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Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest’s Latina Leadership Academy just celebrated its first graduating class! Thanks to the generous support of The California Endowment, the academy is now one of the Coachella Valley’s most innovative and forward-thinking youth leadership programs, training the next generation of reproductive justice advocates with an intensive 15-month curriculum.

“The Latina Leadership Academy left me with so many opportunities. Planned Parenthood redefined me, who I am and my career choice. This organization has changed my life. Now I seek to change the world around me, to better it. I want to change the world, my community, the way Planned Parenthood has changed me,” said Nancy, 18, of Coachella.

The program empowers youth through training that emphasizes organizing and advocacy, workforce development and education. This program brings together a diverse group of women with varying life experiences including teen mothers, low-to-middle income young women, alternative and traditional students, LGBTQ young women, and honor roll students.

We know the best way to ensure our services are fully accessible to youth is to give them a voice. It is vital that young people in the Coachella Valley know they have power, value, and responsibility in the development and implementation of health policies that directly affect them and their community. To accomplish this, program leaders met with 15 young women weekly for more than a year. The Latina Leadership Academy is an outstanding opportunity for young Latinas to gain valuable leadership skills and learn more about reproductive and social justice.

Latina Leadership Participants in the Community

  • Get Out The Vote events
  • California Endowment Building Healthy Communities meetings
  • Teen Capital Day 2014 and 2015
  • HOPE luncheon in Los Angeles
  • Desert AIDS Walk in Palm Springs
  • PRIDE Parade in Palm Springs
  • Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast in Palm Springs
  • Democratic Women of the Desert luncheon in Rancho Mirage
  • Juneteenth Dinner in La Quinta

“All of this has opened my eyes to see the issues in this community. I see that someone has to step up and fight for what’s right and the Latina Leadership Academy has taught me that I have the capability to be that someone,” said Yurema, 18, of Coachella


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