Find Out How These Latinas Are Using Tech To Change Lives

Raise your hand if you ever had that iconic “Knowledge is power” poster hanging in any of your elementary school classrooms? Yup, I did too. But as corny as this line might sound, it is soooooo true! And from a very young age, I always had this phrase in mind–not to mention that my parents took advantage of every chance they got to remind me of the importance of receiving a college education. There’s no doubt that getting a college degree puts you on the right track for a brighter future, but personal finances are also very, very important, and that is not always something you learn in school.

Education and financial stability come hand in hand when it comes to having a better future, and yet, there’s still an educational and economic disparity between the general population and Latinos. Well, these Latinas, like Nissan, are using technology to empower the Latino community and we’re here for it!

Sarahi Espinoza Salamanca: helps undocumented students and DACA recipients go to college!

Walking across the stage on graduation day is an emotional experience. Soon you’ll be going to college! You feel excited for starting a new chapter in your life where you’ll be more independent; sad from being away from your family (if you move out); and scared of going to a new place with people you don’t know! Sarahi Espinoza Salamanca’s experience was also an emotional one, but for very different reasons. As Sarahi got ready to receive her diploma, she knew she would never experience the excitement of college. This was the end of her education—at least that’s what she thought…

She emigrated from Mexico with her parents when she was just a baby, but although she called The Bay Area her home, she was undocumented and forced to experience the repercussions of a decision she never made.

She knew why her parents had chosen to bring her, and she was determined to make the most of the opportunity she had received! But, being undocumented and coming from a low-income family made achieving her dreams more challenging. Believing the common misperception that she didn’t qualify for government educational aid, Sarahi attended an affordable community college. During her time there, she realized that her school counselor had misinformed her and that in fact, she was eligible to receive several grants. Luckily, she was able to put her dream back on track, but this experience gave birth to another idea, one that would lead her to her lifelong calling of helping others.

Sarahi is now the CEO & founder of Dreamer’s Roadmap, an app that educates undocumented students and DACA recipients about their opportunities, and helps them find grants. Her app has gained popularity and has helped thousands of students around the country!

Sarahi has made great strides; she received a House of Representatives award in 2015, and recently was named one of Forbes 30 under 30. But despite everything she’s accomplished, Sarahi “wants everyone to achieve their fullest potential and hopes to help hundreds of thousands of students eliminate the barriers to success.”

Ramona Ortega: empowers Latinos through financial knowledge!

Understanding finances and learning how to manage your money can be daunting, or worse: overlooked. Many Latinos work hard their entire lives to provide for their families, but yet still experience financial hardships. But if you break down complex information into digestible and practical tips, financial health should be attainable. That’s precisely what Ramona Ortega has set out to do!

Ramona Ortega grew up in Northern California, the daughter of farm workers who grew up in poverty. She worked her way through college, and got her bachelor’s degree from UCLA and later received a law degree from Fordham University. She understands that the  financial wealth gap in the Latino community is mainly due to a lack of financial knowledge, and has made it her mission to close that gap by providing financial tech services. She knew that some of the Latino community had limited access to financial advice so, she took matters into her own hands to solve the problem…

Ramona Ortega is the founder of Mi Dinero Mi Futuro (My Money My Future), an online financial planning platform and newsletter that teaches young millennials of color how to manage their money and build wealth confidently. She is one of the first in the financial tech services to provide services to the Latino community!

Both Sarahi and Ramona understand the value of knowledge; they also know how important it is to develop resources/products that meet the needs of the Latino community. Their stories are inspiring, but thankfully they are not the only ones. There is a growing number of Latinos, who like Nissan, are leveraging technology for our overall betterment!

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