A native of Ecuador, Jenny Sosna immigrated to the United States in 1998 with a Master’s Degree in Education. As an educator she owned and managed a private school of 400 students in Guayaquil Ecuador. Having very little English and none of her financial status of Ecuador, she made her start in the U.S. as a waitress at a local restaurant. It was during this time that an individual presented her with an offer to teach Spanish to preschool and elementary school children. This seemed a logical way to begin her integration into US society. Soon after, Jenny began giving private lessons to adults wanting to learn Spanish.
It was during one of her private lessons with a local business owner that her awareness of the employment situation in Indianapolis was heightened. Jenny put a plan in place to bridge the gap between the Latino workforce and the American business sector. This is how the Latin Workforce Connection began, matching jobs with workers.
Jenny began to understand that a large number of Hispanic individuals and families had needs that were not being met. Many of the people looking for work were not only unfamiliar with how the business world worked, they also didn’t know how to take advantage of local charities and benevolent services to help them secure medical care, educational opportunities, or even food to tide them over during periods of unemployment. The language barrier also hindered their ability to obtain these things.
In 2000, Jenny started her community activities with the distribution of groceries to 150 families and toys to 300 children at Christmas time.
By the second year she had made significant contacts with the Indianapolis business community and was able to get enough donations to double the assistance to families and children. The event was too big to handle out of the office. It now needed a name and a new location that would host its continuing growth. This marked the beginning of Santa Comes to Town. It was such a tremendous success it was covered by radio and television. The turnout was grand, publicity was great, and the volunteerism surrounding the party was very gratifying.
The following year Jenny challenged her previous efforts and set a goal to feed 1000 families and provide toys for 3000 children. She partnered with Indiana State Fairgrounds and continued to provide for thousands of children and their families with toys, food, clothing and lots of Christmas spirit.
At the same time people advised her to start a non-profit organization. As a result Latino Community Development, Corp. began. During this time she managed LCD under the umbrella of The Ambassadors for Children, using their 501 (3)(c) status to carry out her vision. In February 2007 Latino Community Development, Corp. established itself as a 501 (3) (c) non-profit corporation.
Events and fundraisers include Santa Comes to Town, Latino Swing golf outing, Latino Dining Experience, Health Fairs, Seminars and the Mobile Food Pantry.
Much of the success of LCD is made possible through charitable companies that care about their community including Lilly Endowment, Morales Group, Wal-Mart, Walgreens , Mazzeta Construction, Shalom, Gold & Coin, Pillow Logistic, La Voz de Indiana, Radio Disney and La Que Buena 810 AM Spanish Radio station to name some.
Latino Community Development, Corp. has grown beyond expectations and its vision continues to expand to make a difference in the Latino community. In 2007, LCD expanded their services to the entire state of Indiana.
If you would like to be involved in sponsoring, volunteering, or otherwise contributing in the only event now LCD do ” Santa Comes to Town” event that serves over 1,400 families and provide over 5,000 toys to children at Christmas, please contact:
Latino Community Development Corporation