author.

10:00am - 11:15am
Tammie Holmes
Don't Allow Your Past to Define Your Future

Step outside your comfort zone. Take baby steps each day toward the life of your dreams. Believe in the truth that anything is truly possible - because it IS! Discover the wisdom within. Be prepared for life's curveballs and remember to duck. Remember that you are not your past or your mistakes. Release the mistakes of the past and carry forward only the lessons they contain. You have the power to rewrite your story at any time.  Come and be empowered by my personal story about how I have overcome my past mistakes and now I have the inner strength to encourage other women to realize that they are warriors and can conquer anything that hinders them from being a success story.

Amelia Phillips
Only Woman of Color in the Room?

Have you been made fun of or teased because you were a Y.E.L.L. interested in science, technology or similar field? Do you look around and not see many women of color in your field who could serve as role models or mentors. What would you do if the first day of class or the first day at work you were the only woman of color in the room? What WOULD you do? Come and listen to someone who has been there and can relate to what you will encounter. See how to pull from your strengths and support system (even if you think you don’t have one) to be the very BEST YOU.

Elizabeth Word
Word is Bond

The importance of language and being impeccable with your words is key to communication with others and successful personal, academic and professional relationships.  During this workshop we will explore how our words have power and the words we use and invite into our life have power over our self-perceptions and perceptions of others.

Anita Morales
Self Identity

Participants will use a Latin@ American Identity Development Framework to assess what has influenced them to develop their identity and how to retain a sense of who they are ethnically and culturally. Participants will have an opportunity to compare color collectivism to white individualism. Understanding that neither way of being is better than the other, participants will become aware of how the way they walk in the world is often seen as wrong when it is only culturally and ethnically different. Participants will learn/relearn about the micro-aggressions that assault them both consciously and subconsciously and how to interrupt micro-aggressions.

Jolyn E. Gardner
The Art of Greatness

What would happen if people stopped doing great things? Would greatness as we know it cease to exist? In The Art of Greatness, discover what truly makes one great and the one secret thing required to share that greatness with the world every day. "ARTicipants" will gain a fuller understanding of their own greatness and how to lead from it in a series of interactive exercises. Be inspired to boldly share your greatness with others in your school and communities. Complete a Success and Manifestation Map to use in your academic or personal life. Create a set of daily affirmations to support continued greatness.

Christina Lopez
We are the leaders we have been waiting for

The presentation will look at how the intersectionality of race, class, and gender arise in political movements. The presentation will look at the leadership role of women in the civil rights and immigrant rights movements. Historically women especially women of color have been at the forefront of many social justice movements, but do not always get the recognition they deserve. This continues to be the case today. The workshop will offer examples of past and current women of color leaders who have fought for justice and their rights. Discussion will focus on why women are the strongest leaders and discuss challenges that we face and how to overcome them. The goal is to have participants explore what it means to be a leader in their communities.

Seconde Nimenya
How to overcome obstacles in you personal and professional life

Self-Esteem is one of the components of great confidence, and is extremely important in almost every aspect of our lives. People who lack self- esteem struggle to achieve success in their personal and professional lives. But the good news is that self- esteem and self- confidence can be learned and developed by following some concrete steps. With the right amount of confidence, people are able to take informed risks and stretch themselves to reach their purpose, and in return, they can help those struggling with self-esteem issues. In this presentation, audiences will: Learn What Self-Esteem and Self-Identity are, and How to Build Self-Esteem. Have the opportunity to work with and learn from other participants, as well as role models in their global communities; and gain a better understanding on how to be resilient. Be empowered to ignite the leaders within and create a ripple effect in their communities.

Teresa Springer
Act Like a Lady, Think Like an Entrepreneuress

Do you have what it takes to turn your ideas into a business? Learn from experienced businesswoman and serial entrepreneur, Teresa Springer. She will teach you the necessary aspects of becoming an entrepreneur, such as: how to turn your passion into profit, identifying market trends, what it takes financially to start a business, the difference between an entrepreneur and a business owner, and other important tips and information that you won’t find in a textbook. You’ll also participate in a real hands-on exercise to help sharpen your entrepreneurial skills.

11:25am - 12:50pm Caucus: Purpose of the caucus is to create space for you to speak freely and openly about your opinions and ideas with other students
1:00pm - 1:50pm Lunch
2:00 - 3:15pm
Shirin Subhani and Shahana Dattagupta
What's Your Story

Shirin and Shahana will share a simple model for connecting with one's true nature of Creativity. The interactive portion of the session will include an invitation for storytelling from a few participants to discover underneath, a way to create a path for one’s own life and career based in awakening innate wisdom and Creativity.

Claudine Richardson
Money (That’s What I Want): The Significance of Picking a Major and Job

This is an interactive workshop that goes beyond call and response. Claudine Richardson will introduce the ethnic and gender wage gap of minority women compared to their White community members. We will discuss what a loss of pay means over one’s working lifetime, and I will introduce strategies to determining reasonable salaries and benefits. Students will learn about job titles, their functions and salary ranges as it relates preparing for his/her major in post-secondary education. Thirdly, students will walk away with a realistic outlook on salaries; and how to compare skills and accomplishments to job requirements and market value. This workshop aimed to further augment student’s understanding of economic wealth in relationship to identify development.

Emily Washines
Patterns and Place

In the "Patterns and Place" participants will interact throughout the presentation with identifying patterns in today’s world that connect with traditional teachings. Visual examples will include tribal beadwork and jewelry. Emily will discuss places that include traditional language, plants and foods as well as ceremonial importance of these resources that tribes seek to protect for those generations not yet born. How can students utilize their voice throughout their education and careers?

Roxana Pardo Garcia
Decolonizing Gender and Sexuality

This interactive workshop will combine academics and pop culture/media in order to rethink how our everyday interactions and experiences shape our thoughts, ideas, reactions, and knowledge around our understanding- of ours and others- gender and sexuality. You will be equipped to answer questions like: What did the media attention look around Rihanna and Chris Browns pre-grammy altercation? How has the public reacted to Carmen Carrera? How do schools support, or not support, students who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Trans*? What do RuPaul and Yale have in common? How have mujeres contributed to social movements? Among other questions workshop attendees may have. You will also learn how legacies of colonization are still present in our lives and how to deconstruct and build spaces in which everyone has a right to self-determination and expression.

Bola Majekobaje and Lori Hunt
Not quite African, not quite American: claiming your culture and claiming your space

Using poetry and storytelling, attendees will hear the personal experiences of two "American African" women who were the first in their families to grow up in the US. Students will learn about challenges they faced to achieve their personal goals and the skills they used to be authentic to themselves and successful.

Melissa "Missy" Takahashi
How to Navigate the Higher Education System

In How to Navigate the Higher Education System, Missy will discuss my personal experiences with navigating the higher education system and give advice about how best to succeed as a young woman in a professional academic environment.

Kamrica Ary-Turner
Girls of Color in the Media

As we know there is a vast misrepresentation of black and brown people in the media, furthermore an even greater deficiency of black and brown women of color in the media. Media and society teaches us that black and brown is not beautiful enough, wealthy enough, or smart enough to carry out the roles in movies, commercials or the news. The adversity young women of color have to overcome, when they are face with the idea that european decent or characteristic are the representation of true beauty leave many young women believing that lighter, longer and lankier is better and more beautiful. During this workshop we will expose the media, the history of beauty and learn how to overcome and reclaim our beauty, from hair, to skin, to body image, to aspirations.

Elizabeth Rangel
Healing the Pain to Pave a Way for Gain

The ghosts in the deepness of your soul will continue to haunt who you are and who you will become. Find the ways to face them and let them go. Attendees will hear about the personal experience of a woman that had to face personal struggles to set her free to a world of opportunity. The workshop will discuss what holds you back and how we internalize it, creating a facade. How important it is to find your authentic self and why being ok with who you are and where you come from in settings where you will have to be a chameleon can be difficult but is necessary for happiness and success.

3:25 - 4:00pm Student Panel
4:00 - 4:30pm Closing


keynote speaker

Dr. Caprice D. Hollins

Dr. Caprice D. Hollins was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. She received a B.A. in psychology from Seattle University and an M.A. and Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Multicultural and Community Psychology from California School of Professional Psychology―LA.

Dr. Hollins has over 15 years of experience working with ethnically diverse populations, providing mental health services, facilitating workshops and teaching graduate courses as an adjunct professor at several local universities. She currently works part time as an Associate Professor of Counseling at The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology.

After serving as the Director of Equity, Race & Learning Support for Seattle Public Schools for four years she started Cultures Connecting, LLC, providing culturally relevant professional development workshops, keynotes, leadership coaching and consulting services to organizations seeking to improve their skills in effectively engaging all cultures She is co-author of Train the Trainer: Helpful Tips for Leading & Facilitating Conversations on Race.

Dr. Hollins works hard to balance her passion and commitment to equity and social justice while at the same time raising a family with her husband, Gary Hollins. Together they have two children and she has three adult step children.

master of ceremonies

Debrena Jackson Gandy

Debrena is the national best-selling author of Sacred Pampering Principles (HarperCollins) and All the Joy You Can Stand (Random House), and now her newest book, The Love Lies, Gandy is a transformational speaker, Love Relationships Mentor, Business Consultant, Success Coach, and Founder of The Love Academy. She’s been featured in publications such as Oprah’s O magazine, Ebony, Essence, Black Enterprise, Woman’s Day, Romance Travel, and Heart & Soul, and featured in newspapers such as the New York Daily News, Atlanta Metro, the Seattle Times, Sacramento Bee, Chicago Defender, and the Chicago Crusader. She’s been a popular guest on over 55 radio shows, and also featured on TV on CNN, CNN Live, Good Day New York, Good Morning Texas, The Better Show, Washington D.C’s Good Day D.C., numerous regional morning shows, C-SPAN, and the Wisdom Channel. As Founder and of The Love Academy, her revolutionary relationship teachings have reached thousands. She’s been seen on websites such as;;;;;;; and; and is one of the hosts of TBN’s Public Report TV show on station KTBW Seattle/Tacoma. Her newest book, The Love Lies, is more than the book. It is catalyst for a Relationships Revolution - a movement to free us and detox us from the Love Lies, and create juicy, satisfying relationships and marriages. She is a graduate of Pepperdine University, and resides in Seattle with her family.


Anita Garcia Morales

Anita Garcia Morales received her BA and Teaching Degree from the University of Washington. Anita spent 20+ years in the classroom and the last ten years as an instructional services coach. As a social studies coach, Anita's focus was educational and racial equity. In her ten-year position as coach, Anita oversaw a three-year UW/SPS partnership bringing American Ethnic Studies courses to over 800 district personnel. As a migrant farm worker for the first 21 years of her life, Anita sought to include all that had been missing in the many classrooms and teachers she had experienced in her own school career. She is skilled at creating brave and hopeful spaces for people to reflect on why they came to do the work they do with children and families and how to tap their inner resources to continue to do what is needed for our children. Anita is a Certified Class Action Trainer, a Courage & Renewal facilitator and a Certified Positive Discipline Associate Parent and School Trainer.

Yoshiko Harden

Yoshiko Harden earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from University of California, San Diego in Communications and Women's Studies in 1996. In 2001, she earned her M.Ed from Seattle University in Student Development Administration. Currently, Ms. Harden serves as the Vice President for Diversity/Chief Diversity Officer at Bellevue College. Ms. Harden was formerly the Director of Multicultural Services and Student Development at Highline Community College. She brings over ten years of experience as a student affairs practitioner with extensive skills in leadership, program development, and implementation that integrate diversity and pluralism across departmental and divisional lines. As an educator and practitioner, she believes that building human capacity to create institutional change is most successful when approached from both individual and institutional angles.

Amelia Phillips

Amelia Phillips is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a BS degree in Astronautical Engineering and a BS in Archaeology along with an MBA in Technology Management from University of Phoenix. She recently completed her PhD at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in Computer Security – one of the first in the nation in this field. After working as an engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and TRW, Amelia worked with e-commerce sites and began her training in computer forensics and investigations during the dot-com boom as credit card numbers were being stolen from website databases. She has also managed rock bands, worked on an assembly line; has been a real estate broker, computer consultant and hard money lender. She has designed certificate, AAS and BAS programs for community colleges in e-commerce, network security, digital forensics and data recovery. She is currently tenured at Highline Community College in Seattle, WA and is serving as the Chair of the Pure & Applied Science Division. Amelia is a Fulbright Scholar and published author.

Tammie Holmes

Tammie Holmes, a Seattle native, is an ordained minister of the Gospel and in 2007, Chaplain Tammie truly surrendered her heart to Christ. God delivered her from a twenty year crack addiction and mind binding strongholds. This deliverance and intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit has given her passion to encourage the hurting and dying. God has set her apart with a unique call of dwelling in His presence. She completed Chaplaincy training in 2008 and was ordained as an Elder in the same year. Empowered by God’s love, the word, and the presence of the Holy Spirit, she has ministered to countless homeless individuals living on the streets in Washington. After going through many battles, God has increased her anointing to encourage others to break the strongholds and yokes in their lives. Chaplain Tammie founded The Love Connection Ministry in 2008. This small outreach organization organizes efforts to meet the needs of homeless men and women in the Seattle, WA area. Our purpose is to provide help for the helpless, hope for the hopeless, and love to the loveless. We offer Christ-centered Services that meet the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of hurting people. We aim to reach the lost through the love of Christ. Tammie Holmes is currently attending Highline Community College; completing her Chemical Dependency Professional degree.

Teresa Springer

“Go Local's” 2013 Entrepreneurial Empowerment Award Recipient, Teresa Springer makes opportunity happen. She is on a road that stretches out before her on her entrepreneurial journey. She’s on a quest for better products, more compelling services, and more exciting ways to share insights on growth, business leadership, and personal & professional transformation within the marketplace.As an entrepreneur extraordinaire and mother of four AWESOME children, Teresa has a sincere and dedicated love for business and entrepreneurship. Teresa’s many business start-ups and ventures include being an owner of a franchised smoothie & supplement store in Downtown Seattle, real estate investment, non-profit organizations, financial consulting, health & wellness retailing, owning a fashion boutique and leading the metro area chapter of a nation-wide organization of professional women. Teresa’s latest venture is hosting her business talk show the “Teresa Springer Show” with her digital media company, PaintBox Labs Media Group.

Elizabeth Word

As a full time communication studies faculty member at Highline College, Liz enjoys teaching introductory courses, and small group communication. Additionally, she co-coordinates the Umoja Black Scholars program for African American student achievement. As a community activist, Word was instrumental in the development of the African American Leadership Forum of Greater Seattle, an organization that provides a platform for community discussion, agenda building and civil civic discourse on issues that are of importance to the African American community (child welfare, law and justice, healthcare, education, and economic prosperity). Word holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Master of Arts in Communication from Washington State University. Prior to her teaching career, Word spent over 15 years working across the State’s Higher Education institutions, including Washington State University, Central Washington University, Seattle University and the University of Washington, in the areas of alumni relations, development, admissions and career services. Word’s broad experience in higher education and her passion for working with historically underserved students brought her to Highline College.

Jolyn Gardner

Jolyn E. Gardner is an award winning artist and practicing attorney from Seattle. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Law and Diversity from Western Washington University and her Juris Doctorate from the University Of Illinois College Of Law. She has developed an arts and social justice program for teens called TEENERGY that teaches young leaders how to use their creative voice for social change. As a curator for various virtual art exhibitions, she enjoys helping emerging artists define their own artistic paths using innovative media forms. Gardner also assists many creative professionals with their legal needs and is passionate about finding ways to artistically express the gaps in our laws through the medium of art. Prior to starting her own law practice, Gardner worked in the King County Prosecuting Attorney's office from 2005-2008. She is a member of the Washington State Bar Association, serves on the Board of Washington State Arts Commissioner, volunteers as a coach for Nathan Hale High School Mock Trial and participates as an officer for the African American Leadership Forum of Greater Seattle. She loves international travel and currently splits her time between Seattle and Jamaica.

Christina Lopez

Christina López is the Seattle Comrades of Color Caucus coordinator. As the organizer of Seattle Radical Women (2005 -2012) she helped lead the chapter in defense of immigrant rights, union campaigns, and reproductive justice, and in opposition to police brutality, U.S. wars, and budget cuts targeting the most vulnerable. López also serves on the National Steering Committee of Radical Women.

Seconde Nimenya

Seconde Nimenya was born in Burundi-Central Africa. She immigrated to North America in the 1990s and first lived in Canada before moving to the United States. Seconde is an Author, an Inspirational Speaker, and a Youth Leadership Coach. Her award-winning book, Evolving Through Adversity: How to Overcome Obstacles, Discover Your Passion, and Honor Your True Self is a true story of her life journey, recounting her experiences of adversity, and sharing her life lessons to empower and inspire young people around the world. Seconde’s mission is to help others transform their personal stories and life journeys into teachable moments, so they can live the life they want. An active member of her communities where she lived, Seconde thrives to use her writing and speaking voice to raise awareness on key global issues, focusing and promoting women and the youth’s human rights. Seconde holds an MBA, is fluent in three languages, and is an avid traveler.

Shirin Subhani and Shahana Dattagupta

Shirin and Shahana met in 2008 while doing a transformative storytelling project together, and eventually formed Flying Chickadee in 2010. Through this work, Shirin has realized that her true calling is to be a connector, and that her roles of parent, storyteller, community builder and autism advocate are all One with this calling. Shahana has realized that her true calling is to be a catalyst for awakening Love and Creativity, and that intuitive coaching with others to do this is simply the natural outcome of working within herself – it is One. Similarly, she unifies all her gifts of spiritual visualization, ideation, teaching, healing, writing, music, visual art and theater to do her intuitive coaching work.

Claudine Richardson

Claudine Richardson, is a PhD candidate at Gonzaga University and a graduate from Eastern Washington University with a double master’s degree in Public Administration and Biology. She has served as a project director for Upward Bound at Washington State University and worked at EWU as an admission advisor, international admission coordinator, and an assistant to the faculty fellow for diversity at Eastern Washington University, and teaching assistant to the department of biology. As a TRiO and Ronald E. McNair scholar, she is devoted to providing leadership in preparing first-generation, low income and/or historically disadvantaged students for college. It is also important to note that Richardson is a Dutch citizen and a product of colonization is mixed with Black, Dutch, Panamanian, Dominican, Arawak, French, British, East Indian, and Asian ancestry. She now resides in the U.S. after having lived in various parts of the world.

Emily Washines

Emily grew up on the Yakama Reservation, where she currently lives. She began film in high school and has made a few short videos. Her family taught her to gather foods, dance, sing traditional songs, Yakama language, culture, beadwork, and weave. She passes these teachings on to the younger generation including her two daughters. She serves as President of the Yakima Environmental Learning Foundation, which coordinates a yearly film series. She also serves on Museum of Culture and Environment Board member, where she assists with exhibits and an annual Salmon Run. She works as Public Relations Specialist for Yakama Nation Fisheries. She is the former Miss Yakama Nation and Miss National Congress of American Indians. She is passionate about teaching the endangered Yakama Language and practicing the cultural gathering and fishing. While much in the Yakama culture remains guarded and culturally sensitive, her approach to education and outreach remains respectful of those boundaries. The Yakama teachings along with her Bachelor of Science in Public Policy and Master of Public Administration have helped Emily continue the legacy of her people.

Roxana Pardo Garcia

Roxana Pardo Garcia was born and raised in the beautiful Emerald City. Roxana’s graduated from Highline High School in 2008 being the first in her family to do so and graduating as the schools’s 1st Latina ASB President. In the fall of 2008 she start her college career as a 1st generation student on the University of Washington campus – in the Spring of 2013 she received her Bachelor’s of Art in American Ethnic Studies – during her time at UW she was a student activist and was part of the cohort of student leaders that fought to pass a Diversity Credit Requirement for undergrad graduation. Roxana is a self-defined Xicana Muxerista who was raised by a single mother in the ‘hood. She currently works as a Leadership Development Director for the Auburn Valley YMCA in a middle school running after school programs. Roxana approaches her community work with a decolonial lens-fighting for the liberation and self determination of every member of her communities. "Nothing will liberate the hood, but the hood itself."

Lori Hunt

Lori Hunt is the Director of Multicultural Student Services & Outreach at Spokane Community College. She earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Gonzaga University a master’s in educational leadership from Washington State University and is working towards her educational doctorate in educational leadership. She has worked in education for over 13 years, is a member of the Washington State Multicultural Directors Council and Co-Chair of the Spokane African American Graduation Committee. Currently Lori is a co-facilitator for the Intercultural Leadership Program at CCS. She enjoys spending time with her son and traveling.

Bola Majekobaje

Bola Majekobaje serves a dual role at Washington State University Vancouver as Advisor to the Chancellor for Equity Diversity and Community Engagement and as the Assistant Director for Student Diversity. Alongside staff and students, she provides diversity and equity-focused leadership associated with student recruitment, retention, strategic planning, community building, and campus climate. Her office coordinates activities and programs such as the MLK Day of Service, the Impact Volunteer Program, Noche de Familia, V-Day, the Vancouver MOU Tribal Scholarship, and others. Bola recently led efforts in the establishment of the all new Student Diversity Center in 2014. Before starting her career at WSU Vancouver in 2006, Majekobaje was an Admission Counselor at Central Washington University. She serves on the African American Advisory Council for Big Brothers Big Sisters, as an advisor for the Kaiser Permanente Community Fund, and volunteers for various community-based organizations. In 2012, Majekobaje received the Chancellor’s Award for Staff Excellence.

Missy Takahashi

Missy Takahashi works as a Research Coordinator at the University of Washington & Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. She earned a BS in psychology from the University of Washington, with a special emphasis in cognitive neuroscience. Missy has worked for over 10 years on various academic and applied research projects in areas including: electrophysiology, clinical oncology, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, cognitive neurolinguistics and child development. She is interested behavioral research that investigates the connection between the mind and the body. Missy lives with her POSSLQ (Person of Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters) of 8 years in Renton, Washington.

Kamrica Ary-Turner

Kamrica Ary-Turner is the Associate Administrator at Graham-Kapowsin High School. She has worked in education for the last six years and has spent most of her time at the High School level. Kamrica graduated from Seattle University with an Bachelors of Arts in Strategic Communications and played on the Women's Basketball team. Kamrica received her Master of Education in Guidance and Counseling at City University. While receiving her masters Kamrica worked at Federal Way High School as a Discipline Specialist while Coaching Volleyball at Federal Way High School and Basketball at Todd Beamer High School. After two years as a Discipline Specialist Kamrica accepted a position as the Dean of Students at Illahee Middle School, which she had attended as a student. Thereafter, Kamrica practiced her counseling degree at Central High School in Knoxville, Tennessee and coach basketball at South Doyle High School. Kamrica then returned to Washington and accepted a position at Lindbergh High School in Renton as the Dean of Students. After attending the Black and Brown Male Summit in fall of 2013, she was inspired to create and support an after school group for young men and women of color titled the Band of Brothers and Sisters.

Elizabeth Rangel

Liz is a first generation student who came in contact with a mentor from the TRiO Upward Bound Program that pushed her to find education as her way out of her abusive home life. She attended Big Bend Community College and dealt with homelessness, a family member behind bars, and the responsibility of helping to raise her nephew all while attending her first two years of college. After graduating from BBCC she took the initiative to apply and was accepted to 4 universities before she decide to finish her Bachelors in Art with a minor in Spanish at Central Washington University. While attending CWU she became more interested into learning her Mexican roots and got involved in taking Spanish and Chicano/Latin American Studies classes, became the President of M.E.Ch.A. and studied in Morelia, MX at La Universidad de Latina América. She finally found her place and her full identity when she met her family in La Piedad, Michoacan, Mexico. In her last year of college, Elizabeth had her daughter which helped push her to the completion of her degree. Since 2007 she has been working with students and in every level of education. She now works as the Baccalaureate Program Coordinator at Highline College and has a true passion for helping students understand their full potential and see what can be done when you don’t give up on yourself.


Highline College is located at:

2400 South 240 Street, Des Moines, WA 98198

All Summit sessions will take place on the first floor of the Highline Sudent Union (Building 8)

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Please email us if you have any questions.