NWA Hispanic Leadership Council sees growth in mentorship program

by Jeff Della Rosa ([email protected]) 500 views 

The NWA Hispanic Leadership Council recently announced the 2022-23 cohort for its Latinx on the Rise mentoring program.

Irelia Navarro, head of operations for the organization, said the program this year comprises 30 mentees and 30 mentors.

“This is the largest group yet,” Navarro said. “We have students from the University of Arkansas, NorthWest Arkansas Community College, and for the first time, John Brown University. The students are enrolled in a variety of disciplines including sciences, business and education.

“The mentors are professionals currently working in business, education or nonprofit organizations. We are excited for the new mentees and mentors joining us and very proud to welcome back mentees and mentors who participated last year as well. Their return tells us they found the experience beneficial and worth their time and effort.”

According to a news release, the new cohort was introduced during an event at Exchange Bentonville.

“Developing the next generation of community leaders will be the catalyst to have an equitable and robust Northwest Arkansas region,” said Pepe Estrada, president of the NWA Hispanic Leadership Council Board of Directors. “Our mentoring program provides tools for our up-and-coming leaders to continue this growth journey.”

In 2021, the Walton Family Foundation gave the organization a three-year grant of nearly $500,000 to expand the mentoring program. The grant will allow participants to receive paid internships, educational travel and professional development opportunities. Synchrony Financial also supports the program.

The program started in 2019 with 10 pairs of mentors and mentees and follows the academic calendar year. Program enrollment takes place between August and September. NWA Hispanic Leadership Council is a community development nonprofit that was established by professional Hispanic leaders in 2017.