LatinX Alliance Club Fosters Youth Leadership and Philanthropy
When the LatinX Alliance Club at New Jersey’s Watchung Hills Regional High School decided to hold a bake sale, the student leadership had no idea how it would turn out. “This was our first fundraiser, and it sold out!” Andrea Garcia, the club’s president, explained. Alex Rosato, vice president, and Sarai Gonzalez, secretary, linked the successful outcome to the “delicious,” mostly student-made treats, in addition to preparation and teamwork. “It was a major success… [though] a little stressful since it was the first time learning how to manage it,” Andrea added.
All three young women have been involved with the club since its foundation in 2021. When planning the fundraiser, the club sought a beneficiary organization that aligned with its purpose of serving as a space for students to explore the diverse culture of the Latino community. Thus, UnidosUS received a $400 donation raised by selling students’ baked goods, like empanadas, alfajores, and tres leches cake. The event also featured dancing and presenters “as a way to show the [broader] school community who we are; that the LatinX community is here,” the team noted. “It was nice when people said they wanted to try something [new]…People were so accepting.”
In addition to the fundraiser, one of the club’s proudest accomplishments was helping implement a new parent orientation in Spanish for the first time this year. “This was a big steppingstone. We have a lot of ELL students here; it was a great opportunity for monolingual parents to learn about what the school and county have to offer,” Andrea said.
This marks just the beginning of the impact this team of young leaders will have. Andrea aspires to become a business leader and advocate for Latinos. Sarai plans to study screenwriting and give Latinas a voice through film. Alex hopes to be an environmental lawyer and inspire young Latinas to enter the profession. “We’re the next generation; we want to make it better. We want to break the norms; this is something we value about UnidosUS: they break barriers and make things equal in the U.S.,” Andrea said.
(Special thanks to Club Advisor/Teacher Evangelina Paredes, for coordinating the interview.)
There are so many ways to support UnidosUS, and our power lies in our collective actions, just like the ones displayed by these students. When we all pitch in, we can make a difference!
For more information, visit us at www.unidosus.org/individual-giving