MANA Success Story

Yaneth Mora López
“Hermanitas” (Little Sisters) Program

The road to success

Having personal and professional goals, but not seeing a path to their realization. Wanting more and better educational choices, but not knowing where to start the search. Needing to break down long-standing socio-economic and cultural barriers, but being alone in this struggle.

These were the life circumstances of Yaneth Mora López, a young Latina student living in San Diego. In middle school, Yaneth was at a crossroads of life: poised to break out and pursue her potential. Or, stand down and let her potential remain dormant.

Enter MANA’s “Hermanitas” Youth Leadership Mentor Program -- a year-long, practical and inspirational “how-to” curriculum for Latinas, ages 12 to 18. Our Hermanitas program is designed to promote higher education, leadership development and peer support – all facilitated by a carefully selected one-to-one mentor.

Through the program, Yaneth found an “hermana” – a sister in Vivian Moreno. Another Latina with a similar life story who had achieved personal and professional goals and successes; who had successfully navigated the educational systems from middle school to a university degree; who broke down social, economic, cultural and professional barriers along the way. Vivian was Yaneth's mentor for six years.

Yaneth became an Hermanita and with the support of her mentor, she thrived.

Yaneth learned how to develop and apply the necessary skills to continue beyond a high school diploma; to successfully apply and then be accepted to a 4-year university; to look within herself and find and grow the skills and confidence to realize her potential.

Now, Yaneth is a senior at SDSU, pursuing a career in Child and Family Development, with a double minor in Spanish and Counseling and Social Change. She has a stand-out 3.92 GPA, and is considering an advanced degree in law or the social sciences.

Yaneth Mora López was changed by MANA’s “Hermanitas Youth Leadership Mentor Program. To this day, she still keeps in touch with her mentor, Vivian. She now embodies its purpose. She is a MANA estrella.