October 19, 2017 — The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation supports Catholic Sisters working in the US and around the world. In Africa, Hilton launched a successful Sisters Leadership Development Initiative, empowering women religious with business, management and technology skills. The program is now underway in Mexico, under the leadership of S. María Reina Perea, who serves as project director of SLDI Americana Latina (SLDI-AL); pictured (2nd from the top, left end of row).
S. Reina directed the 2015 Hilton funded pilot in Tijuana, which was extended this year to Guadalajara and Mexico City. The $1 million SLDI AL grant will educate four 30-student cohorts in these cities, in a customized leadership curriculum, while continuing the Tijuana program.
Catholic sisters in Mexico fill a tremendous gap in services, working with at-risk youth, orphans, unwed mothers, immigrants and victims of human trafficking. Despite this leadership, most sisters lack the financial resources to pursue higher education. SLDI AL fills this gap by teaching sisters effective management and marketing practices.
In January 2016 and June 2017, S. Reina and Hilton officials witnessed a total of 33 sisters receive their certificates from the Universidad Iberoamerica in Tijuana, Mexico. The celebration acknowledged their mastery of leadership and technology skills within their ministry settings.