Sociedad Latina is a youth development organization, whose mission is to create the next generation of Latino leaders. The organization specifically works with Latino youth and families to support positive creative youth development from ages 11 to 21 in four key areas: Education, Workforce Development, Civic Engagement, and Arts and Culture.

Sociedad Latina serves 5,000 young people and adults each year by empowering them through year-round programming and education. To learn more about the organization and the ways Emerson students may get involved, we recently connected with Victoria Garcia, the Alumni & Community Engagement Manager at Sociedad Latina.

How would you describe the culture of working at Sociedad Latina?

Victoria: “We’re very proud of the work that we do. We rely heavily on creating meaningful relationships with our students. That’s why our pipeline model was created. We don’t just want to place students in one program and then ship them off in the world. We want to guide them through their academic journey. We want to help them gain those workforce readiness skills that they need to excel. We realize it’s very important to give our all to our students and families we work with.

I would also say that we are a team. Each individual program may have their respective coordinators and they’re in different groups, however, we say that all students are our students. All programs are our programs.

Having  all the programs we have, we rely heavily on cultivating partnerships, specifically those that align with our mission. And in doing so, it helps us provide resources that will benefit our students and their families along the way.”

What are some of the roles or opportunities you are looking to fill?

Victoria: “We have volunteer opportunities within each program. We try to have at least one to two volunteers as part of the facilitating of each program. Then we also have space for volunteers to come in as mentors. We’re always looking to provide our students, whether they’re in middle or high school or in their college journey, with mentors.

We also have open positions. Right now we have the Health Education Coordinator position open, which is working with working with our high school students in the health education program. We also have our STEAM Team Coordinator position open.

For the volunteer opportunities, I work with volunteers in their onboarding process. I guide them through their roles, so I would be the person they would contact.”

For additional information regarding volunteering, check out Sociedad Latina’s Volunteer Opportunities.

What are some of the skills or skill sets you look for in applicants?

Victoria: “I would say the ability to establish rapport with our youth is huge. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills are very much needed.”

Victoria also shared that Sociedad Latina is looking for applicants who are eager to work with students of all age levels and students coming from diverse backgrounds and ethnicities. Organizational, creative, and problem skills are also a huge plus for potential applicants.

What do you enjoy the most about working within the organization?

Victoria: “I’ve been associated with Sociedad Latina for six years. I actually started as a youth leader myself, which is awesome because I started in the last piece of the programs, which is the workforce development piece. I really loved it and learned great things. 

I started thinking of my career and my future and I applied for a full-time position with Sociedad Latina and I got it as the Office Manager. Throughout those years, I’ve had the ability to grow to learn new things, to try new things, and I think I love that the most. I love that it’s not just about filling in a slot or position with someone. It’s about investing more time and resources and professional development for our staff. It’s about making sure that we’re committed to our staff growing, so that we can be able to provide rich and meaningful programs to our students.”

Do you have any advice for young professionals looking to get their start?

Victoria: “I would suggest trying new things, getting familiarized with what’s happening in your own community and trying to get involved with organizations working toward creating positive change. Build a strong network, whether that’s with faculty or your peers or with your community on a personal level.

And don’t be afraid of failures or setbacks, you know. The ultimate goal is to get back up.”

Discover Opportunities at Sociedad Latina