Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

October 3, 2019
Ryan Imondi

Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15-October 15, honors Hispanic Americans by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

As a social impact organization based in Los Angeles serving predominantly Latino children and families  and with 70% of our staff identifying as Latino, Children’s Institute is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month by shining a spotlight on some recent events:

UCLA Volunteer Day at Children's Institute

Volunteer Partnerships for CII Preschools

In late September, a group of volunteers from the UCLA Latino Alumni Association celebrated Hispanic Heritage month by spending their Saturday beautifying a CII Head Start preschool in Watts.

Nayra Gil, a senior studying Sociology at UCLA, grew up in Compton and said the UCLA campus in Westwood can feel like a different world compared to neighborhoods in South LA, so it is important for people to leave the UCLA campus and give back.

“With my own experience growing up in Compton, a fresh coat of paint may feel minor, but it can make a major difference for a young kid who is building confidence to explore a world outside her neighborhood,” Gil said.

David Huizar, a first generation graduate from UCLA in 2010, joined the UCLA Latino Alumni Association earlier this year. Covered in paint like many of his fellow volunteers after a few hours, Huizar said he received a lot of support from older siblings that led to academic success at UCLA. He volunteers to help open doorways for the next generation of students.

“As the youngest, I didn’t have the opportunity to give back, so volunteer opportunities like this are a chance to pay it forward from those who supported me,” Huizar said.

Please visit our volunteer page here to learn more about supporting CII.

Immigrant Rights Presentations

The recent threat of ICE sweeps across the country heightened stress on children and families in Los Angeles. In an effort to equip families with resources and information, CII is holding sessions about immigration rights. Thanks to support from community groups with a background in immigration law that included the Salvadoran American Leadership and Education Fund (SALEF), Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition (LBIRC), Councilman Joe Buscaino, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), and Little Providence Company of Mary Wellness and Activity, each session features a lawyer or immigrant rights leader who can answer questions about what to do if law enforcement is at your door or if you’ve been stopped while in transit.

For more information on immigrant rights, visit here to read a helpful Q&A provided by Cindy Garcia, Staff Attorney with the Central American Resource Center.

Childhood Trauma Q&A on Univision

In July, CII released a Public Service Announcement and conducted an outreach campaign to educate the public about childhood trauma. The campaign focuses on the risks of childhood trauma, its short- and long-term effects that can last into adulthood, and what parents can do to prevent trauma or support healing within their own families.

On September 27, CII’s Adriana Molina, Director of Project ABC, participated in a Facebook Live Q&A with Univision 34 Los Angeles. Viewers had the opportunity to ask questions about parenting tips and resources to support kids in healing. Click here to watch the full interview in Spanish.