Muchas Gracias!

June 27, 2014

We are lucky to have so many amazing supporters and to have cultivated some wonderful partnerships. We are so grateful to those who have donated their time, money, products, and services to help bring our visions to fruition. A special thanks to the Mint Museum of Charlotte on Randolph Road for donating their stunning space for our graduation celebration, to Armin’s Catering who made a generous in-kind donation so that the cost of the amazing food they served did not exceed our budget, and to Blumengarten who also made an in-kind donation so that we could have more of their glorious flowers within our means. These partners truly made the graduation celebration special- Gary from Armin’s Catering enthusiastically told his staff of servers everything he knew about Circle de Luz so that they would know how significant the evening was, the staff of Blumengarten tucked blue gems in the centers of some of the flowers because they knew that the celebration was for high school girls and “they like bling”, and the staff of the Mint so excitedly opened up the museum and warmly welcomed us. Thank you all!

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We were also very fortunate to have a special keynote speaker join us all the way from Los Angeles. We presented the seniors with a fairly extensive list of accomplished Latinos and from this list they chose Nadia Ruiz Gonzales. We asked them to chose a back-up just in case Nadia’s schedule wouldn’t allow her to join us and, naturally, they chose Sophia Vergara! We sure are glad that Nadia beat out Sophia because her grace and warmth was inspiring, her accomplishments phenomenal and her message to the girls left us all feeling motivated to reach higher.

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Coming from an immigrant family, Nadia Ruiz Gonzales and her family learned early the economic challenges of life. Her parents set high expectations and she studied hard to be at the top of her class. After completing her bachelor’s in Biology and master’s in Education from UCLA, Nadia has been a high school Biology educator for eight years. Nadia’s other passion is running. At 14, she ran her first marathon with her father. Fifteen years later, she has completed 114 marathons, 53 half marathons, 7 ultra marathons, and 3 full Ironman triathlons, frequently in the top of her age group. Last summer, Nadia was named the youngest Latina in the world torun 100 marathons. In addition to her role as an educator, she also serves as a running coach, motivational speaker, and works part-time as a marketing consultant. To read her inspiring words to the Class of 2014, click here.

We are so proud of these young women!