Word from our Founder
As an Indigenous Latina teenager born in Los Angeles, It was difficult to connect with the continuous trends of American culture, while still identifying with my Latino/Indigenous roots. Stepping in and out of cultures left me with a vague sense of identity. This confusión also reached my peers (minorities) who like me, were unable to find a solid place in today's society. This unbalance gave us a feeling of inferiority within our community. It is because of this risk that G.E.M came into existence; to promote self-worth, instill a sense of respect and preservation towards our cultural heritage, and bring light to the richness of our narrative and potential!
Celeste A. Rojas
Celeste A. Rojas
*Although Girasoles En Marcha targets young Latinas, it welcomes all girls from any race that wish to learn about Latin American culture and benefit from our mission.
GEM was founded in Summer of 2015 by Celeste A. Rojas, a Latina Teenager living in South LA. She had a vision and a will to create a safe space where a girl can be empowered. She began planning and networking and was able to recruit some girls in her High School to join G.E.M. In addition, some adults became interested in her mission and volunteered their time and skills to help lead the teens.
Celeste had a difficult time earning validity from sponsors and her community due to her young age. There were so many closed doors before few doors opened. "Neverthless, she persisted!"
Celeste asked her mother to communicate with possible sponsors and partners. She knew having an adult on board would cultivate validity and bring awareness to her mission. An Honduran artist named
Melly Trochez donated an illustration to serve as a logo. Slowly but surely the program began to blossom.
On January of 2017, Celeste made the decision to re-invent G.E.M. She decided to welcome girls as early as age five. She had the teens serve as mentors to the little girls. Celeste knew of the impact learning had in the early years. It was the best opportunity to develop the connections they needed to be healthy,
and capable successful adults. She began with only 10 girls and gradually through the years, it has grown. A new logo was donated by illustrator Elisa Chavarri to represent this new beginning.
On July 2019, Girasoles En Marcha became a Non-Profit 501(c)(3).
Final logo created by Graphic Designer Baggio Ardon.
As Girasoles En Marcha continues to grow, Celeste is always finding ways to improve and grow with her team and community. The team of G.E.M. has also collaborated with other organizations as volunteers and has hosted workshops at many events that serve to empower girls, women, and culture.
EVERY MOMENT IS AN ORGANIZING OPPORTUNITY,
EVERY PERSON A POTENTIAL ACTIVIST, EVERY MINUTE
A CHANCE TO CHANGE THE WORLD.