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Jun 2, 2020

Welcome to She Leads Podcast Season 6, Episode 13! This episode of She Leads Podcast features LaToya Fernandez founder of Youthhype. LaToya Fernandez is an Activist, Community Leader, and Educator who leads her life like the Boss she is. To hear LaToya’s leadership journey, check out her interview as she shares her experiences and insight with us!

LaToya Fernandez’s Bio

Educator, Activist, and Community Leader, LaToya Fernandez, dedicates her career to teaching students equity and justice. As a Restorative Justice Coordinator, LaToya has served in local San Jose schools supporting students, educators and families through cultural responsiveness, restorative practices and community engagement. LaToya continues to serve the community in various roles : as the Dean Of Students at Downtown College Prep El Camino and is a member for the Tech Museum's Educator Advisory Board and  as Chair for the Youth Outreach Committee for Women's March- San Jose. Alongside these roles, Latoya continues to be a community advocate who is passionate about creating platforms for youth. Just one of these platforms is Youthhype, a community based organization that empowers youth in San Jose from marginalized communities to rise up. As its Founder, she facilitates workshops in self-esteem, confidence, awareness and identity. Youthhype also actively participates in numerous community events, while pairing empowerment with activism, agency and leadership.  Latoya is also the author of the book "Truth- An Empowerment Guide For Youth and Allies" a book that educates and empowers youth with their self-confidence and identity, navigating social justice issues and establishing and maintaining healthy relationships. Latoya also hosts a youth empowerment podcast based on the book called "Truth and Empowerment Guide for youth"

LaToya website: www.latoyafernandez.com

Latoya youth website: www.youthhype.org

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Interview Highlights

After experiencing oppression in her life, LaToya decided to be the change she wants to see in the world. Latoya stands for living with integrity and works diligently to ensure that integrity is upheld whenever she can. This is one of the reasons she started her company Youthhype, to help disenfranchised youth have access to the same resources as other youth.

LaToya attributes her strength and tenacity to the example and teachings of her mother, who beat the odds and relocated her family to the suburbs in her early twenties. Seeing her mother set and achieve high goals helped LaToya to understand anything is possible. LaToya aims to achieve her goals by any means necessary, as her mentor Malcolm X proclaimed. Being guided by this principle gives her the resiliency needed to keep going when faced with opposition.

LaToya shared about her experiences with colorism growing up, and how this prolonged her journey in finding herself. Not feeling like you belong can deter you having an identity. Because of this LaToya makes sure she does not treat people this way, and is diligent in assessing her motives and intentions when interacting and responding to others. LaToya chooses to be compassionate and respectful as opposed to aggressive and combative in her dealings, as she has learned that this approach yields better results.

Check out Latoya's interview to hear more.

"Be Empowered and Empower On!!!" - Nicole Walker