LatinaLista — Everybody needs to start somewhere. La Alianza Hispana (LAH), Inc. of Greater Boston strives to do that for their local Latino community.
Begun in 1968 by Ana Maria Rodriguez, a teacher of English as a second language at an elementary school in Dorchester, Massachusetts, Rodriguez noticed the impoverished conditions of her Latino students. She, along with a fellow teacher, started meeting at Denison House in Roxbury with Latino parents to begin addressing their needs. The group they formed was known as the Spanish Alliance.
Eventually, the group evolved into being a partner in educating the Boston Latino community on how to advocate for their civil rights and gain access to social services.
Over time, they’ve become a multi-service organization providing family support services such as bilingual mental health counseling, in-home family crisis intervention, a girl’s initiative to combat teen pregnancy and school drop-outs, a parent mentoring program and HIV/AIDS prevention services targeting at-risk Latino youth.
Other areas LAH help Latino families are with Adult and Elderly Services where they run a recreation center for seniors; a Workforce and Education Center where clients perfect their English, learn important skills to prep for job interviews and partner with select employers to get on-the-job training.
LAH also operates an after-school program to help students with their homework and literacy levels.
With all that LAH does, they decided last year it was finally time to start recognizing women who also have gone above and beyond in helping the Latino community. In turn, they are women who exemplify the vision and mission of La Alianza Hispana.
Fourteen women were chosen as Women of Courage. It is an event that will be an annual recognition to celebrate the achievements of selected women and a source of inspiration for the women and girls LAH services to show them what they too can achieve.