Spring 2022 in Review

This spring featured many exciting programs for the Circle de Luz Hijas. We worked to transition back to in-person programming while continuing to prioritize the health and safety of our program participants and their families. Students engaged in small, cohort-based workshops led by community partners as well as Charlotte-based arts, educational, and professional experiences. We were also grateful for the opportunity to return to hosting our annual all-class programs in-person, such as the Run Big Dream Big 5K and the High Ropes Team Building Course. We are so thankful for all of the organizations and donors whose partnerships made these programs possible!

Class-based Programs

The Circle de Luz Class of 2024 shares their experiences navigating a global pandemic at Queen City Podcast.

Throughout the spring, the Circle de Luz Hijas participated in a variety of exciting experiences with their classes. Some highlights of the spring include: the Class of 2022 had the opportunity to learn about different career options while participating in a career panel featuring professionals in the construction industry. The Class of 2023 attended the Banksy Arts Exhibit – many of the students said this was their favorite program of the year! The Class of 2024 had the unique experience of producing their own podcast with Queen City Podcast, and the Class of 2025 were excited to attend an in-person dance class at a local studio. We look forward to another year of community partnerships and cohort-based programming! 

Adelante: College and Career Pathways

Adelante Facilitator Amanda Miller leads a workshop for the Class of 2022 seniors and their Adelante Mentors.

In their sophomore year of high school, Circle de Luz Hijas begin to participate in the Adelante: College and Career Pathways Program. This year, the Class of 2024 began their Adelante journey and engaged in two spring workshops that focused on exploring their interests, strengths, and passions – this work helps build a foundation for their junior year in Adelante, where they will dive into exploring different careers and post-secondary education programs. The Class of 2023 met their Adelante Mentors – community professionals who will provide tailored guidance and support as the students research different educational paths and prepare to take the next steps toward their future career. And our senior class worked hard to finish their classes strong and prepare for their next steps after high school.

All Adelante programming is made possible thanks to our amazing facilitator, Amanda Miller, and our dedicated Adelante Mentors!

State of the Circle

The Class of 2023 celebrated the end of the year together at State of the Circle in May.

In early May, the students and their families attended the annual State of the Circle at Myers Park Baptist Church. To prioritize the health and safety of the guests, we held a small afternoon reception for the students, their families, and a limited number of Circle de Luz staff and volunteers. State of the Circle provided us with the opportunity to come together as an organization, reflect on the year, and celebrate the students’ accomplishments. One Hija from each cohort gave a speech about their time with Circle de Luz. During her speech, Zunashy from the Class of 2022 shared, “Just yesterday we were at East Way Middle meeting each other, now we are all going our ways to grow and prosper. We are on the way to become incredible, successful young ladies. This program means so much because you gave us a push of motivation, that someone believes in us. You inspired us to become someone. You gave us the opportunity to follow our heart and dreams.” We are so proud of our Hijas! 

Run Big Dream Big

Circle de Luz Hijas from all cohorts and their families attended the Sisu Events Mother’s Day 5K at the South Park Mall in May.

Following State of the Circle, the Hijas and their families were up bright and early to participate in the Run Big Dream Big 5K. This year, we partnered with Sisu Events to participate in their Mother’s Day 5K. The race presented a special opportunity to highlight and celebrate the amazing mothers in each student’s life.

Earlier in the spring, we hosted a Run Big Dream Big Kick Off event where the students reflected on their long-term dreams, set their goals for the race, and were guided in strategies for stretching and preparing for the race. The students worked hard to prepare for the race, and everyone did a great job!  

High Ropes Team Building Challenge

A group of Circle de Luz Hijas support each other while engaging in a High Ropes Course challenge.

This May, students from all Circle de Luz cohorts had the opportunity to participate in a High Ropes Team Building Course led by the University of North Carolina Charlotte Outdoor Venture Leadership team. The last time Circle de Luz engaged in a High Ropes program was in 2018, which means this exciting and challenging team building opportunity was a new experience for many of the participating Hijas. The Venture Leadership team established a supportive, inclusive environment where students were encouraged to challenge themselves, but also to only participate in the aspects of the course that they were comfortable with. Throughout the morning, the Hijas and their Class Captains cheered on and encouraged the course participants. By the end of the program, some students who originally decided not to participate decided to challenge themselves and made their way through the ropes course with the help and encouragement of their peers.