An Arkansas Lawyer Bought 1,500 Pairs of Shoes From a Payless Going Out of Business. Now She’s Donating Them to Kids in Need

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woman holding her children with boxes around them

When Carrie Jernigan was doing some last-minute, pre-vacation shopping with her kids at a Payless ShoeSource near their home in Alma, Arkansa, she had no idea she would soon be taking home upwards of 1,500 pairs of shoes.

“What have I done?” the 37-year-old lawyer and mother of three says she initially thought to herself.

But this was possible because in February, Payless ShoeSource announced it would be shutting down all of its stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. It was the second time in two years the company was filing for bankruptcy — the latest casualty in what’s been dubbed over the years as the “retail apocalypse.”

Jernigan was taking advantage of the sweeping sales one day this past May when her 9-year-old daughter asked if they could buy Avengers tennis shoes for a classmate that needed a new pair. Inspired by her daughter’s act of kindness, Jernigan, jokingly, asked the clerk how much it would cost to buy the entire store. Hours later, she had purchased nearly 350 pairs of shoes with the intention of donating them all.

“We made a deal to buy almost all [that] was left on the shelves,” she says.

When she returned to pick up the shoes, she found out that a new delivery was coming in — days before the store was set to shut its doors. When her kids asked to take those too, she told them they could take a peek to see if there were any children’s shoes.

“Of course, the first box I opened up was JoJo Siwa shoes,” she says, referring to the mega-popular Nickelodeon star. “Pink glitter was everywhere.”

When it was all said and done Jernigan took home nearly $21,000 worth of merchandise — the majority of which she saved from the store’s blowout sale. She intends to donate roughly 1,100 pairs to kids, and local schools and give the remaining shoes to adults in need.

Being the local school board’s president, Jernigan knows how much some parents struggle to afford school supplies, let alone new shoes, for their children. When she realized that she had way too many shoes for her school alone, she decided to hold off for few months to do a back-to-school fundraising event.

Continue on to Money.com to read the complete article.

Forks Up! Dig into this guilt free mac and cheese recipe that’s ready in minutes

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mac and cheese dish on a table

Who doesn’t love mac and cheese? Regardless of what your dietary needs or preferences might be, everyone can agree that they have a special place in their hearts for it. The creamy, ooey gooey lusciousness surrounds each noodle, keeping us coming for morsel after morsel is sometimes too much to handle (or maybe not enough?).

We love finding new and exciting ways (especially healthy ones) that allow us to enjoy mac and cheese guilt free. And now thanks to Planta South Beach we have just the recipe to help us reach that goal.

Not only is this recipe delicious, delectable and enticing — but it’s also great for you and the environment. Nab the recipe below and get to cooking!

Vegan Mac And Cheese from Planta South Beach

Ingredients:

4 cups croutons

1 cup almond parmesan

4 teaspoons salt

2 yellow onions, diced

1 head cauliflower, chopped

1 cup confit garlic

3 tablespoons confit garlic oil

2 tablespoons garlic powder

½ cup almond milk

2 teaspoons lemon

1 quart cashews

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1 cup rigatoni

2 tablespoons green peas

3 tablespoons smoked mushrooms

Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

BREAD CRUMBS

– Crush croutons by hand until crumbled.

– In a bowl, mix crushed croutons, almond parmesan and salt. Set aside.

GARLIC ALFREDO SAUCE

– Sweat onions and cauliflower in a pot with 3 tablespoons of garlic oil. Cook until translucent, season with salt.

– Use a Vitamix or blender to combine onions, cauliflower, confit garlic, almond milk, nutritional yeast and garlic powder until smooth and set aside.

– In a separate Vitamix or blender, mix the cashews and lemon juice until smooth. Start at a low speed and work your way up. Once mixture is smooth and creamy, slowly start to add the puree mixture.

– Season with salt and fresh cracked pepper.

MAC & CHEESE

– Boil pasta for 8-10 minutes or until al dente, then drain.

– Sauté peas and mushrooms, salt to taste.

– Mix pasta with Garlic Alfredo Sauce until creamy.

– Set oven to broil at 350°F. Transfer mac & cheese to baking pan and top with bread crumbs. Put in oven until golden.

– Garnish with fresh parsley.

Continue on to HOLA! to read the complete article.

Uber passenger pays off driver’s outstanding college debt

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Latonya Young wearing cap and gown pictured with Uber passenger kevin esch

A Georgia Uber driver recently graduated from Georgia State thanks to a man who helped her pay an outstanding debt that prevented her in finishing her degree program.

According to ABC News , Latonya Young recently graduated from the Atlanta university after starting her college journey many years ago. At age 43, Young now has an associate’s degree in criminal justice.

Her return to college was made possible thanks to an Uber passenger. According to ABC News, Young had picked up Kevin Esch for a 20-minute ride. Young told Esch about her desire to go back to college, but that a $700 outstanding debt prevented her from enrolling.

Shortly after the ride, Esch decided to help the mother of three out. Nearly 18 months later, Esch was there to see Young graduate.

“I have thanked him so much but I feel like I haven’t thanked him enough,” Young told “Good Morning America.” “It was not just the money but his willingness and his sacrifice for me to do better in life.”

“It was something I could do that I thought was worth it and would really help her,” Esch told “GMA.”

Continue on to KXLF to read the complete article.

Finding a Place to Belong at Yale and Beyond

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Alanna Pyke pictured smiling leaning casually on her homes stairway

By Susan Gonzalez/Yale News

“Community” is the word graduating senior Alanna Pyke utters most often when reflecting on her time at Yale College.

“What I really came to value here is a sense of community and being a part of something that is bigger than myself,” says Pyke of her Yale experience.

For Pyke, one of the most valuable communities was the one she found at the Native American Cultural Center (NACC), the place that inspired her to choose Yale out of the more than 15 colleges that accepted her, and where she experienced a deep sense of belonging. She was impressed by the fact that an entire building was dedicated for the NACC.

“The Native community and also Dean [Kelly] Fayard [assistant dean of Yale College and director of the NACC] were such a huge part of my Yale experience,” says Pyke. “The NACC at 26 High St. is a welcoming place, where you can go to relax or study or see friends. I spent a lot of time there.”

Pyke — the first Native student to be valedictorian of Massena Central High School in New York — says that no one in recent memory from her high school or her reservation had gone to Yale. Feeling supported on campus, while maintaining a connection to her indigenous roots, was important to her.

A member of the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation, Pyke grew up in upstate New York on the Akwesasne Reservation, which straddles the New York and Canadian border along the St. Lawrence River. Prior to seventh grade, she went to an elementary school on the reservation where she was taught the Mohawk language.

At her next school, which was predominantly white, Mohawk was not taught; Pyke was told that she could study French or Spanish instead.

“I remember crying when I found that out,” the Yale senior recalls. “I didn’t know why I was crying at the time but I know I thought it was a big deal that I couldn’t continue learning Mohawk. I eventually realized why it was a big deal: At school, I was no longer connected to my culture.”

As a first-year student at Yale, Pyke had a job as a first-year liaison at the NACC, helping new students feel welcome at the center. She soon found herself spending time there after her shift, and was encouraged by other Native students to attend special events or meetings or to take on leadership roles.

While she says she was initially “a little too shy” to hold an official post, she quickly found herself a member of the NACC-affiliated Association for Native American Students at Yale (ANAAY), the American Indian Science & Engineering Society, Yale Sisters of All Nations, and the Yale Native American Arts Council.

Pyke, who is majoring in molecular, cellular, and development biology (MCDB), acknowledges that it was sometimes challenging to balance her studies, research commitments, and leadership duties in the Native community. She says she is grateful for having the opportunity to study Mohawk at Yale (via the Native American Language Program) and was active in a student campaign to lobby the Yale administration to offer for-credit courses in indigenous languages.

As a woman of color in STEM, the Yale senior says the mentors she had in the sciences were vital to her success, and she is particularly thankful for the Science, Technology and Research Scholars (STARS) Program, which supports women, minority, economically underprivileged, and other historically underrepresented students in the sciences, engineering, and mathematics.

In addition to mentoring, the program provides research opportunities, networking, courses and workshops, and career planning to undergraduates in STEM disciplines.

While participating in a STARS Summer Research Program, she took a science course co-taught by a group of faculty members including Marina Moreno, associate research scientist and instructor in MCDB, who became Pyke’s faculty adviser. Moreno is also one of the STARS coordinators.

“She helped me through this entire endeavor of getting an education,” says Pyke. “Without the STARS program, there’s a big chance I wouldn’t have stayed in STEM. I don’t think I would have made it without Dr. Moreno and STARS mentor Rob Fernandez.”

This summer, Pyke will begin Harvard University’s Research Scholar Initiative, a post-baccalaureate program to enhance scholars’ competitiveness for Ph.D. programs. She is interested in continuing genetics or genomics research in the future.

“Many Native communities have a distrust of science generally and of genetic science in particular,” says Pyke. “It’s been used wrongly in the past, or used without consent.”

Pyke hopes to give back to her own community through scholarship. “Representation is important because it will inspire future generations of Native scholarship and scientists, and add diverse perspectives to different fields,” she says.

Source: news.yale.edu

New Biz Owner Adds Family Into Fold; Becomes Franchisee With #1-Rated Mobile Flooring Franchise

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Sheri Landry poses in front of her mobile floor coverings showcase van

Sheri Landry needed a change from her 20-year corporate career in the automotive industry. But she’s certainly not going it alone in her new venture since launching operations as a franchise owner with Floor Coverings International, visiting customers’ homes in a Mobile Flooring Showroom stocked with thousands of flooring samples from top manufacturers. Landry is the owner and handles outside sales while her husband, Greg, is her business partner and sales manager.

Her sister, Vanessa Koger, is the business manager. And as if she hasn’t had enough going on, the 44-year-old Landry – whose past business experience includes sales, service and marketing – recently earned her master’s in Communications from the University of Michigan-Flint. “I just wanted more in life,” said Landry, a Lapeer, MI resident and mother of two. “I decided I wanted to work for myself for the next half of my career

Landry’s objective was to find a business that helped solve other people’s problems, especially since in the past she had encountered issues of her own in finding reliable contractors. Landry also has a passion for design and making an old space feel new again. “My motto is ‘helping people fall in love, one floor at a time,’” she said.

In Floor Coverings International, Landry found a company that has tripled in size since 2005 by putting a laser focus on consumer buying habits and expressed desires, its impressive operating model, growth ability, marketing, advertising and merchandising. Floor Coverings International further separates itself from the competition through its customer experience, made up of several simple and integrated steps that exceed customers’ expectations. Those steps include educating and consulting with customers to get a clear understanding of how they use their floors to best be able to make a personalized recommendation, a solution unique to each and every homeowner- NOT whatever is in stock in the warehouse, product that has been sitting there for who knows how long, product that is being pushed to everyone. “We want to make the experience fun and as unique as each person and space,” adds Landry.

ABOUT FLOOR COVERINGS INTERNATIONAL

Floor Coverings International is the #1 Mobile Flooring Franchise in North America. Utilizing a unique in-home experience, the mobile showroom comes directly to the customer’s door with more than 3,000 flooring choices. Floor Coverings International has 150-plus locations throughout the U.S. and Canada with plenty of opportunity for continued expansion in 2020. For franchise information, please visit flooring-franchise.com and to find your closest location, floorcoveringsinternational.com.

Angela Merkel, Christine Lagarde and Nancy Pelosi Top Forbes’ 16th Annual List of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women

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Forbes most powerful women collage pictured for 2019

The World’s Most Powerful Women List Highlights the Female Leaders, Entrepreneurs, Investors, Philanthropists and CEOs Who Are Wielding Their Influence to Drive Change

NEW YORK– Forbes recently announced the 16th annual ranking of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. The women on Forbes’ 2019 ranking represent women in six categories: business, technology, finance, media & entertainment, politics & policy, and philanthropy. They’re  women who are building billion-dollar brands, calling the shots in the financial markets, and using their enormous platforms to broker agreements, provide aid and drive change.

For the ninth consecutive year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel takes the No. 1 spot, also marking her 14th total appearance on the list. Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank rose one spot to No. 2. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, returns to the list in the No. 3 spot this year as the highest-ranking and most powerful female elected official in American political history. Rounding out the top five is newcomer Ursula Von Der Leyen, President of the European Commission (No. 4) and Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors (No. 5).

“This year’s list of World’s Most Powerful Women is a collection of innovators and instigators who are leading on the world stage to redefine traditional power structures and forge lasting impact in every industry and sphere of influence,” said Moira Forbes, Executive Vice President, Forbes and President, ForbesWomen. “As we come to the close of the current decade, our 2019 listees remind us of the huge strides that have been made by women, and the great opportunity they have to define the decade ahead.”

“We are seeing more women at the heads of the world’s most influential institutions—the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the U.S. House of Representatives—and more women taking power in c-suites and board rooms across America,” said Maggie McGrath, Editor, ForbesWomen. “Systemic change takes time, but the women on this year’s Power list are wielding their influence across the world to help make that change.”

The 100 women on the 2019 list are builders, disruptors, and innovators in every sector from business to creative worlds, taking a modern, forward-looking view on power. Members of the 2019 Most Powerful Women list represent women in six categories: business (31 honorees), technology (17), finance (12), media & entertainment (14), politics & policy (22), and philanthropy (4). In total, the Power Women control or influence more than $2.3 trillion in revenue and oversee nearly 6.5 million employees.

The 2019 list spans more than seven generations of influential women, with environmental activist Greta Thunberg becoming the youngest honoree in the list’s history at age 16. With individuals from 32 countries/territories represented, North America maintained the most women on the list at 50, followed by Asia Pacific with 21, Europe (inclusive of Russia and Turkey) with 18, the United Kingdom with 5, the Middle East with 3, Latin America with 2, and one in Africa.

Twenty-three women made their debut on the 2019 World’s Most Powerful Women list, with notable newcomers including Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of IMF; Greta Thunberg, environmental activist, Jessica Tan, Co-CEO, COO, CIO of Ping An Group in China, Julie Sweet, CEO of Accenture; Judith Mckenna, President and CEO of Walmart International; Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister for the Government of India; Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios; Rihanna, entrepreneur and singer/songwriter; and Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General for the United Nations.

Notably, Theresa May, Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom was not included on the 2019 list after maintaining the second spot in 2018 due to her resignation from the position this year. Queen Elizabeth, fell 15 spots to No. 38 and Ivanka Trump, First Daughter and Advisor to the President, fell 18 spots to No. 42.

Continue on to Forbes to read the complete article.

Black girl magic: 4 women are redefining beauty after reigning in major beauty pageants

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Black women beauth pageant winners seated together with their sashes on

When Zozibini Tunzi was crowned the winner of Miss Universe 2019, it wasn’t just a personal victory for the 26-year-old from South Africa — it was history in the making.

For the first time ever, four of the major beauty pageants — Miss Universe, Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss America — were won by black women.

“I think it’s such a great move forward as … the world and as a society say, ‘Look, women who were in the past never had opportunities to do things like this are now here,’” Tunzi told ABC News’ Linsey Davis in an interview that aired Friday on “Good Morning America.”

In an exclusive interview with three of the four pageant winners, Tunzi, joined by Kaliegh Garris, Miss Teen USA 2019, and Cheslie Kryst, Miss USA 2019, spoke about what it means for all of them to represent other black women and pave the way for women of color across the world.

Nia Franklin also won the Miss America pageant last year.

For decades, a moment like this was not possible. In its first 30 years, black women weren’t even allowed to compete in the Miss America pageant.

“I think there are times where I am disappointed, because people will sometimes comment on our social media,” said Kryst. “And they’ll say, ‘Why are we talking about your race? Like, you guys are just four amazing women.’ Like, yes, we’re four amazing women, but there was a time when we literally could not win.”

Continue on to Good Morning America to read the complete article.

Women Are Creating the Glass Ceiling & Have the Power to End It

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Nancy Parsons posing in front of her book promo poster

New Book Alert! Author of game changing books for women in leadership just released her latest!

Nancy Parsons shares exciting insights based on her firm’s research that reveal the true reasons why the glass ceiling exists and it is not what most people think. That’s why, despite the best intentions and investments in women in leadership programs, today’s solutions are not working.

It has been four decades since the Pregnancy Act went into effect in 1979 that prohibited women from being fired for getting pregnant. Yet, the sad truth is that although the barriers were supposedly lifted so many years ago, the glass ceiling continues to be an impenetrable barrier for most aspiring women leaders. Today, only 6.6 % of Fortune 500 CEOs are women and only 11% of women are top earners at these most profitable companies. Meanwhile, for more than a decade, women have consistently earned more bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees. The bottom line is that if we stay on the current trajectory, it will take approximately 400 years to attain just 50% of Fortune 500 CEO positions.

Parsons’ book is packed with great insights from women executives, top executive coaches, new global research, and practical solutions that will work to end the glass ceiling. These win-win approaches put an end to pointing fingers and playing the blame game. Women Are Creating the Glass Ceiling and Have the Power to End It provides breakthrough scientific research and fresh, tangible solutions that will work for women, men, and the organizations they serve to end the glass ceiling within a decade.

Women Are Creating the Glass Ceiling & Have the Power to End It, JUST RELEASED at:  http://bit.ly/KindleEndIt

MBEs: Get Certified Today

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professional women

Why certify? Businesses that are certified as minority owned are subject to different laws and regulations than other businesses and as such are very different entities from typical enterprises. Unlike a standard business license or registration, a minority-owned business enterprise certification is not required to run a minority-owned business, although certification can provide many benefits for a company—especially in regards to government contracting.

Below are some of the certification processes your company can expect to navigate when seeking minority-owned business enterprise certification. Also listed are the requirements that must be met by businesses that are seeking certification.

  • Manufacturers – Maximum number of employees must not surpass 500 or 1500, depending on the product being manufactured.
  • Wholesalers – Maximum number of employees must not surpass 100 or 500, depending on the product being provided.
  • Service providers – Annual sales receipts must not be higher than $2.5 or $21.5 million, depending on the service being provided.
  • Retailers – Annual sales receipts must not be higher than $5.0 or $21.0 million, depending on the product being provided.
  • General and Heavy Construction businesses – Annual sales receipts must not exceed $13.5 or $17 million, depending on the type of construction the company is engaged in.
  • Special Trade Construction businesses – Annual receipts must not be higher than $7 million.
  • Agricultural businesses – Annual sales receipts must not be higher than $0.5 to $9.0 million, depending on the agricultural product being produced.

Business Requirements

1) The company applying for certification must have a racial minority owner who owns at least 51 percent of the company.

2) The same owner must hold the highest position in the company.

3) The company must pay a fee based on company annual gross sales and also file an application that details basic company information, such as what year the business was founded.

4) The company’s primary business locations must be available for site visits.

Getting Bids

Build Relationships. When it comes to winning bids in the government contracting marketplace, contacts are everything. Business owners are advised to take the time to make connections, build relationships and network extensively. The contacts a business develops are often the key to furthering their success in government contracting. Proactively networking with larger companies, agencies and even competitors can lead to subcontracting opportunities while also showing agencies that you are a trustworthy and reliable business partner.

Subcontract. Building a reputation as a professional enterprise is crucial to the success of any business. Winning a government bid isn’t only about the monetary aspects involved with a contract; other factors are evaluated, too. An agency will often look at company financials, work history and reputation before selecting a winning organization. It helps to have contacts who can vouch for your company and the work that you do. By subcontracting, you build your reputation and gain valuable experience.

You never know when the contacts you develop will come in handy. Therefore, you should make each and every relationship meaningful because in the long run, these are the relationships that will further your company’s success.

Government RFPs are a great way for minority-owned business enterprises (MBE) to win spot and term contracts. Every year, the U.S. federal government spends more than $200 billion on goods and services, all of which are provided by private companies and many of which are minority-owned businesses. From federal to state, local and special districts, all levels of government have programs in place to increase their involvement with certified minority-owned business enterprises. Only companies who have gone through the MBE certification process are eligible for the money that is made available through such programs.

Source: BidNet

Showing Latino Students “You Can Do It!”

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Hernandez interacts with a participant in the Pursuing Urban Sustainability at Home program, a camp she helped facilitate this summer

By Stacy Braukman

Cuba native Diley (Dyla) Hernandez was in high school when she became fascinated by psychology and decided she wanted to pursue it as a field of study. Her father, who was a musician, and the rest of her family had not attended college and didn’t know how to help her get into the University of Havana.

“I had to figure that out myself,” she said. And she did.

Today, Hernandez is a senior research scientist at the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC), where she serves as the program director for GoSTEM, which aims to strengthen the pipeline of Latino students into postsecondary education. She is also the director for Culturally Authentic Practice to Advance Computational Thinking in Youth (CAPACiTY), an NSF grant-funded program to develop the new curriculum for the Introduction to Digital Technology course taught in Georgia high schools.

“My work is a combination of research, curriculum development, and teacher professional development,” she explains. “I have the great luck to actually be able to implement programs and strategies to help students in K-12 deal with a lot of the social and psychological consequences that prevent them from pursuing careers in STEM.”

Hernandez says her work is most fulfilling “when we actually get to talk to the students who are in our programs and we see in action the work that we’ve been doing, or hear from the students about the impact of that work. You realize that what you’re doing matters to people; that it’s actually making a difference in their lives, even if it’s small.”

Diley Hernandez headshot
Diley Hernandez

She describes one event that is especially important to her: the Annual Latino College and STEM Fair, which attracts between 500 and 1,000 Latino students and their families. Held at the Student Center, the event helps attendees envision a future at Georgia Tech—and feel like they belong.

“Sometimes, when they’re having conversations and they’re asking questions as part of this event, you feel like the stories of other Latino professionals, STEM leaders, and faculty really resonate with the students,” says Hernandez. “And you can see on their faces, ‘That is possible for me,’ or ‘I could do this.’ It’s like a little light that turns on. You can see the magic of something wonderful happening. Just to be able to be part of that is very rewarding.”

She sees a lot of potential at CEISMC and is committed to making an impact on the educational lives of Georgia students through innovative teaching methods, particularly in STEM fields. “It is an incredible opportunity to bring about real change,” said Hernandez.

Source: news.gatech.edu

The 50 Most Powerful Latinas in Corporate America

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Powerful Latinas

The Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA) announced its list of the 50 Most Powerful Latinas of 2019, announced during its Women of ALPFA luncheon at its annual convention in Nashville, Tennessee.

This is the third iteration of the Most Powerful Latinas list.

ALPFA’s Most Powerful Latinas list highlights the achievements of senior Latina executives running Fortune 500 companies, departments, and large private firms, and also includes a few entrepreneurs leading global companies.

They were chosen according to ALPFA’s strict selection criteria.

The full list and rankings are available on ALPFA’s website

Powerful Latinas
Powerful Latinas
Powerful LatinasPowerful Latinas

About Women of ALPFA:Launched in 2002, the Women of ALPFA(WOA)initiative provides unique development and networking opportunities for ALPFA’s Latina members and the companies that want to reach them.WOA is dedicated to the professional success of Latina women, offering targeted programs and training through a professional development curriculum. WOA aims to provide professional Latinas with the tools to strengthen their leadership and management skills, fostering both their professional and personal growth.

About ALPFA:Founded in 1972, ALPFA (The Association of Latino Professionals forAmerica) was the first national Latino professional association in the United States. ALPFA’s purpose is connecting Latino leaders for impactand is committed to developing Latino men and women as leaders of character for the nation, in every sector of the global economy. Today, ALPFA serves over 92,000 members in 160 student chapters and 45 professional chapters across the country.