September marks National Hispanic Heritage Month, and we think it’s a perfect opportunity to celebrate the Latina leaders who are making the greater Chicagoland area a better place.
These dynamic women are among a select group leading nonprofit organizations and government agencies. They possess the qualities of true leaders: confidence, determination, integrity and passion, and they are as committed to their heritage as they are to improving the lives of others. Join us in celebrating Chicago’s top Latina leaders in philanthropy and government.
Elizabeth Alvarez, Ph.D.
Chief of Schools, Chicago Public Schools
The Chief of Schools implements the district vision and mission, supporting 24 school leaders as they serve district children in achieving growth and attainment as they prepare for college and career readiness.
Chicago Chief of Staff, Office of U.S. Senator Dick Durbin
Chair of the Finance and Administrative Services Committee, Board of Trustees, City Colleges of Chicago
The Chief of Staff serves the residents of Illinois on a wide range of federal issues including the environment, healthcare and immigration, to name a few.
City Colleges of Chicago provides access to educational opportunities for Chicagoans through pathways to careers or advancement in higher education.
The Executives’ Club of Chicago was established 107 years ago as one of America’s top business forums where members engage with visionary business and government leaders from around the world, develop active professional relationships with peers and the larger business community, and learn how to strengthen their company’s influence and success in the dynamic world economy. Their mission is to connect and develop current and future leaders with a focus on innovation, technology, diversity and inclusion.
Executive Director, La Casa Norte
La Casa Norte serves youth and families confronting homelessness by providing access to stable housing and delivering comprehensive services that act as a catalyst to transform lives and communities.
CEO, Gads Hill Center
Since 1898, Gads Hill Center has created opportunities for children and their families to build a better life through education, access to resources, and community engagement.
Founding Executive Director, Chicago Run
Chicago Run seeks to promote the health and wellness of Chicago children through innovative, engaging and sustainable youth running programs. Chicago Run currently serves more than 17,000 Chicago Public Schools students in 44 schools in 30 low-income neighborhoods across the city.
Iliana A. Mora
President and CEO, Women Employed
Women Employed’s mission is to improve the economic status of women and remove barriers to economic advancement.
CEO, Mikva Challenge
Mikva Challenge develops youth to be informed, empowered and active citizens and community leaders by engaging youth in action civics — an authentic and transformative learning process built on youth voice and youth expertise.
President and CEO, Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE)
HACE looks to positively impact the American workplace by cultivating the pipeline of Latino talent and providing Latino professionals the insight, access and support to be successful in their careers.
Natalie C. Neris
Executive Director, Namaste Charter School
Namaste’s mission is to change the trajectory of students’ lives by implementing and sharing a groundbreaking approach to education that combines health and wellness with academic rigor in an environment that promotes social-emotional wellness.
Rebeca Nieves Huffman
Vice President & Executive Director, City Year Chicago
Fueled by national service, City Year Chicago recruits, inspires and mobilizes emerging leaders as full-time tutors and mentors who empower at-risk Chicago Public Schools students to reach their highest potential.
Executive Director, Enlace Chicago
Enlace Chicago convenes, organizes and builds the capacity of Little Village stakeholders to confront systemic inequities and barriers to economic and social access.
Vice President of Centers, Family Focus, Inc.
Family Focus promotes the well-being of children from birth by supporting and strengthening their families in and with their community.
President, Healthy Communities Foundation
Healthy Communities Foundation is a community-informed grant-making foundation that seeks to measurably improve the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities in the Western Cook County area by promoting health equity, quality, and access for all.
Executive Director, Latino Policy Forum
The Latino Policy Forum builds influence and leadership of the Latino community through collective action and transforming public policies that ensure the well-being of Latinos and society as a whole.
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The American Red Cross is currently on the ground providing shelter, meals and other support to those displaced by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. If you would like to help, make your donation dollars go further by donating through this site and Make It Better and an anonymous donor will each match your donation, tripling your impact.
Director of Public Affairs, Chicago Department of Public Health
The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) works to make Chicago a safer and healthier place by teaming up with with community partners to promote health, prevent disease, reduce environmental hazards, and ensure access to healthcare for all Chicagoans.
Alicia T. Vega
Executive Director, Changing Worlds
Changing Worlds exists to foster inclusive communities through oral history, writing and art programs that improve student learning, affirm identity and enhance cross-cultural understanding.
Maria E. Wynne Lascarro
Leadership Greater Chicago (LGC) is the region’s premier civic leadership development program that convenes, connects and mobilizes the region’s most promising leaders from the private, nonprofit and public sectors to create transformative civic impact across greater Chicago.
More from Make It Better: