Maria Serrato, program assistant for the Master’s in Educational Technology (MAET) program at Michigan State University, has been named one of the Top 50 Latinas in the state for 2018 by the Hispanic/Latino Commission of Michigan.
Serrato is part of the inaugural cohort receiving the honor, celebrating women who have made a difference as leaders in their communities. The women, including Erica M. Fiasky from the MSU Neighborhood Student Success Collaborative, were recognized as part of the Statewide Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration on October 12.
Serrato, B.A. ’17 (Interdisciplinary Humanities) and a lifelong student hoping to pursue her master’s in Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education (HALE), is being honored for founding and directing Capital Area Latina Youth (CALY). The organization is dedicated to fostering empowerment, education, cultural advancement, leadership and mentorship among Latina youth in middle and high school.
“I created this organization because I knew I needed to provide a support system for my daughters,” said Serrato, mother of two. A proud third-generation Mexican born and raised in Michigan, Serrato knew her daughters and other young girls would thrive with a community who championed who they were and their heritage. “If I had had an organization like CALY when I was younger, it would have helped me arrive to where I am today much sooner.”
CALY was created in 2017, and has since provided a variety of opportunities, including meeting with civil rights activist Dolores Huerta and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
For more information on the award and other nominees, read the press release from the Hispanic/Latino Commission of Michigan.
Discover more about Capital Area Latina Youth (CALY) on Facebook.