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Yale’s WC School, producing future Latina leaders
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Waldo Emerson once said, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

At the Women’s Campaign School of Yale, this is the motto to live by. The women attending the program come from all parts of the world.

(Our correspondent Diana Arevalo profiles Rosa Maria “Rosie” Gonzalez and the Yale WCS program.)

They are grassroots organizers, current

 elected officials from all levels of government, campaign organizers, and community leaders from different countries.

On Thursday, March 25, Hispanas Unidas will host a panel discussion featuring the Women’s Campaign School at Yale graduates at Estella’s Restaurant (2200 West Martin Street) from 6– 8 p.m.

Women in attendance include: Rosa Maria “Rosie” Gonzalez (Class of 2007), Tina Torres (Class of 2008), Dinorah Diaz (Class of 2009), Aida Rojas (Class of 2009), and Olga Kaufman (Class of 2009).

These women are all trailblazers in their own right. However, they each chose public service as a means to make their communities a better place.

They began their journey with a single step and were inspired by someone who helped them along the way.

Rosa Maria “Rosie” Gonzalez, an attorney and judicial candidate of the 436th Judicial District Court, was responsible for encouraging several Latinas to submit applications to attend the 2009 WCS program. In 2007, Rosie was an applicant inspired by a woman that came through the Yale ranks herself.

“I applied to the Women’s Campaign School at Yale because I was encouraged by Judge Karen Crouch to do so,” said Gonzalez. “I want to believe that she saw in me the background and qualities that the school looked for in their applicants.”

Today, Gonzalez serves on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale. Years before she became a student of the program, she was a young girl learning the political ropes.

“My first memory of politics is running around with my mom in Brownsville, Texas when she was helping her boss, Ruben Edelstein, run for mayor of Brownsville,” said Gonzalez.

“He won. I was about 8. As to the true essence of politics-the efforts made to gain access, to get a seat at the table, to have our voices heard, to have a meaningful role in the distribution of valuable resources to our community...I feel as if I’ve been doing that my whole life,” recalled Gonzalez.

Now Gonzalez is an inclusive leader who has offered a hand to several women climbing the ladder, helping us get to the step level in our careers.

“Since I graduated from WCS, I have been elected to sit on their board of directors. I strongly advocate for the inclusion of Latinas as students, presenters and board members,” said Gonzalez.

“I’ve also encouraged other graduates to attend like Tina Torres, Aida Gomez, Dinorah Diaz, and Olga Kauffman,” said Gonzalez.

“I continue to promote the Women’s Campaign School at Yale by speaking to college students and other individuals in the community and encouraging them to apply to WCS.”

Another San Antonio native, Tina Torres, graduated from the WCS program. She is currently on the campaign trail to serve as the next 288th District Court Judge.

Torres’ was influenced by her parents to pursue public service whom both believe that “"politics is the art of the possible.”
Her father, Pete Torres, defeated the Good Government League in 1967 for a City Council seat while her mother was the first Latina to win seat on the State Board of Education.

“Yale taught me every aspect of running a campaign -- from grass roots efforts to fundraising -- and I am attempting to utilize those skills every day on the campaign trail,” said Torres. “I met a young girl recently,” recalled Torres, and after we chatted she told her mom, ‘Mommy I think I want to be a judge, too!’”

“Hopefully, I am mentoring other Latinas. I want them to seem and think, "’well, if she can do that, then so can I!’"

Olga Kauffman graduated from the WCS program in 2009. Many people in the community may know her work, since she serves as the Director of Development and Community Affairs at a local nonprofit.

“I applied to WCS at Yale, because



 

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