In Helping His Dad With Diabetes, Young Mexican Chemist Pioneers Healthy—and Cheap—Sugar Substitute

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Javier Larragoiti and team working in the Xilinat lab

When 18-year old Javier Larragoiti was told his father had been diagnosed with diabetes, the young man, who had just started studying chemical engineering at college in Mexico City, decided to dedicate his studies to finding a safe, sugar-alternative for his father.

“My dad tried to use stevia and sucralose, just hated the taste, and kept cheating on his diet,” Larragoiti told The Guardian. Stevia and sucralose are both popular sugar alternatives, and many reduced-sugar products available today contain one or the other.

With stevia and sucralose out of the picture, the young chemist needed to keep searching. He started dabbling with xylitol, a sweet-tasting alcohol found in birch wood but also in many fruits and vegetables. Xylitol is used in sugar-free products such as chewing gum and also in children’s medicine, but is toxic to dogs even in small amounts.

“It has so many good properties for human health, and the same flavor as sugar, but the problem was that producing it was so expensive,” said Larragoiti. “So I decided to start working on a cheaper process to make it accessible to everyone.”

Xylitol Made Cheaper

Corn is Mexico’s largest agricultural crop, and Javier has now patented a method of extracting xylitol from discarded corn cobs. Best of all, with 28 million metric tons of corn cobs generated every year in Mexico as waste, there’s no shortage of xylitol-generating fuel.

Simultaneously, Larragoiti hit on the idea of how to make xylitol less expensive, while inventing a way to reuse the 28 million tons of corn cobs, substantially upgrading the traditional means of disposal: burning them.

Especially in a pollution-heavy country like Mexico, reducing the amount of corn waste burned, would eliminate a portion of the carbon emissions.

His business, Xilinat, buys waste from 13 local farmers, producing 1 ton of the product each year. His invention was awarded a prestigious $310,000 Chivas Venture prize award, which will enable him to industrialize his operation and scale up production 10-fold, diverting another 10 tons of corn cob from the furnace.

Continue on to the Good News Network to read the complete article.

Former WNBA star Niesha Butler opens first Afro-Latina-owned STEM camp in New York City
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Former WNBA star Niesha Butler opens first Afro-Latina-owned STEM camp in New York City

By ABC News Radio

Former WNBA player Niesha Butler has opened the first Afro-Latina-owned STEM camp, S.T.E.A.M. Champs, in New York City to reduce accessibility barriers to tech educational resources for Brooklyn youth.

“If a kid could actually say that they can be LeBron James, and roll it off their tongue as easy as that, then they can literally say ‘yeah, I can also put a man on the moon,’ or ‘I can also create the next app,'” Butler told ABC News.

Butler, a New York City native, says “there’s talent in Brooklyn.” She established S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) Champs in the middle of Brooklyn to encourage inner-city youth to channel their ambition into educational opportunities. Butler also hires interns, may of whom have tried coding for the first time with the program, she says.

“People sell basketball dreams every other second in our community. I thought it was really important to, let’s sell these tech dreams,” Butler said.

Prior to opening her doors in Brooklyn, Butler partnered with organizations like Girl Scouts, BronxWorks and a local AAU basketball team to host STEM-focused workshops reaching over 300 New York City students. Monday was the first day of camp in the newly opened facility.

“There’s not a lot of people of color in tech,” Butler said. “These jobs are open for everybody and they’re empty…so obviously we need to do a better job at educating our kids and in recruiting them.”

Other tech education camps and workshops across the nation have worked to close the gap and make tech careers interesting and accessible to students of underserved communities.

Black Girls CODE is one of those resources providing workshops and public speaking opportunities for Black girls. Program alumni Kimora Oliver and Azure Butler say that the program’s first chapter in California’s Bay Area created an environment that allowed local Black female students to envision themselves in the tech industry.

“Unfortunately, STEM is a white and male dominated field,” Oliver told ABC News. “I feel like [Black Girls CODE] is giving a diverse group of Black girls the exposure that they need to decide for themselves whether they want to continue with STEM in the future.”

For almost 40 years, another program called Academically Interest Minds (AIM) at Kettering University has tailored its pre-college curriculum to expose youth of color to STEM coursework and campus life.

“49% of African American students who attend Kettering University now, are AIM graduates,” Ricky D. Brown, the university’s director of multicultural student initiatives and the AIM program, told ABC News.

For many, STEM educational resources introduce an element of choice in considering STEM and exploring pathways of academic interests.

A study released in July by the National Bureau of Economic Research says that early intervention programs like S.T.E.A.M Champs, AIM and Black Girls CODE are effective in helping students achieve academic success in higher education and STEM majors.

“Some of these kids don’t have a computer at home to study,” Butler said. “When I go to some of these centers, they don’t have good Wi-Fi…they have outdated computers.”

According to the study, underrepresentation in STEM is due to a lack of preparation and access to educational resources.

“Given that STEM preparation and college access are shaped prior to college entrance, STEM focused enrichment programs for high school students are promising vehicles to reduce disparities in STEM degree attainment,” the study’s authors wrote.

Click here to read the full article on ABC News Radio.

At 17, she was her family’s breadwinner on a McDonald’s salary. Now she’s gone into space
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At 17, she was her family's breadwinner on a McDonald's salary. Now she's gone into space

By Jackie Wattles, CNN

A rocket built by Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin carried its fifth group of passengers to the edge of space, including the first-ever Mexican-born woman to make such a journey.

The 60-foot-tall suborbital rocket took off from Blue Origin’s facilities in West Texas at 9:26am ET, vaulting a group of six people to more than 62 miles above the Earth’s surface — which is widely deemed to make the boundary of outer space — and giving them a few minutes of weightlessness before parachuting to landing.

Most of the passengers paid an undisclosed sum for their seats. But Katya Echazarreta, an engineer and science communicator from Guadalajara, Mexico, was selected by a nonprofit called Space for Humanity to join this mission from a pool of thousands of applicants. The organization’s goal is to send “exceptional leaders” to space and allow them to experience the overview effect, a phenomenon frequently reported by astronauts who say that viewing the Earth from space give them a profound shift in perspective.

Echazarreta told CNN Business that she experienced that overview effect “in my own way.”

“Looking down and seeing how everyone is down there, all of our past, all of our mistakes, all of our obstacles, everything — everything is there,” she said. “And the only thing I could think of when I came back down was that I need people to see this. I need Latinas to see this. And I think that it just completely reinforced my mission to continue getting primarily women and people of color up to space and doing whatever it is they want to do.”

Echazarreta is the first Mexican-born woman to travel to space and the second Mexican after Rodolfo Neri Vela, a scientist who joined one of NASA’s Space Shuttle missions in 1985.

She moved to the United States with her family at the age of seven, and she recalls being overwhelmed in a new place where she didn’t speak the language, and a teacher warned her she might have to be held back.
“It just really fueled me and I think ever since then, ever since the third grade, I kind of just went off and have not stopped,” Echazarreta recalled in an Instagram interview.

When she was 17 and 18, Echazarreta said she was also the main breadwinner for her family on a McDonald’s salary.

“I had sometimes up to four [jobs] at the same time, just to try to get through college because it was really important for me,” she said.
These days, Echazarreta is working on her master’s degree in engineering at Johns Hopkins University. She previously worked at NASA’s famed Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. She also boasts a following of more than 330,000 users on TikTok, hosts a science-focused YouTube series and is a presenter on the weekend CBS show “Mission Unstoppable.”

Space for Humanity — which was founded in 2017 by Dylan Taylor, a space investor who recently joined a Blue Origin flight himself — chose her for her impressive contributions. “We were looking for some like people who were leaders in their communities, who have a sphere of influence; people who are doing really great work in the world already, and people who are passionate about whatever that is,” Rachel Lyons, the nonprofit’s executive director, told CNN Business.

Click here to read the full article on CNN.

Meet Katya Echazarreta, the First Mexican-Born Woman To Go to Space
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Katya Echazarreta via Instagram

By , Remezcla

Meet Katya Echazarreta . The 26-year-old electrical engineer will make history when she becomes the first Mexican-born woman to travel to space .

Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Echazarreta, who moved to the United States at the age of seven, has been selected from a pool of 7,000 applicants by nonprofit organization Space Humanity to participate in “Blue Origin,” the space mission funded by billionaire Jeff Bezos.

“I am going to space!” Echazarreta recently posted on Instagram. “Ahh!!! I can’t believe I can finally write those words! So eternally thankful for [Space Humanity] for selecting me from over 7,000 applicants for this mission. I’ll be flying with [Blue Origin] on NS-21 and will get to experience the Overview Effect. As a Space for Humanity Ambassador, I plan on coming back ready to continue changing the world!”

Space Humanity responded: “We are so excited for you! And we know you’re going to be an amazing voice and advocate. Congratulations, Katya! Well deserved!”

Echazarreta is currently pursuing her master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. When she’s not studying, she is the co-host of the YouTube series Netflix IRL and shares her scientific knowledge as “Electric Kat” on the educational series Mission Unstoppable on CBS.

Joining Katya Echazarreta on Blue Origin is Evan Dick, NS-19 investor and astronaut; Hamish Harding, private jet pilot and president of Action Aviation; Jaison Robinson, co-founder of Dream Variation Ventures; Victor Vescovo, retired U.S. Navy Major and the co-founder of Insight Equity; and Victor Correa Hespanha, civil engineer, who will be the second Brazilian to go to space.

Click here to read the full article on Remezcla.

Young L.A. Latina wins prestigious environmental prize
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Nalleli Cobo holds the ouroboros environmental prize

By Edwin Flores, NBC News

At age 9, Nalleli Cobo was experiencing asthma, body spasms, heart palpitations and nosebleeds so severe she needed to sleep in a chair to prevent herself from choking on her own blood.

Across the street from her family’s apartment in University Park in South Central Los Angeles was an oil extraction site owned by Allenco Energy that was spewing fumes into the air and the community around her.

After speaking with neighbors facing similar symptoms, she and her family began to mobilize with their community, suspecting that was making them sick. They created the People Not Pozos (People Not Oil Wells) campaign. At 9 years old, Cobo was designated the campaign’s spokesperson, marking the start of her activism and organizing career.

In March 2020, Cobo, the co-founder of the South Central Youth Leadership Coalition, helped lead the group to permanently shut down the Allenco Energy oil drilling site that she and others in the community said caused serious health issues for them. She also helped convince the Los Angeles City Council and Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to unanimously vote to ban new oil exploration and phase out existing sites in Los Angeles.

After pressure from the community and scrutiny from elected officials, Allenco Energy agreed to suspend operations in 2013. The site was permanently shut down in 2020, and the company was charged in connection with state and local environmental health and safety regulations. There are ongoing issues around cleaning and plugging up the oil wells.

Cobo co-founded the South Central Youth Leadership Coalition in 2015 to bolster efforts against oil sites and work toward phasing them out across the city.

That year, the youth group sued the city of Los Angeles, alleging violations of the California Environmental Quality Act and environmental racism. The suit was settled after the city implemented new drilling application requirements.

Cobo, now 21, was recognized Wednesday for the environmental justice work that has spanned more than half her life. She received the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize, which is awarded annually to individuals from six regions: Europe, Asia, Africa, Islands and Island Nations, North America, and South and Central America.

“I did not want to answer the phone because it was an unknown number,” Cobo, who was getting bubble tea when she received the call about the prize, told NBC News in a Zoom interview Wednesday. “I didn’t even know I was nominated. I started crying.”

During the 1920s, Los Angeles was one of the world’s largest urban oil-exporting regions. More than 20,000 active, idle, or abandoned oil wells still reside in the county, and about one-third of residents live less than a mile from an active oil site.

Studies have shown that living near oil and gas wells increases exposure to air pollution, with nearby communities facing environmental and health risks including preterm birth, asthma and heart disease.

Click here to read the full article on NBC News.

Underrepresented in tech, Latinas are using TikTok to help others navigate the industry
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Latinas on tiktok: Maribel Campos, left, works in video partner operations at Apple, Gina Moreno works for Microsoft, and Michelle Villagran is a systems implementation consultant.

By Edwin Flores

When Maribel Campos was 11, she was living in her parents’ trailer home in Sonoma, Calif. She recalled wanting her own iPod, but her parents, who were working multiple jobs to make ends meet, couldn’t afford one.

Campos, now 24, not only owns an iPod, but she also works at Apple TV Plus — a full-circle moment for her, she said.

“Never in a million years would I think that I would be working” on an Apple product or service, Campos, the daughter of Mexican immigrants, said.

Across all races and ethnicities, women remain underrepresented in computing-related jobs in the tech field, holding just 26 percent of the positions. For Hispanic women, this disparity is even worse, as they make up just 2 percent.

Now, Campos, along with other Latinas, are taking to TikTok to help others in their community navigate the tech world — by sharing their experiences, dispelling misconceptions and offering advice.

“I grew up in poverty, I had zero connections. I didn’t study anything relevant to what I’m doing now,” Campos, who has a degree in communications and media studies from Sonoma State University, said in one of her videos. “I’m still working in tech and you can do it too.”

‘There’s nobody else that looks like me here’
Michelle Villagran, 24, a systems implementation consultant for Westlands Management Solutions based in San Francisco, said she often felt discouraged in entry-level positions and internships because she was usually the only Latina.

“I would tell myself, like ‘Dang, I can’t have this job. There’s nobody else that looks like me here,'” said Villagran, who works remotely from Portland, Oregon. “There weren’t other Latinas in these teams, I was always the only one.”

Since many of the Latinas in tech are pursuing different career paths than those of their family and friends, it’s also hard for them to get career advice.

“I’m navigating everything by myself. I can’t reach out to my parents for advice or anything. So it definitely can feel very, very isolating,” Campos said. “There’s no one to hold your hand or tell you what to do next in your career, what next steps are for you, how to do your job. So finding someone that relates to your background and that is willing to help you is super key to being successful there.”

She said she found support through human resource groups, such as Amigos at Apple and outside groups such as Latinas in Tech.

Some also say they experience what is called impostor syndrome, which women are 22 percent more likely to experience in tech workplaces.

“It’s also the age,” said Gina Moreno, 26, a program manager for Microsoft. “You’re young, whereas a lot of people have 20-plus years of experience.”

For Moreno, learning to undo traditional Mexican values and perceptions of being a reserved and humble woman were pivotal in transitioning from college to a full-time professional job, she said.

“I had to learn that being humble is a great value in the Mexican community, but being humble doesn’t mean being modest in your career,” Moreno said. “I also learned that being direct is the way to advance, whereas in Mexican culture, being direct is rude.”

About 66 percent of women in tech say there’s no clear path for career advancement at their companies.

“At the end of the day, we’re all breaking glass ceilings, we’re all carving our own path,” Moreno said.

Striving to be an example
Popular TikTok videos about tech often describe six-figure salaries and other benefits that come with coding positions.

But Villagran, Campos and Moreno show a different side of the industry in their videos, by highlighting the variety of positions in the industry, some of which don’t require coding skills, yet still pay attractive salaries.

Click here to read the full article on NBC News.

Diversity in the Healthcare Industry, at Every Step
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Smiling businesswoman

Abbott and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) recently announced a $37.5 million initiative to empower diverse small businesses to help create a more diverse healthcare supply chain. The initiative will provide diverse small-business owners with the tailored solutions, support and resources they need to grow, compete and create jobs – enabling greater diversity in healthcare and a more inclusive supply chain for Abbott and other healthcare companies.

This work advances Abbott and LISC’s shared commitment to create a more diverse healthcare industry and generate jobs and stronger economies in underinvested communities.

This funding opportunity is open to qualified diverse small businesses and offers support through:

  • Growth capital: interest-free capital to help businesses overcome hurdles to expansion, such as investing in management systems to comply with regulatory and environmental requirements
  • Business loans: flexible, affordable loans that would not typically be available through conventional lenders
  • Tailored coaching and technical assistance: targeted, customized support, including help with fulfilling investment and loan requirements and identifying and addressing specific business challenges

Eligible diverse small businesses for program participation and funding must be:

  • Diverse-owned, defined as those that are majority owned by people of color (including Black, Latino, Asian and Native Americans), women, veterans, people with disabilities, people who identify as LGBTQ, and other historically underrepresented groups;
  • In business for more than two years and are based in the U.S. with an annual revenue of $250,000 or more; and
  • Focused on manufacturing nutrition, diagnostics, medical devices or other health technologies, or offering business-to-business products and services that the healthcare industry can use.
  • Sole proprietors are not eligible for the program.

For more information about this initiative, please visit the LISC site. And to learn more about Abbott’s work to support a more diverse supply chain, visit Abbott’s site.

Jennifer Lopez Talks About Her Panic Attacks
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Jennifer Lopez Wants to Give Latina Entrepreneurs the Capital Boost They Need

By Sheiresa Ngo, Cheat Sheet

Jennifer Lopez is celebrated for her talent, beauty, and confidence. She has fans all over the world, and to many people, she is unstoppable. Although it appears like nothing could ever rattle Lopez, she admits she has had episodes of panic attacks. Here’s what J. Lo once said about her experience with anxiety.

Jennifer Lopez is always on the go

During a 2016 interview with W magazine, Lopez discussed her career. She spoke about how hectic her schedule is. However, Lopez says she likes to work, so she doesn’t really mind how busy things get. At the time, she was an American Idol co-host, she was doing a residency at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, and she was starring in the police drama Shades of Blue. “When it comes to work, I never get tired,” Lopez tells the publication.

Jennifer Lopez’s panic attacks
Lopez tells W magazine she began having panic attacks after starring in the 1997 movie Selena. Lopez was overwhelmed by all the attention she received after appearing in the film. Lopez says people began approaching her in public, and it became unsettling. Now, she doesn’t go anywhere alone.

“I never thought about fame until [Selena],” Lopez told W. After that film, I would have panic attacks. I remember walking down the street, and someone yelled, ‘Jennifer!’ and I didn’t know who it was. I ran home. From that point forward, I realized I couldn’t be alone in public. I don’t think I’ve been alone on the street in over 20 years.”

This wasn’t the only time Lopez had a panic attack. In her book True Love, she recalled the time she realized she needed to divorce Marc Anthony. She says she had been ignoring the truth, but her body sent her a message she couldn’t ignore.

Lopez says she ignored her feelings about her marriage to Anthony for so long that she developed anxiety. She says she reached a turning point in 2011 during the time she had to do a photoshoot for L’Oreal.

“My heart was beating out of my chest, and I felt like I couldn’t breathe,” wrote Lopez. “I became consumed with fear and anxiety,” Lopez says she began to panic, and she told her mother and her manager how she was feeling. She told them she felt like something was happening to her body, and she felt like she was “going crazy.” Lopez says people often bury their feelings deep inside until they can’t hold them in any longer. At that moment, she reached her breaking point.

Click here to read the full article on Cheat Sheet.

Mandy Teefey Says Daughter Selena Gomez Was ‘Proud’ of Her for Sharing About Recent Health Crisis
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Selena Gomez and mother Mandy Teefy

By Brianne Tracy, People

Mandy Teefey was a vision of happiness while shooting the December cover of Entrepreneur magazine with daughter Selena Gomez and Newsette founder Daniella Pierson in support of their new mental health company, Wondermind.

But behind her big smile, she was struggling.

“I almost passed out doing the shoot,” Teefey, 45, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue, on newsstands Friday. “We had to break so many times, but all my friends and loved ones around me helped me get through it. I was smiling and laughing most of the time because I was going to faint. Don’t judge how someone looks because you don’t know what’s underneath that picture.”

Less than a month before the shoot, Teefey had been hospitalized with life-threatening double pneumonia that she says had been “exacerbated” when she caught COVID-19.

“I got pneumonia in February in New York, and I guess the doctor didn’t really clear it up as much as it needed to be,” she says. “I had gotten IV vitamin therapy, which I think helped me get through the times I did.”

“Then a week before I was going to get my first COVID shot, I got COVID,” she continues. “I was at home the whole time. When my fever broke, my oxygen went to 69, and I was rushed to the hospital. The first hospital was pretty badgering, like, ‘Why didn’t you get your shot?’ I’m like, ‘I literally can’t breathe right now. Can we talk about this later? I will explain why.'”

Teefey says she was then transferred to Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles, where they gave her steroids and antibiotics, as well as breathing exercises to do.

“They said that had my body not responded as quickly as it did, I had two days [to live],” she says. “They said, ‘We don’t know how you’ve been breathing this whole time.’ I had, like, half a lung. I made it through COVID and didn’t lose my taste or smell or anything, but it beat up my lungs pretty hardcore.”

The silver lining of it all, Teefey says, is that she was able to come up with the name Wondermind for her new company while in the hospital.

“Something positive came out of it,” she says. “It was definitely an experience, and it wasn’t scary until I got home. When I got home, I was like, ‘Wow, I may not have ever come back here.’ I was a lucky one.”

Though the shoot was so soon after her hospitalization, Teefey pushed herself to do it. But when the photos came out, she felt the need to speak out about her hospitalization after she was criticized for her weight gain from it.

In a Nov. 19 Instagram, Teefey posted a screenshot of a DM she had gotten offering her a weight-loss program for $5,000 and explained that her hospitalization caused her to gain 60 pounds.

“I posted because I wanted to be like, ‘Guys, this is why you don’t judge people,'” she says. “I did not expect it to get picked up at all by anybody because I’m like, ‘Nobody cares about my Instagram.’ I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m embarrassed. It’s scrolling on CNN.’ It’s really hard for me to have that kind of attention. But Selena was like, ‘No mom, I’m proud of you.'”

Ever since Gomez, 29, became an international star in her early teens, Teefey says she’s learned to stop paying attention to comments on social media.

“I used to read DMs for entertainment because some of them are pretty creative,” she says. “There are some really creative writers out there! I’ve stopped reading them, and I debate on whether turning my comments off or not because I sometimes reply, and I’m not mean, but I’m kind of a smart-ass. The comments will be like, ‘Do you know what you’ve done?’ And I’m like, ‘Can’t wait for you to tell me!'”

“I hate wasting my time on social media,” she adds. “That’s why I only have Instagram. It’s the smartest thing for me because I had Facebook for two months and was arguing with people who made no sense. I’d rather just talk to them in person, have a drink of an old-fashioned and get into the deep conversations.”

Click here to read the full article on People.

Selena Gomez launches new media platform with a focus on mental health
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By Megan Marples, CNN

Talking about mental health is good for you, according to pop star, actor and producer Selena Gomez, and she’s determined to be the catalyst for positive change.

The “Ice Cream” singer announced the launch of her latest venture, Wondermind, a mental health platform focused on connecting people with educational resources and ending the stigma around mental illnesses.

She teamed up with her mother, Mandy Teefey, and The Newsette founder and CEO Daniella Pierson to create the media company, which is set to launch in February 2022.

Gomez hasn’t been shy when it comes to discussing her mental health publicly. She previously wrote for CNN about how she’s a “big advocate for social media detoxes” and therapy.

And she announced on Miley Cyrus’ Instagram show “Bright Minded” in April that she has bipolar disorder.

“I went to one of the best mental hospitals in America, McLean Hospital, and I discussed that after years of going through a lot of different things, I realized that I was bipolar,” Gomez said. “And so when I got to know more information, it actually helps me. It doesn’t scare me once I know it.”

Her mother revealed being misdiagnosed for over 20 years with bipolar disorder that later turned out to be attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, with trauma, according to the Wondermind website’s welcome video.

Pierson opened up in the video as well, saying she has dealt with obsessive-compulsive disorder since she was a child.

The three said they struggled to find a safe space online where they could engage with uplifting content about mental health on a daily basis. Enter Wondermind.

Click here to read the full article on CNN

Crisis Text Line to Support Spanish-Speaking Texters Experiencing a Mental Health Crisis
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guy sitting on floor using smartphone

Crisis Text Line, the not-for-profit providing free crisis counseling via text message, will begin offering its service in Spanish on October 15, 2021. The organization is actively recruiting and training volunteers who are bilingual in English and Spanish to help support the underserved population of LatinX experiencing crisis.

The need for this service is high. Suicide among young Latinas is a major public health concern as they attempt suicide more often than any other group of female teenagers nationwide, according to the CDC.

The fact that LatinX people across the U.S. have a hard time finding mental health care services in their native language fuels this inequity. According to the recent data released by the American Psychological Association, only 5.5% of U.S. psychologists say they’re able to administer mental health care services in Spanish. Research indicates that language is a primary barrier preventing Spanish speakers in the U.S. from accessing mental health services.

“Our goal has always been to support people in crisis with the technology that is comfortable to them. Thanks to the hard work of our team and bilingual volunteer Crisis Counselors, we can also serve texters who feel most comfortable getting mental health support in Spanish,” said Dena Trujillo, Crisis Text Line Interim CEO.

Crisis Text Line is a free service powered by a community of volunteer Crisis Counselors who help individuals in distress, bringing them from a moment of crisis to a cool calm moment through de-escalation, problem-solving, and active listening skills. The organization is actively recruiting and training volunteers who are bilingual in English and Spanish. To apply to become a volunteer, visit https://www.crisistextline.org/palabras.

LatinX texters already make up 17% of Crisis Text Line’s texters, based on voluntary demographic data. English-speaking LatinX texters tend to be younger (56% were 17 or younger) and more likely to be female (79%) than all texters combined.

During the Spanish service pilot, Crisis Text Line had more than 1,000 conversations with texters in Spanish and observed that Spanish-speaking texters were more likely to discuss depression, anxiety, and relationship issues than the Crisis Text Line average during the same time. The majority of texters who used the Spanish service were from Texas, California and Florida.

“I’m incredibly proud of the culturally competent, first of its kind, service we built to help the Spanish-speaking community in the way they deserve,” said Natalia Dayan, Crisis Text Line Localization Director.

Crisis Text Line is known for its innovative use of technology and data, leveraging machine learning to stack-rank incoming messages in order to serve the highest risk texters first. To increase access to the service for Spanish speaking texters, Crisis Text Line also launched a new modality: WhatsApp. Now, anyone in crisis can also reach a volunteer Crisis Counselor on WhatsApp, an app with over 32 million Hispanic and LatinX users.

About Crisis Text Line
Crisis Text Line has been providing free, 24/7, confidential support for people in crisis via text since 2013. Volunteer Crisis Counselors complete a 30-hour training and have 24/7 supervision by full-time Crisis Text Line mental health professionals. Text HOLA to 741741 or text to 442-AYUDAME in WhatsApp to be connected to a trained Crisis Counselor in Spanish. Text CRISIS to 741741 for English. Crisis Text Line currently offers its service in theUSA, UK, Canada, and Ireland.

Learn more at www.crisistextline.org.

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Upcoming Events

  1. City Career Fair
    January 19, 2022 - November 4, 2022
  2. The Small Business Expo–Multiple Event Dates
    February 17, 2022 - December 1, 2022
  3. USHCC 2022 National Conference Kick-Off Reception
    August 18, 2022
  4. CHCI’s 2022 Leadership Conference & Gala
    September 13, 2022 - September 15, 2022
  5. The 2022 Global ERG Summit
    September 19, 2022 - September 23, 2022
  6. National College Resources Foundation Upcoming Events–Mark Your Calendar!
    September 24, 2022 - April 1, 2023
  7. ROMBA Conference
    October 6, 2022 - October 8, 2022
  8. HACU 36th Annual Conference
    October 8, 2022 - October 10, 2022
  9. NMSDC 50th Anniversary Conference & Exchange
    October 30, 2022 - November 2, 2022