Pilar, We thank you for the invitation to the event we truly enjoyed ourselves and look forward to next year’s event.

Clayton, Sharon K

Dear Pilar: I want to thank you so much for the beautiful work of art that you presented to us. It was our pleasure to sponsor the conference. Personally, I enjoyed the conference program more than any I have attended. Your choice of speakers was fabulous. Each had a story to tell and lessons for all of us (including the not-so-young ladies). I hope we can stay in contact and work together in some capacity in the future.

Nancy Nosko, Community Relations Representative, SES Terminal LLC

Hello Pilar, I hope all is well with you. I just wanted to inform you that Jan & I met with ELLAS participants to debrief. The students had many wonderful things to say about the conference. Students said they felt inspired, motivated, set new goals for themselves, joined clubs at Poly (i.e. Sophmore Senate – the governing club for sophmore’s), and the shared their conference experience with their parents. Also, the students mentioned that Maria Marin and Rosario Marin made a huge impact on them. I personally feel that the conference was very inspiring and powerful. Among my favorites were Maria Marin, Judge Maria Luna, Rosario Marin and Alyssa Aoki – awesome speaker for the workshop ‘A Journey From Good to Greatness’). I feel very grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in such an empowering Latina Conference and I Thank You for all that you do and all that you have done. By the way, does ELLAS have the logo for sale. I would love to purchase the portrait for my own home and perhaps a poster for the GEAR UP office at Poly.

“ELLAS” in high school wasn’t my whole life. It wasn’t the reason I went to school; it was the reason I tried. I wanted to be a part of a club that would look good in my high school resume. At first I thought it would be nice past time. When I was bored I would go to the meetings and just help out any way I could. But things started to change I didn’t know what I was a part of until we wen to the first “ELLAS” conference at Dominguez Hills. When those Latina women who had very important leading careers like; educational administration, lawyer, or activist, went up on that podium telling their stories. I thought, “Wow!” They lived a harder life than I did and they still made it to places where no one though they’ll get to. It was amazing how far determination and strength will take you. That all together gave me the inspiration I needed to shoot for something better for myself. I was even more pumped and excited for “ELLAS” than ever before. I wanted to do everything that was in my ability to help them become big. I was a part of a family there. It was fun and a very good growing experience that I will never take for granted ever. I made friends there that I hope that I will keep for life. I’m grateful to “ELLAS” today and forever. Because if it wasn’t fort he amazing people and the awesome field trips we took, like for example to the law firms in Los Angeles I wouldn’t be pursuing to become a Paralegal today. When I went to that office full of lawyers, I thought, “Ugh, boring people, boring place. What kind of fun is this?” But then when they started talking to us about different kinds of lawyers to win a case. I gotta say I became a little intrigued. To debate about something, back and forth with someone else and basically try to win the argument. Well it sounded so interesting and entertaining to me. But then I found out that it’s really expensive to become a lawyer. So it thought of the next best thing, Paralegal! It’s pretty much the same thing, except you’re not in court presenting the case and your salary is lower than a real lawyer or attorney. “ELLAS” helped me find my dream, my aspirations that I look forward to every day. I’ll do anything for “ELLAS”. That’s why I put so much thought and effort into this letter. That’s why I hope this letter is of any use to “ELLAS”.

-Leticia Barba, LHS Graduate, College: Long Beach City College, Major: Business Management, Career Goal: Paralegal and an “ELLAS” girl forever :D

This was my 2nd annual conference and this year’s conference was more inspirational to me because this years speakers were more uplifting, and I felt I was connected to them on a more personal level because of struggles they went through.

Tina Montes

I have been with ELLAS for about 8 strong years now. Starting from being a student in the program, to now representing as an ambassador. Of all the countless ways that ELLAS has motivated and elevated me. One of the most significant influences has been that of all the doors that have opened up to me from being part of the program. I’ve discovered many places, people and opportunities. The on-on-one mentoring I have received from Pilar is one of my most prized gifts from this program. I am so very grateful to Pilar Pinel and her amazing program for working so hard with and for us.

M. Ali Meza

I’ve been in ELLAS for the past 4 years . All my high school. Being in this program has helped me a lot with being me. Pilar has helped me out in many ways I have knowledge and taken my responsibilities. ELLAS has helped out every girl set their dreams and goals. It’s an open ides for everyone to reach their goals I thank Pilar a lot for giving us this opportunity.

Being part of ELLAS has made me realize the enormous potential for Latina women in the workforce. Especially since in California the population is shifting to a “minority” majority it is important that the high ranking positions in the government reflect the demographics. ALLAS has made it very clear that not only is it important to educate oneself, but to network in order to achieve success.

Carolina Vallejo

ELLAS Conference made an impact in my life by not giving up and to keep my head up, and when people make fun of me I should not let it affect me in a negative way.

Carlos Robles

Hi Pilar! This is Judith Gallardo, I met you at the Governor and First Lady of California Women’s Conference this Tuesday. I go to UCLA and I am very interested in becoming a Student Ambassador for your program. Let me know what I need to do to get involved and any other volunteer work you may need. Thanks!

Judith Gallardo

ELLAS inspired me and made me open up my eyes and look forward to my future. It was a fun experience and I would love to do something like this again.

Anthony Miramantes, Millikan HS

ELLAS conference made me look at things in a whole different way. No matter where you ‘re from or how you were raised. Anything is possible.

Miguel Gonzalez, Millikan HS

The ELLAS Conference was empowering because we got to listen to the stories of successful minorities coming from nothing into something in which almost everyone can relate to. Also the women chosen to speak were interesting.

Uyi Sibetta, Millikan HS

The ELLAS conference inspired me more not only that it puts me to think about my future and what do I want to end up doing. I am more determined.

Jose Arroyo, Millikan HS

[ELLAS Conference} Inspired me to follow my dream to do what I want to accomplish, that no one can put me down it will only help me to succeed. I now live off one phrase that I heard at the conference: “I am, I can, and I will” to motivate myself to reach my goal.

Joseph Carbajal

Ellas has helped me and inspired me to become something good in life. As a Latina, by the media, I am known as a person with no education and no future. ELLAS has shown me that there are Latinas that are something important and they have become my role models in life. These Latinas are what drive me to become what they are. ELLAS has pushed me to the top of my level, they believe in me and my dreams. Once I’ve reached my dreams and become something great! I want to become part of the ELLAS organization and maybe become a role model for the next generation of Latinas in America. I think without ELLAS, I would have become part of what the media and society has labeled Latinas.

ELLAs has impacted my life in a good way by helping me get introduced to the world. Through ELLAS I have been able to meet people who will help me with a future career. Through society I have been taught that I will not succeed in any kind of career. ELLAS has taught and shown me that I can. It has inspired me to do what is necessary to get through college and do something with my life. The program has taught me that my dreams are not impossible.

Growing up I was always taught and told to try my hardest and always be the best in everything I do. I would make goals and reach them. But then came a chapter in my life in which I had no clue on what was the next step for me, my senior year. In always had different careers in my mind, but I could never figure out which I really wanted to settle for. To this day I have not been able to figure out my goal in life, but I have joined ELLAS, which has exposed me to successful women in the work place, who have made me more open‐minded person and taught me many values in life. ELLAS shows young Latina women, that a little work and confidence will take you to great places. I’m living this adventurous journey at this moment. I am building my confidence to make me a stronger and more successful person. ELLAS has helped me in life and has changed my perspective of life in different ways. I can proudly say, “I am an ELLAS girl!”

I will never forget the ELLAS conference experience. The experience with Maria Marin was so great too. I am so thankful for this eye opening experience and the Latina Role Models.

My ELLAS conference experience was fun, interesting and it taught me a lot. I would have wanted to see more careers with medicine. I liked Maria Marin, she was really inspiring. Thank you for allowing me to attend the ELLAS conference.

ELLAS has opened my eyes to all the possibilities that are out there for us. It encouraged me to keep going and never give up. I’m glad this organization will continue to help others as it did to me.

ELLAS has helped me to realize that I can do a lot to follow my dreams.

I enjoyed ELLAs conference very much. I would like to go again! Being able to participate in ELLAS program is very exciting for me. I want to join ELLAS.

I really, really loved the conference. I loved all the speakers and learning of their struggles in getting to their success. I think the ones I liked the best were the “A Journey From Good to Greatness” speakers. I also loved Maria Marin. I would really like to go through this experience again.

I am really interested in joining ELLAS program. I was glad that they had the conference and I was invited. I am interested in the filed of accounting.

Pilar, I really liked the conference and how the motivational speaker Maria Marin had the whole room full of energy. Hopefully next time she will be there again.

I really enjoyed being at ELLAS conference. Everything was interesting and fun. I learned a lot about the American Red Cross. I would like to know more about becoming a teacher and be an ELLAS student.

My experience was really amazing. It gave me ideas in what I want to do when I grow-up. I think it was nice how we got to meet Superior Court Judge, Ana Maria Luna and Former 41st U.S. Treasurer, Rosario Marin.

I am very glad I came to the ELLAS conference with Pilar Pinel and got to see what the group can bring me. I really like the experience because of the way this day was. The workshops and presenters inspired me to do more with my future.

I loved the entire experience. It was amazing. I really enjoyed listening to all the speeches and I really learned a lot. This was probably the best field trip I’ve ever been to.

Pilar Pinel invited me to attend ELLAS conference. She said I would benefit from it. I sure did! I gained an idea and my career interest that has to do with accounting and finances. The best part of this experience was hearing from the guest speakers/presenters. Overall it was fun, beneficial and interesting.

The whole experience was wonderful, from the time we got there, until we left.

I liked the conference. It was fun and very motivating. I liked the international business workshop. Superior Court Judge Ana Maria Luna and Lawyer, Celine Cordero’s story was motivating. I am glad I was in the place at the right time and got to attend.