Ballantyne Magazine

FALL 2018

Ballantyne Magazine covers news, events, real estate, restaurants, shopping, health, schools and business in the upscale Ballantyne Area of Charlotte, NC.

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Page 87 of 99

LAWA partners with schools to provide tutoring and mentoring in individual and small group settings. LAWA also has offered parenting workshops to teach how to navigate the school system. Another program component, Dancing for Diversity, has been an inclusive movement therapy program to teach students cultural awareness, increase self-esteem and improve behavior. Recently, LAWA decided to place these programs for elementary-school youth on a two-year hiatus to focus on the high school series and scholarships while assessing other potential early childhood development initiatives, Alvarado says. Data from LAWA programs show good outcomes. In the Padres y Padrinos program, 77 percent of students improved their math grade and 52 percent boosted their reading grade, based on quarterly grade comparisons. In the college-readiness workshop series from 2010 to 2016, 100 percent of the 11th and 12th graders in the program graduated from high school. Success Stories Although such data is important, success stories motivate others to give their time and money. At the annual spring fundraising event, Gala for Education, scholarship students share their stories with attendees. They talk about the support system through LAWA and the empowerment of seeing successful Latin Americans. These students envision themselves leading the way for future Latin American children. When Paulina Carmona was introduced to LAWA as a high school junior, she immediately applied to get involved. She was accepted as a scholarship recipient and reapplied each year until graduating from Wingate in 2016. As part of the scholarship requirement, she tutored at Merry Oaks Elementary School and helped with the high school series at schools such as South Mecklenburg High School, South Piedmont Community College and Wingate University, sharing her college experience with students. Since obtaining her undergraduate degree in 2016, she has joined the LAWA's board as an at-large member. Paying forward such help is important to her. "(LAWA) board members gave me advice on how to make my way through school," Carmona recounts. "A lot of us are first-generation (college students). Our parents aren't able to really guide us through any of that. Thanks to LAWA, I learned a lot about what it took to go to college. "I've made friends with people I'll be in contact with for many years," she continues. "They have given me advice and friendship, and I want to give that back." Carmona plans to continue her volunteerism at LAWA as well as in the health field. Want to Volunteer? LAWA welcomes volunteers from the community, and you don't have to be Latin American to help. Specifically, LAWA needs assistance with its tutoring programs in south Charlotte schools and can match volunteers' skills to student needs. Contact the organization at for more information. LAWA 3440 Toringdon Way 704-552-1003 LAWA began as the Latin American Women's Association. The organization depends on donations, grants and sponsorships to fund its programs. BALLANTYNE FALL 2018 86 Who Knew? Many 2017-2018 LAWA board members attended the gala. Among them were Cheryl Palmer, Peggy Harris, Cristina Moncayo, Katrynah Talbert, Alfredo Solis, Ana Silva Rey, Maria O'Boyle and Paulina Carmona. El Alma de la Luna Dance Academy per- formed at LAWA's Gala for Education 2018 fundraiser in April. Photo courtesy of Darcy DeMart Photo courtesy of Darcy DeMart Photo courtesy of Darcy DeMart

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