Central Los Angeles : Annual Latina Conference Focuses on Jobs, Leadership

The spotlight will shine on five prominent Latinas today at the 20th National Hispanic Women's Conference, a daylong event at the Los Angeles Convention Center in downtown Los Angeles.

The event, which is expected to draw more than 6,000 professional and college-age women and high school students, was created to educate Latinas on career development, empowerment and leadership strategies.

"We have invited about 100 high schools, colleges and occupational centers in Los Angeles to attend the conference," said Valerie Martinez, event spokeswoman. "There is always the need to assess our goals and evaluate career approaches, no matter what age we are."

The "Reaching for the Stars" conference will feature about 20 workshops throughout the day on topics that include effective interviews, financial planning, self-esteem and job trends.

"I plan to attend the business planning and power resume workshops," said Gabriela Ramirez, a junior at Montebello High School. "These are beneficial because I want to study business in college after I graduate."

The event also will include a job fair and a "Dress for Success" fashion show at 2:15 p.m.

The Latinas receiving the 1996 Women of the Year awards at the noon luncheon are Raquelle de la Rocha, president of the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission; Marie Moreno, director of Community Relations for the California Angels; Houston City Council member Gracie Guzman Saenz; Arcelia Yaniz, Mexican journalist and feminist leader from the state of Oaxaca, and Faustina Navarez, physician and board member at Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Los Angeles.

The event is sponsored by the Montebello-based Mexican American Opportunity Foundation.

Information: (213) 890-9600.

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