ON Semiconductor Foundation Grant Empowers Latina Youth with Adelante Mujeres' Help
The ON Semiconductor Foundation seeks to serve and provide for the needs of communities across the globe. Through its grant making, the ON Semiconductor Foundation is empowering and providing opportunities for growth among underrepresented populations. As an underrepresented population, the Latinx community in the United States faces challenges related to discrimination, economic poverty, immigration and community opportunity, which affect the experience of youth as they navigate childhood, adolescence and beyond. Sustained and meaningful involvement in extracurricular activities among youth can spark a greater community connection as well as positive developmental outcomes. That said, the ON Semiconductor Foundation was grateful to support a charity that aims to provide these opportunities to underserved Latina youth in Oregon.
In spring 2020, the ON Semiconductor Foundation provided a grant to Adelante Mujeres, an organization working to build a more just society by providing direct services to low-income, underrepresented communities of color throughout Washington County, Oregon. The title of the organization communicates its inspiring mission - “Adelante” which means to go forward, rise up and flourish, and “Mujeres”, which translates to women.
The grant monies supported the Building Chicas’ Bicultural and Bilingual STEAM Identity program, an impactful community initiative serving 600 Latina girls in grades 3-12. Also referred to as the Chicas program, the initiative consists of after-school sessions, career readiness field trips and mentor presentations in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) fields, as well as a STEAM Camp, where workshops led by professional women provide learning and mentorship. Around 98 percent of participants came from low-income households and 90 percent were first generation immigrants. Fostering leadership and personal development starts early, while Latina girls and young women are exploring their interests and abilities, they must also overcome challenges as an underrepresented minority in the United States.
This year, 27 school sites offered weekly 90-minute after-school sessions through Chicas centered on topics including zip line rescue, surgical solutions, energetic ocean, robotics and urban city planning. Out-of-school time programs like these offered through Chicas, are shown to be key elements in supporting youth development, particularly for Latinx youth who face a higher rate of social and economic issues throughout their lives. These activities introduce participants to STEAM subjects, as well as provide positive and engaging bicultural social networks for girls as they explore their interests.
Graduating senior and longtime participant of Chicas describes her transformational experience with the program:
“I’ve been in the program since I was in third grade at Fern Hill Elementary [Forest Grove School District]. It’s been a very important part of my life as I’ve been in it for a long time. Chicas has helped me gain confidence in myself so that I have a voice too. Being part of the Chicas Leadership group for two years has helped me develop leadership skills as well. I enjoyed going… it felt like a safe space for me. I knew I could count on my facilitator and the others who work with the Chicas program.” - Graduating Senior, 2020.
By having a reliable mentor in a safe bilingual environment along with avenues to develop leadership skills, those involved gain a sense of belonging, motivation and inspiration. The community of Chicas participants and mentors further assists in developing cultural identity and sisterhood among girls as they are supported on a path to college readiness. This experience shows to have a lifelong impact on young women who benefit from the support network and connections gained through involvement with the program.
The ON Semiconductor Foundation was happy to fund this transformative Chicas program that encourages Latina youth to harness their potential and set them on a path to success. By encouraging and inspiring more young Latina women to become involved in STEAM, a more equitable and diverse workplace of the future can be ensured.
Follow this link to learn more about the ON Semiconductor Foundation and how it works to support impactful charities like Adelante Mujeres.