Leading as a Latina Woman 

Transitioning into college as a first-generation Latina student, I knew I needed a strong support system. I wanted to surround myself with people who were going to uplift me during my college experience. Joining the California Eta Chapter of Pi Beta Phi did just that and so much more! It gave me the opportunity to learn how to lead, make connections with amazing women across the country, create unforgettable memories with my sisters, and find a support system that I know will continue after my four years at University of California, Irvine. 

My Latina heritage has allowed me to extend my experience of what our sisterhood can provide to other Latina women. Many Hispanic and Latina women aren’t legacies and have never heard of sororities. When I was Vice President of Membership, I made it my mission to educate women who have never been introduced to sorority life to understand the value of these organizations.

LeadingAsALatinaWoman.jpegWhat I love most about our sisterhood is how we celebrate one another. We are all rooted in the same six core values, but we represent different communities, passions and talents. The sisterhood of Pi Phi allows us to embrace and learn from each other — creating an environment of Sincere Friendship.

I am constantly speaking Spanish with my sisters who know the language. And, I love to play and sing Spanish music at the Pi Phi house! I thank my sisters for creating this safe space where I know I can celebrate my heritage every day! 

As we celebrate Hispanic, Latino, Latinx Heritage Month, I’m spending time educating my community and highlighting the accomplishments of Hispanics and Latinx. I want to shout out all the Latina and Hispanic Pi Phis who have served on their Executive Councils and represented our communities in these leadership roles — demonstrating that we, too, thrive in Personal and Intellectual Growth. 

Pi Beta Phi has given me a platform of leadership that I didn't know was possible. I hope to inspire other Latina women who want to be in these leadership roles and to let them know that you will be supported here at Pi Phi, and everyone wants to see you succeed! Being Chapter President during this unprecedented time has only demonstrated how this organization will stand by your side through it all. Thank you, Pi Phi for celebrating my heritage and allowing me to be a Latina leader.  

Published October 8, 2020


About The Author

Lesly Martinez-Alvarez

Lesly Martinez-Alvarez is the Chapter President for the California Eta Chapter at University of California, Irvine. She is the currently studying Chicano Latino Studies and Business Economics.