In July 2011, just two short months away, Safe Passage will be joined by 25 volunteers from the First Unitarian Church in Schenectady, NY who will be sponsoring this year’s Quinceañera party for all 22 Safe Passage girls turning 15 in 2011.  Ranging from grade 5 to grade 9, these girls have one thing in common:  according to Latin American tradition, this is the year they become women. Read more.

When asked what being a quinceañera means to her, Estefani said, “It means that I’m entering a period in my life when I need to take things more seriously.”  For seventh grader, Jaquelin, the part she is most excited about is the party since it is a time she can be with her family!

The party isn’t for two more months, but the preparations are in full swing.  The team has been fundraising tirelessly since November 2010–and with 5 more 15-year-olds at Safe Passage this year than last year, we’re going to need every penny!

Though sure to be a memorable and special event for the girls and their families, this is so much more than a party.  Carrying on with a tradition begun last year, starting this week the girls will be participating in a series of meetings designed with female empowerment and education in mind.  Touching on topics including: physiological changes, self esteem, emotional intelligence, and pregnancy prevention, this is sure to be a formative experience. 

In this week’s meeting the girls were given a brief introduction to the coming-of-age experience by the director of the Educational Reinforcement Center, Vinicio Chavez.  The girls then discussed the merits of various dress designs and filled out questionnaires so that the American volunteers might get to know them a little bit before they arrive.

 We will keep you posted as preparations continue!