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Center for Latino Studies

Meet Your LatinasAchieve! Leadership

Jasmin MendozaJasmine Mendoza
Role: President of LatinasAchieve!
Year: Sophomore
Major: Psychology
More about her: Jasmin has always been intrigued by the human mind. Her interest only grew more after taking a psychology course where she was deeply captivated by how experience with the world as children can impact everyone differently. Jasmin is a first-generation college student and realizes the importance of pursuing higher education. She wants to give back to her parents for their sacrifices, such as moving to a new country and having to learn a different language for the only reason to give her a better life. Moreover, she credits her participation in OneGoal, a college access and post-secondary success program, and being part of the Honors Program as a significant influence in her academic career. She is a firm believer that education is the key to advancement. In the future, she hopes she can work with children and be an advocate for them.


Sarahy ManchaSarahy Mancha
Role: Vice-President of LatinasAchieve!
Year: Sophomore
Major: Biology, with a minor in Chemistry
More about her: Sarahy is a first generation American-Latina pursuing a career in the medical field. Her initial interest in science and the natural world grew from former professors that sparked her obsession to learn more. Sarahy aspires to advocate for health and wellness, and establish an emotional connection with her patients to make a positive impact in their lives. She plans to advocate for the voiceless, become the caregiver to the forgotten, and the listener to those who are hurting. In her spare time she enjoys volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House and the Houston Food Bank. In the future, Sarahy plans to help fight disparities in healthcare and her mission is to achieve health equity for racial and ethnic minorities.


Anayansi RendonLatinasAchieve! logo
Role: Secretary
Year: Sophomore
Major: International Business, with a minor in Spanish
More about her: Anayansi is a first-generation college student who has worked from a young age to obtain a higher level education. This is the reason why she was able to connect so well with the program Latinas Achieve because she truly believes in the mission of the organization, of supporting Latina women obtaining a college degree. She enjoys being able to connect with other aspiring Latinas such as herself and giving back to her community. This will be the second year that Ms. Rendon participates in the organization Latinas Achieve and the second semester she holds a leadership position. In the past she was able to, to be part of a Marketing internship offered by the organization, promoting Latinas Achieve. Her job was to post content on social media such as linked in where people could get to know about what the organization stood for and get information about upcoming events. Anayansi is always looking to expand her horizon academically and challenge herself to try new things. She is very open minded to when it comes down to learning new things, and enjoys learning from her peers.


Rebecca VasgoyaRebecca Vasgoya
Role: Treasurer
Year: Junior
Major: Accounting
More about her: Rebecca is a first-generation college student and comes from a family of strong-minded, independent women who believe that we as women have a valid voice and it should be heard. She is very passionate about education and encourages others to continue learning so they can grow and help our community accomplish more together. Upon graduation, she will pursue a career in accounting.


Yamilet RomanYamilet Roman
Role: Social Media/Communications Team
Year: Sophomore
Major: Psychology, with an interest in Business and Social Work
More about her: Yamilet is a proud Latina that comes from a hard-working family. After knowing the struggles her mom faced as a pregnant young adult, she’s passionate on motivating the Latina Community to see the world differently when seeking motivation all while inspiring others. From her mother’s experience she learned that everything is possible with hard work and efficiency. She believes that not everyone would accept who you are as a person but as a Latina our strength continues to grow and together, we can accomplish many things in life. She is constantly seeking opportunities that contribute to self-development and empowerment to woman of every race and ethnicity. Yamilet is considered a first-generation college student that believes in the power of education in advancing one’s personal and professional goals. In addition to her leadership role in LatinasAchieve!, she is also a member of the Honors Program.


Lorely CastanedaLorely Castaneda
Role: Social Media/Communications Team
Year: Junior
Major: Business, with a minor in Marketing
More about her: Lorely has been a member of LatinasAchieve for over a year. Last year, she participated in the social media internship, where she promoted the program and spread the message that through hard work, Latinas can achieve our dreams. Being in the business field made her realize she wants to connect with people and help them with their business opportunities. Lorely’s interest in entrepreneurship began when she was a young girl selling pastries and candies. She is now taking the next step toward a successful career in business by obtaining a good education. She works hard in school to make her parents proud and to thank them for the sacrifices they have made for her. Lorely enjoys helping people and traveling.


Karem MaldonadoKarem Maldonado
Role: Social Media/Communications Team
Year: Senior
Major: Philosophy
More about her: Karem is a first generation Mexican American, originally from South Texas. First year as part of the Latinas Achieve! Social Media/Communications Team. After graduation, she is looking to pursue opportunities to continue her graduate studies. Karem is passionate about social justice and equality, poetry, art and staying up to date with what is trending on the internet. She spends most of her time with her son and two cats.


Sofia DemetriouSophia Demetriou
Role: Social Work Intern
Year: Senior
Major: Social Work
More about her: I’m a first generation American, with Mexican and Cypriot roots. Although I was born in the United States, I was raised in Mexico in my earlier years so I definitely identify more as a Latina than anything else. My passion and calling in life is to serve the community with my lived experience, that is why I chose Social Work as my major and future profession. I plan to attend graduate school to obtain my Masters degree in Social Work (MSW) upon graduation and continue my work in macro level social work with an emphasis on prison reform/criminal justice reform. I am a firm believer in rehabilitation in every sense of the word. In my free time I enjoy photography and biking (UHD Bike Club Officer), not only does photography and biking allow me to capture hidden gems in houston you wouldn’t see behind the steering wheel of a car, I also like to photograph many of the social issues faced in our community such as gentrification, homelessness and addiction. I believe we as a people can cure many of the social issues we face today starting with eliminating the barriers of care. “Si se puede!”


Meet Your Latinas Achieve! Faculty/Staff Leaders

Dr. Bonnie A. LuceroDr. Bonnie Lucero
Founder and Co-Chair of LatinasAchieve! and Director of the Center for Latino Studies at the University of Houston-Downtown


Dr. Liza AlonzoLisa Alonzo
Co-Chair of LatinasAchieve! and Director of Special Events & Alumni Relations at the University of Houston-Downtown


Last updated 1/22/2021 4:56 AM