Latinas Sin Límites(“Latinas Without Limits”) is a Latina-directed program of the Migrant Farm workers Project (MFP), funded by the WFGKC Rachel Alexandra Girls Grant Project. The Latinas, daughters of migrant farm workers face social challenges, but have skills and talents to address these challenges. The program honors the basic fact that young Latinas themselves are the people best suited to address young Latinas’ issues and aspirations. Active participation in Latinas Sin Límites helps young Latinas meet their own needs and the needs of their community by designing and executing community service projects. In this way, they are developing their sense of self-worth, their ability to contribute to the community in their unique ways and even their college resumes.
Project One: Young Learners
This summer, a group of middle-school girls organized a project to prepare younger farm worker kids for entrance to kindergarten and early elementary grades. The small, rural school district had to suspend its early elementary prep program due to budget cuts. The Latinas Sin Límites girls stepped up to fill the gap. Having attended this school themselves, they are the ones who understand—better than teachers, parents and MFP staff—the social and academic difficulties of the farm worker students. Middle-schoolers, Jacqui, Alondra and Angie guided pre-K students through the halls of their new school and introduced basic English vocabulary, letters and numbers. They also took first- and second-graders into tutoring groups to work on reading and basic math. Elementary students began the school year with a better academic background. And Latinas Sin Límites participants realized their ability to improve their community.
Project Two: Proyecto Promocion –Environmental Promotion
High school Latinas have worked on environmental promotion for two years, growing the project each semester. The project has five focus areas: managing a project; introducing healthy recycling habits; practicing methods of public speaking and social outreach to small businesses, public offices, non-profits and the migrant community; raising money through recycling for Ronald McDonald House of Kansas City (RMH); and realizing their talents for improving community life. This fall, they organized three activities for this project. Veteran participants from last year explained the project to new participants and led a brainstorming activity on ways to improve it for the present year. In the second activity, they created 25 containers for aluminum pop-tabs to be distributed throughout the community and MFP’s network of partners. They also strategized ways to promote the collection program in new collection sites. In the third activity, they split into groups to prepare the speech, present the project and containers at collection sites throughout the community and to the local newspaper. This winter and spring they will maintain relations with the small businesses and public locations where they have sited the containers. Then, in late-spring, they will deliver our collections to RMH and volunteer for RMH’s “Pop-Tab Pandemonium” fair in May.
Project Three: Keys to College Success
High-school Latinas work with the MFP Education Coordinator and a handful of adult Latina role models to apply for and enter college. In her junior and senior years, Crystal, one of our young Latina leaders worked on ACT prep, ways to finance college, and entrance essays and placement tests. She graduated high school in May and entered Donnelly College this fall. While she works this semester on core curriculum, Crystal also volunteers for The Learning Club in Kansas City, Kansas, a program that “helps high-risk children and teens… by offering enriching activities and opportunities to advance their academic achievement, social and emotional development, and leadership skills.”