Having a sense of community unites us. Being a part of a community can make us feel as though we are a part of something greater than ourselves. It can give us opportunities to connect with people, to reach for our goals, and makes us feel safe and secure. It’s important for every person to have a sense of community. The ChangeMakers community of volunteers and supporters is crucial to the success of our young women. Here’s what they have to say about the program:
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When we began this program, my intent was to help young Mexican women to dream big and plan to become whatever they wanted to be. Paraphrasing Melinda Gates, “If you are successful, it is because somewhere, sometime, someone gave you a life or an idea that started you in the right direction.” That is what I hope we as expats, with the help of successful local Mexican women, can do for many, many girls here at Lake Chapala. Let’s help them to become whatever they want to be, just as we were helped. Please join us!
Jan QuartonChangeMakers Founder and Board Member
I can’t think of a better way to give back to the community, that has so graciously adopted my family, than to assist the efforts of Mexican women who are working to raise up, support and guide young local girls to reach their full potential. I love ChangeMakers’ driving principle of teamwork that has expats supporting the efforts of successful Mexican women who better understand the culture and needs of the young women in their communities.
I contribute to and serve on the board of ChangeMakers because I want to see young Mexican women get the help and support they need to make better lives for themselves and their communities. We know the world is a better place when women are enabled to become their best selves. With the help of our Inspiradoras, a great group of successful Mexican women who are helping to steer our efforts, I believe we can make a valuable difference here at Lake Chapala.
Leigh Manheim Gray
Empowering youth, especially young women in Mexico, is a worthy pursuit. I teach organic gardening at Huerto Coxala in San Juan Cosala, at the
ChangeMakers' garden location. The young women I have met through the program promise great things in their futures. I am glad to assist teaching
how to grow nutritious food and to view the world in a more conscious, sustainable way.
I’m a “big picture” kind of person. All lives are improved when women become empowered, and, as Coretta Scott King said, “Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe you must become its soul.” Nowhere is that more true than in Mexico today. I'd like to be part of that movement, and it could be happening right here at Lakeside, one girl at a time.
I have yet to meet a young woman who would not benefit greatly by inclusion in this program. I have worked for years with young employees and athletes and confidence is the key to a successful life. Confidence means happiness, positive self image and a belief in oneself. Combined with education makes one's goals and dreams achievable.
(Charlie McGeehan is one of our primary English teachers for the Change Makers / Creando Cambios participants. In their eyes, he’s a star.)
Every successful person I know has told me they had help getting to their personal pinnacle. They got access to key information at the right stage of their development. They were offered opportunities. They had a mentor or mentors.
ChangeMakers is dedicated to mentoring bright, motivated young women who understand the advantage they will gain in overcoming the substantial, personal and societal obstacles they will face. I can't think of any better way to help send positive change rippling out through the lives of families and communities, than by mentoring young women.
Sabrina SwainsonBoard Member
ChangeMakers is doing it the right way: reaching a vulnerable population of teenage girls and giving them the tools they need to succeed in life. Bravo, ChangeMakers, for the difference you are making in these girls’ lives!
It is very gratifying to be part of this team of incredible women who are so committed to our community. I am certain that ChangeMakers will improve the role of women in our community by education and discipline.
Patricia CastilloCM Board Member
It is rare to find those who can visualize, to study and research, to gain an understanding of the issues and needs of our young women and to recruit like-minded people to help build a new charity in any environment, in any community. That is monumental. I continue to have deep respect for the founders of ChangeMakers.
Young women in our community have few options. Education, gender equality, and family support are often lacking in our adopted developing country. It is the role of women worldwide to make changes to better our children, our environment and certainly our educational options for girls. That’s why I am involved as a ChangeMakers leader and contributor.
Bonnie NewmanCM Board Advisor
I consider that the ChangeMakes/Creando Cambios program is important for our young women because here they realize the power that resides in them, and that when they change, the environment changes. I am happy to be part of this change. I believe in a generation full of awareness for a better world, where there is more love and mutual help among our communities.
Irma Rameño GarciaInspiradora
Providing young Mexican women with positive female role models at a formative age can have a profound effect in shaping their beliefs about what is possible for their future. When they see it, they believe they can be it. We must educate young women to succeed in whatever role they choose, without gender limitations... even roles that may not exist yet today. It's an honor to be making a positive impact with ChangeMakers Lake Chapala.
Katie IbarraVolunteer Coordinator
Empowering girls and young women from challenging backgrounds to know themselves, to set goals for their futures, and to create plans that propel them toward those goals was a large piece of my career for 35 years. Thus, seeing the ChangeMakers/Creando Cambios program focus on that important work has been truly satisfying. I have literally observed the impact that participation has already generated in just a handful of months.
Education and empowerment of women have been the driving purpose of my adult life. ChangeMakers is a hands-on organization that seeks to not only educate our Lakeside girls, but to also provide them with the skills and tools necessary to make responsible decisions, and achieve their fullest potential and dreams. As someone who has been mentored and has mentored others, I know from experience the transformational changes that happen when there is someone who believes in you and opens the door for all possibilities.
Youth and especially girls should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. The empowerment of our local girls can result in limitless, key changes impacting not only our community but the entire world. I am proud to join and reinforce the efforts of this organization to raise the torch of girls’ rights, human rights and help them lead the way to a better future.
I’m grateful to be part of a large expat community where together we can make a change for young woman for generations to follow.
I’m proud of ChangeMakers for not only supporting young women in their selected career fields, but also educating them with a great variety of life skills.
Thank you ChangeMakers/CreandoCambios!
My experiences working with women in Mexico has taught me what they really want is to learn to be assertive and feel empowered in a masculine culture.
I want to be involved in ChangeMakers in any way I can. I believe in it and I am proud to be part of this wonderful group that is empowering young women and helping them realize their dreams. I have been looking for an organization like ChangeMakers where I can make a real difference and give back to the Mexican people. I encourage you to join us.
As a woman and a disabled person (I'm legally deaf) I've always wished to help women recognize their self-worth and empower them to realize their dreams. Mexico has historically been a matriarchy, but women and girls here are rarely encouraged to achieve more than being a wife and mother. Many of them suffer physical and sexual abuse, which reinforces their status as objects and denies them true self-esteem.
I believe the sort of mentorship, education and supportive guidance programs offered by ChangeMakers can be hugely transformative in the lives of the young women of our community. As a result, their own families, social networks and economic welfare will in turn be enriched and strengthened. I want to work in whatever capacity I can to enable the success of this mission.