The rapidly growing Latinas living in poverty has stirred the rise of devout philanthropist in Latin America including Eva Longoria. Eva is an American actress, producer, director, activist, and businesswoman who founded the Eva Longoria Foundation in 2012 to help Latinas build better futures for themselves and their families through education and entrepreneurship. By providing Latinas with the resources to succeed in school and business, we can help empower the Latino community.
Eva Longoria was born 1975 in Corpus Christi. She was a beauty pageant contestant in her youth and attended Texas A&M. Longoria got her first break in show business with a regular role on The Young and the Restless. Her breakthrough role came in 2004 on the hit television series Desperate Housewives.
The foundation’s programs focus on helping Latinas excel in school and attend college, and on helping Latina entrepreneurs with career training, mentorship, capital, and opportunity.
The foundation supports parental engagement and offers a nine-week course to help parents with issues like homework and college applications. The Foundation partners with the Parent Institute for Quality Education to train parents in low-income, predominantly Latino areas. In 2015, the foundation expanded this program to Mexico City.
The foundation’s Latina entrepreneurship program works with the Howard G. Buffett Foundation to provide microloans and business training to low-income, Latina entrepreneurs. The Foundation has provided loans to more than 150 Latina business owners through partnerships with Accion Texas and Accion Diego.
The Eva Longoria Foundation supports STEM education and has helped more than 1,100 Latinas grow their STEM skills through extracurricular programming in Los Angeles and San Antonio, Texas. The foundation currently partners with the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio to provide an “after-school program that strengthens student knowledge of STEM skills like coding and robotics as well as their awareness of STEM education and career paths.”
Since 2014, the Foundation has partnered with the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Corpus Christi to run a mentorship program that has taught more than 300 Latinas about leadership and healthy living and exposes them to successful Latina mentors. The foundation expanded its Latina mentorship network to Los Angeles in partnership with Step Up and Bank of America.
Longoria co-founded Eva’s Heroes, a San Antonio nonprofit that benefits developmentally disabled children, and serves as a spokesperson for Padres Contra el Cancer, an organization supporting Latino families who have children with cancer.
She sits on the boards of the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF) and LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes. She has supported United Farm Workers and the Dolores Huerta Foundation, among other organizations.
Apart from her foundation, Longoria may have other avenues of grant making, and some important grants may be missing from this rundown. Since 2012, the Eva Longoria Foundation has been committed to its mission towards the Latinas.