Latina leaders empower students with their success

Karen Ambrocio, Managing Editor

Four successful Latinas- Alessandra Lezama, Mara Elliott, Catherine Garcia and Ana De Santiago- spoke about their career paths and what they had to overcome working as women in nontraditional fields.


The second event of the Women Breaking Boundaries Speaker Series, held on March 27 focused on Latina leaders and their accomplishments.


“It’s continually important for women to talk to women of all ages, to share stories [and] strategies … they can feel empowered [of women] who have broken barriers and expanded boundaries,” said President Karen Haynes.


The moderator, Patricia Prado-Olmos, CSUSM Vice President of Community Engagement, introduced these women with snippets of their success.


Lezama, the Chief Executive Officer of Abacus Next, helps businesses with security and compliance and provides their clients with technology solutions. She moved the organization forward by introducing a private cloud service, increasing 250 percent corporate growth and hiring more than 100 employees.


Elliott is the first female and Latina to serve as City Attorney of San Diego. Prior to her City Attorney position, she served as Senior Deputy County Counsel and the Chief Deputy City Attorney. She is also the Vice President of the San Diego Law Library Board of Trustees.


Garcia is the main anchor for NBC 7 San Diego. She joined NBC in 2003 working as weekend anchor. She previously worked in Dallas, Texas as morning and weekend evening anchor for the ABC station and in El Paso at KTSM-TV as an anchor/reporter.


De Santiago served as a criminal prosecutor for 15 years. Since 2004, she serves as a Deputy District Attorney in the San Diego County District Attorney Office. De Santiago has prosecuted a variety of cases including: sexual assault, child molestation, rape and homicide. She is the District Attorney’s Office expert on “Megan’s Law.”


Prado-Olmos said she believes one of the most important things students can do is “something that connects with their dreams”

The Cougar Chronicle The independent student news site of California