A Call to Support the Circle de Luz Class of 2016

Latinos have the highest dropout rate of all racial and ethnic groups. 

Dropouts have an average annual income of $22,000. High school graduates will earn an additional $300,000 over the course of their career. College graduates will earn $2.1million in a lifetime.

Adolescent girls who had a serious school failure- like dropping out- are significantly more likely to suffer a severe bout of depression.  In fact, thirty-three percent of girls who drop out later become depressed.  Researchers believe this might be because girls more acutely suffer the worst consequences after dropping out like higher poverty levels, higher dependence on public assistance, and lower rates of job stability.                                                           

 Latinas between the ages of 12-17 are more likely to attempt to take their life than any other group.  Twenty-five percent say they have thought about it.  Fifteen percent have attempted suicide. 

A third of Latinas who dropped out cited marriage or pregnancy as the reason.                                          

Fifty-three percent of Latinas will become pregnant at least once before the age of 20.                                       

Circle De Luz radically empowers young Latinas by supporting and inspiring them in the pursuit of their possibilities through extensive mentoring, programming, and scholarship funds for further education.  

This fall, we will select the Circle de Luz Class of 2016 from the rising seventh graders at Albemarle Road Middle School in Charlotte, North Carolina.  From now until the girls reach high school graduation, we will support them with mentoring and comprehensive programming to help them achieve their goal of graduating from high school and pursuing further education.  When they graduate from high school and enroll in the educational opportunity of their choice, we will support them with a minimum of a $5,000 scholarship provided to them by women, we call them M’ijas, from all over the country that pool their resources in a giving circle for the six years the girls are finishing their secondary education.  Our goal this year is to have at least 50 women enrolled as M’ijas in the Class of 2016 by August 15, yielding a minimum of 5 scholarships.    

We need your help in radically empowering these young women to live the lives they have imagined.  M’ijas can have any background and can live anywhere.  As a M’ija, you make a commitment to donate a minimum of $90 a year for six years to the scholarship fund that will support the Class of 2015’s Hijas (our scholarship recipients who are selected as seventh graders).  You do not need to make your donation for the 2010-2011 school year at this time.  In fact, all we need right now is your Letter of Commitment.  We then ask that ½ of your year’s commitment be paid by September 15 and the other half by March 15, 2010 (don’t worry, we’ll send you a reminder when the time comes!).  All scholarship donations are placed in a CD or money market account designated for our Class of 2016 Hijas so interest can begin to accrue and provide them with an even more robust scholarship by the time they graduate.    

 Thank you for helping us radically empower the lives of girls!

An Art Auction to Benefit Circle de Luz

Rush Beam, a Davidson, NC native, is hosting his first big city art show in San Francisco, CA this Friday, May 7th. Called Landscaped: Reflection, his collection of drawings and paintings highlights his interest in the interior life and how it expresses itself in the world. As part of his commitment to encouraging that expression in young artists, Rush is donating the proceeds of one of his drawings, up for silent auction at the show, to Circle de Luz. Married to Erin Lane Beam, one of the founders of Circle de Luz, Rush wanted to recognize and affirm the work being done by CDL to offer young girls a place where their creativity flourishes; most recently in a painting class taught by a Colombian artist. He hopes the proceeds will continue to make art education a vital part of the program to radically empowers young Latinas.

See above for the piece, Somber Rhythm, being auctioned on CDL’s behalf. To place an absentee bid on the piece or see more from the artist, visit www.rushbeam.com.