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Latinitas Recognized for Volunteer Management and Engagement

Austin Community Foundation recently announced Latinitas as the 2017 recipient of the Jordan Award, which recognizes a Central Texas nonprofit that effectively leverages the time and talents of volunteers to create positive change in our community. Created by Wylie Jordan in 1999, the Jordan Award provides a grant of $6,000 to a local nonprofit annually.

A young Latina in Austin has a greater chance of becoming pregnant before the age of 20 than entering the media and tech industries. However, the Foundation’s recent Understanding Austin report states that the entertainment industry has seen a 257 percent increase in direct earnings over the past 20 years. Latinitas has made it its mission to change this startling statistic and create a pathway for young Latinas to enter this lucrative industry.

Latinitas is dedicated to empowering Latina youth using media and technology, providing direct digital media and technology training and esteem-boosting services to nearly 3,000 girls across Texas annually — 2,000 in Central Texas and 1,000 more in West Texas. It’s worth noting that 97 percent of all Latinitas volunteers are Latino, which is uncommon in the Austin nonprofit sector. The organization proudly states the ethnicity of their volunteers is an effective “see it to be it” example and leads to more proven success. Ninety three percent of girls in Latinitas graduate high school, in contrast to a high dropout rate of 30 percent for Latinas overall.

These extraordinary efforts make Latinitas a perfect fit for the Jordan Award. In its 17th grant cycle, the Jordan Award has granted $85,000 to organizations in the community who rely on their dedicated volunteers.