We are excited to introduce someone who many of you know well, Estela Simaj, as our New Director of Economic Programs! Estela is the former Director of our CECAP Vocational Center, and Artisan Store Assistant before that. Yet Estela’s story with Amigos starts many years before, first as a recipient of Amigos’ school supply donations when she was in only the 2nd grade, and going on to become Amigos’ first scholarship recipient, and the first woman from all of Santa Cruz, to receive her Bachelor’s Degree!
Estela´s ambition and initiative have always led her to leadership roles, which she admits, hasn´t always been easy for others to accept. She has had many people doubt her capabilities and judge her for not conforming to traditional gender roles. However, she doesn´t let this discourage her, as she knows that the best way to prove them wrong is through her work.
Estela has big plans for this year. While assuming her new role in Amigos, she will also be attending graduate school in Business Administration and soon become the first Cruceña with a Master's Degree. She is proud to be an inspiration for all the girls and young women in her community, and we are excited to welcome her to the Amigos’ Leadership Team!
"Many women have told me and Rosalía (Amigos’ Director of Education Programs) that they want their daughters to study so that one day they can be in the same position as us. That is my inspiration."