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Celina De Sola

Photo of Celina De Sola

Fellow Celina De Sola from 2018 Obama Foundation Fellows.

Latin American youth face significant challenges. Not only do they face extreme violence and poverty, but cycles of massive migration and social upheaval are also exacerbating issues of family disintegration, school dropout, early pregnancy, and limited economic opportunities. Youth face persistent stigma, social exclusion, and exposure to extreme violence and trauma. They lack opportunities to develop the core skills they need to thrive. The Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador have three of the six highest homicide rates in the world. Civil society and public institutions remain too overwhelmed and fragile to address these complex and intractable problems.

In this difficult context, de Sola founded Glasswing (Opens in a new tab) to bring together governments, businesses, and communities to break the cycle of poverty and violence. Building on existing local resources, Glasswing (Opens in a new tab) develops sustainable programs, ranging from after-school programs and employability training, to parent and teacher trainings, community mental health initiatives, as well as a regional, youth-led movement for change. Glasswing (Opens in a new tab) provides volunteer-led learning opportunities that develop kids' confidence and capabilities, keeping them away from violence and helping them become the best versions of themselves. To date, Glasswing (Opens in a new tab) has mobilized more than 100,000 volunteers across 12 countries. These programs are designed to be replicated and scaled, and their impact shows the power of leveraging a community's existing resources to build grassroots change. Glasswing's (Opens in a new tab) approach is founded on a profound belief in human potential, and the importance of empowering youth to transform their communities — and the world.

Harriet Tubman