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Nonprofit Ella Rises hosts three day workshop to inspire Latina youth in Utah

A group of girls stand in front of a blue and pink wall.
Ella Rises
Gisele Loisotto says Ella Rises will continue hosting events such as college tours of local campuses in the Utah Valley area and several cultural workshops at the end of August.

Ella Rises, a nonprofit in support of empowering Latina young women in Utah Valley, held a three-day summit for youth to listen to motivational speakers and attend art classes.

Ella Rises seeks to empower Latina youth by exploring their culture and heritage through art and leadership workshops. The nonprofit held a three-day summit from August 8 to 10, inviting young community members to listen to several conference speakers and attend art classes.

Gisele Loisotto, an Executive Assistant for Ella Rises, said this event was held not only to inspire young Latina women in the state, but to hopefully connect them back to their culture and roots.

“We are focused on inspiring Latina youth with hope, confidence and purpose," Loisotto said. "We want them to be able to continue with their education and also to become community leaders and to also connect and engage with their heritage.”

Ellen Ochoa—the first Hispanic astronaut to go to space—was one of the many speakers that attended the conference and mentored the attendees. Other prominent speakers included Cony Larson, Taby Davila and Kristin Andrus; with art classes taught by Latina artists Maira Clark and Kessley Durrant.

Loisotto said the turn-out of the summit this year was so full, the nonprofit will most likely need to find a bigger space to host their future workshops.

“We had over 90 girls attending--they came Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday," Loisotto said. "We had different Latina artists who came to teach the girls different skills. They painted t-shirts and they learned how to make clay earrings. It was a very new thing for almost all of them, so they were very excited.”

Loisotto stressed how important it is to all representatives at the nonprofit to create future leaders who celebrate their culture and promote diversity. She continuously thanked all of the donors and volunteers who continue to help their nonprofit succeed.

“It was important for us that they have the resources they need available to develop the skills they need to help those around them," Loisotto said. "We know it is very important to help them connect to their identity as well.”

Loisotto said Ella Rises will continue hosting events such as college tours of local campuses in the Utah Valley area and several cultural workshops at the end of August.

Sydney Lasike graduated from Dixie State University, in St. George, Utah, in 3 years with a bachelors degree in Media Studies (Multimedia Journalism Emphasis). There, she competed as a student-athlete on the women’s volleyball team, and was the Features Editor of the school newspaper, Dixie Sun News. She was awarded the 2021 Media Studies Student of the Year Award, and graduated with Latin Honors - Magna Cum Laude.