Spotlight: Latina Leadership Network (LLN)

By Natalie Grageda

Harbor Tides Web Exclusive


  • President, Lesly Hernandez
  • Vice President, Irais Befancourt
  • Treasurer, Viridiana Santizo
  • Secretary, Damaris Mayorg

About: “They empower me,” said Irais Befancourt vice president of the Latina Leadership Network (LLN). She explained the purpose of this club is to “give them [members] knowledge about our culture” and that this club becomes “more like a family.”

Founded in 1987, the Latina Leadership Network has existed on campuses throughout Los Angeles. This semester, the group has been rejuvenated its purpose here on the Harbor campus. Throughout the fall 2013 semester, Lesly Hernandez as well as Befancourt worked tirelessly to promote and reshape the LLN goal for the empowerment of women all around the campus; hosting the Day of the Dead event and many more.

However, men don’t have to shy from this opportunity. This club is open to diversifying and welcomes all interested male or female students.

In affiliation with the club’s prospects on the future of Latinas in society, LLN also identifies with the cultural aspects of Latin America. Befancourt said, “We can be leaders, women are very powerful and we are here to change the world.”

The LLN also reaches out to other clubs in order to connect with and help out with their goals. So if you want the fulfillment of empowering others or you want to feel the passion that runs in the veins of Latin America, this club is perfect for you to delve into your heritage and learn what it means to be a Latina.

The future:

“What we plan for the future is to outgrow our club and became more active, and to keep fundraising for scholarships” Befancourt said. Right now, there are 10 members, but Befancourt hopes for the groups to grow and expand next semester.

Next semesters events include:

  • A Spring Festival
  • A plan to wor with the organization called The Orphaned Earring, which helps orphaned children in Latin America
  • Planning a fundraiser for Valentine’s Day where they will sell roses and balloons.

 “Women are very powerful and we are here to change the world.” – Irais Befancourt

LLN meets Mondays in the Transfer Office.


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