Radical empowerment, according to Rosie Molinary, is what drives the mission of the non-profit Circle de Luz, an organization she helped found five years ago. Circle de Luz works with young Latinas in Charlotte-Mecklenburg to transform their lives through mentoring, scholarships to further educational opportunities and holistic programming.
“One of our guiding beliefs is that exposure to opportunity matters and can be a significant difference maker in a young person’s life,” said Molinary. “One area of importance to us is the arts as our [participants] often aren’t able to enjoy any arts experiences outside of what is offered at school.”
The group, with the help of a $1,490 Cultural Project Grant from the Arts & Science Council, is providing those arts experiences through pottery workshops and theatre outings at Blumenthal Performing Arts.
Molinary said participants have gone to the Blumenthal every year, but with the support of ASC, they were able to buy theatre tickets on the orchestra level.
This may seem like a small thing, but Molinary says it allows the participants to have a more impactful experience.
“It brings them into the performance in a way that our balcony seats never could, making them realize that they aren’t just able to access the arts, but they are welcome,” Molinary said. “Moreover, it amplifies the experience of each show in a way that will intensify the magic of each performance.”
Circle de Luz, founded in 2008, currently serves 15 young Latinas graduating in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The organization provides monthly programs that seek to empower participants to be more academically successful, encourage them to be responsible for their health and well-being and allow them to contribute to their communities.
When participants graduate from high school and the program, they receive a minimum $5,000 scholarship to help with their education.
“We believe exposure to unique opportunities expands one’s perspective about what is possible in life while building confidence,” Molinary said. “Our goals for the program are to offer our [participants] experiences that broaden their perspective and give them a sense of both wonder and satisfaction.
To learn more about Circle de Luz, click here.