"The Female Leadership Academy has played a great role in my life. Over the past several months I have been able to meet some of the greatest leaders in my community and build relationships with peers. The life-long lesson I have learned from the Female Leadership Academy is this: anybody can make a difference, but it is the ones who are organized that will create the greatest impact. Never let anyone limit your abilities or destroy your dreams. You can be anything you want to be. Literally."
"The Female Leadership Academy has greatly impacted my life in several ways. It first off opened my eyes to issues occurring to women in the United States. I would’ve been oblivious to all the struggles numerous feminists struggle for. The fact that one must lobby for each law that may be passed that could influence our rights that involve our body. Also, FLA opened my eyes to politics. I always thought politicians were ruined and corrupt. But after meeting Nicole Parra, I realized there are good people, great women, who strive to make a difference in peoples’ lives. I was strongly motivated to make a difference in my community, and having fun bending the rules and using our power for the greater good. Overall, FLA has taught me to become a better leader, person, and woman. I know how important it is to lead others to a better path, informing myself and other to what is occurring, and the power of an individuals vote. I’d like to thank my mentors for their time and work put into our group!"
"I am very proud to be the first graduating class of the Female Leadership Academy of Tulare County. The impact of the classes, meetings, lectures, and speakers have been imprinted in my mind in such a way that I will never forget what I have learned and done throughout my course in this academy. Between retreats with tons of great food and people and learning about topics such as the importance of implementing laws that greatly affect our future such as sex education and the controversy over immigration as well as abortion. These lectures and the inspiring speakers have opened my eyes about the world and what I can do to be a part of my community. The lessons were as broad as they were about women right to teaching us how to hold a great presentation and learn how to speak well. I am appreciative of the time that these amazing women have given us and the lessons they have taught that I will carry and that I will pass on to my children and spread my message and beliefs as well as they have spread theirs to me."
"The Female Leadership Academy has experienced an extraordinary first year. Writing as a member of the group I can say that we have had the great privilege of connecting with many of California’s amazing woman leaders. From Camila Chavez to Marsha Mauvais, from Los Angeles to Sacramento, us “FLA” ers have been submerged in information about the injustices women must face today and have learned how to combat them. After receiving a thorough education on women’s issues we were given free reign to tackle our own projects which were featured at the Rotary Theatre’s Art Contest. My group chose to center around PACT services. We wanted to inform the public of different methods of birth control and how to access them. Our hope was to contribute to the reduction of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. We put together a flyer that contained information about PACT services and distributed them at the Rotary. Now our year is coming to its end. I realize now what a gift it has been to of had the opportunity to work with women and girls who share my interests, dreams, and goals. I end on this reminder, “Women have been taught that, for us, the earth is flat and that if we venture out we will fall off the edge. Some of us have ventured out nevertheless, and so far we have not fallen off.” (Andrea Dworkin). My hat goes off to all of those brave women."
"Being in the Female Leadership Academy has affected my life in many ways. It has inspired me to be a leader in my community and I have also become more passionate about women’s issues in our world. I have had the opportunity to voice my opinion and hear others opinions as well. I feel I now understand what a leader is and what it takes to be a leader. I hope that when I am done with my education I can inspire young girls the way the F.L.A. has inspired me. The knowledge I have from being in the Female Leadership Academy will stay with me forever."
"The Female Leadership Academy has made me a more open minded person. Since I joined the Female Leadership Academy I have learned that it is always important to listen to what every person has to say, and to think about what that person has said and see if you can understand where they are coming from. The Female Leadership Academy has given me valuable skills in listening and also putting myself out there whether people agree with me or not. These skills will help me throughout life whether it is in my career or with my own family one day."
"I’m really glad that I chose to join the Female Leadership Academy this year, because I’ve gained a lot of knowledge in certain topics that I probably wouldn’t have if I never joined. I was also able to meet a few speakers who were very inspirational, which has changed my perspective on life and many other situations. We were able to go on two retreats this year, one in Los Angeles and one in Sacramento. I honestly have to say that both were really fun and educational. At each retreat we gained more knowledge and we met more individuals that were amazing. My favorite one would have to be the Los Angeles one because I found it a bit more interesting and that was where I developed the idea to do my community project on Sex Trafficking. I always knew what the term was but I never really knew it exactly and while I was there I learned so much about it. There were two other girls who were also interested in the topic so we met on our own time to survey people in Visalia, do research and put together some information. It has been really fun because throughout all of it I developed a strong bond with both of them and one of them has even become one of my best friends. All in all I had a great time being involved with the FLA. I would have to admit that there were a few glitches towards the end, but that’s just how everything is, I guess."
"The Female Leadership Academy has had a huge impact on many aspects of my life. I have gained so much knowledge on women’s history, sexual health and controversialissues; like immigration and teen pregnancy. Not to mention having a better understanding of life and what is happening in the world around me. Not only did we gain the knowledge of these issues, wealsolearned how to make a difference to our community. The FLA gaveme a real strength and empowerment tomake a change in this world; now and in the future. With the FLA I have traveled to places I have never seen before, and participated in important events; like rallying at the governmental buildings in Sacramento, something I never dreamed I would be doing at the age of 18.To me the group is more than just a 'community project',It has given me direction in life, given me a hope in the people of this world and given me a chance to do something not only for myself but to do something for others. Best of all, I couldn't of hoped to meet and become such good friends with a more beautiful, intelligent and inspirational group of women."
"Being in the Female Leadership Academy has helped improve my knowledge on not only local issues, but also world-wide and national issues.I have experience many different things, gladly, while being a part of this academy.I have gone to see and speak to important people ofstate;wegot to speak toNicole Parra, who is avery nice and informal person.I just like her;she is friendly and funny! My overall experience in this leadership program has produced positive results withinme.I am now informed.I am now and activist. I would like to continue my knowledge on female issues and hopefully become a positive leader for others to follow. Life is a road; live the journey! Thank you fellow Female Leaders!"
"Being in the 1st group of girls for the Female Leadership Academy has been quite an adventure. I've gained fundamental knowledge concerning women's rights and rights in general, much of which I'm sure I will be able to reference in the future. FLA has helped me to become a more independent, open-minded, and outspoken person. I've had the opportunity to meet and speak with many highly respected people, including Nicole Parra, about local as well as national and worldwide issues. I've found that I've become more interested in current events and issues because now I see that even I can be an advocate. I know that now, with the knowledge and the resources I have obtained in the time that I have been involved with the Female Leadership Academy, I can make a difference."
-Regina Katherine Saiz
"The female leadership program has made a huge impact on my life. I have learned many new life skills I will continue to use in my life's journey. Not only did I learn about women'sissues andhow to organize a club/ or activity, but I also gained self confidence. I can now step in front of a crowd without hesitation. This was a great experience that I will never forget and can't wait to share with others in the years to come."
"Being involved in the FLA has helped provide me with many opportunities and experiences that have greatly impacted various aspects of my life. These experiences have helped to both strengthen my beliefs and give me knowledge to support them. Throughout this year we have had many opportunities to listen to motivational speakers and go to conventions to help build our leadership skills. Our group has also been blessed with amazing mentors to help us along. These great women have provided us with support we have needed to achieve all of our goals. I feel grateful for acquiring friends with most of the same morals and beliefs. Together we have supported each other. My groups felt very strongly about the implementation of SB 71 (or lack thereof). Our goal was to in some way educate our peers and lower our teen pregnancy rates as we as the prevalence of STDs. Together we put together a presentation for our school board and hopefully as a result changes will be made in the future. I feel so blessed for being part of such a great program that helps to develop the female leaders that will someday impact our society."