Latinas and Power, 2019 - Karla Santos, New Britain Herald

Ex-New Britain Resident Keeps Giving Back Through Latina Symposium

Published on Thursday, 16 May 2019

Written by Karla Santos, New Britain Herald


HARTFORD – Marilyn Alverio was a longtime New Britain resident, raised in a family of six with limited resources, but those humble beginnings taught her the value of giving back to the community, something she said she has carried with her through her entire life.

“During college and after college, I continued to go back to New Britain. I was always part of the community,” said Alverio, who lived in New Britain from age 4 until she attended college.

Alverio said she started the first chapter of the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women in New Britain, leading her to create Latinas and Power.

Thursday marked the 16th annual Latinas and Power Symposium, an event at the Hartford Marriott Downtown with the goal of empowering women in the Latino community. Hundreds of women, including about 60 high school students, took part.

The Latinas and Power Symposium included a wide variety of panels, breakout sessions, networking and awards presentations. The main topics discussed were technology, entrepreneurship, leadership, professional development and wealth building.

Yvette Peña, an AARP vice president; Arminda Figueroa, founder of Latin2Latin Marketing and Communications; Dr. Betty Uribe, an executive at California Bank & Trust; and Lisa Bacus, executive vice president and global chief marketing officer at Cigna, were among the panelists and speakers.

Fanita Borges, vice president of business lending at Webster Bank, also spoke. Borges represented Webster Bank in New Britain, Southington and Waterbury, along with 24 other Webster Bank employees, at the symposium. Borges spoke about wealth management and understanding the importance of credit scores.

Two high school students from the Great Path Academy in Manchester, Amaryllis Padilla and Maria Belen Segovia, spoke about a school project. The project, called La Mariposa, which means “the butterfly,” is part of a 12-week curriculum that teaches personal empowerment to adolescent Latinas. Their project concluded with the appearance at the symposium, where a documentary was being filmed showing the progress of their project

Aida Lopez served as their mentor during the project, which was intended to teach the students life skills and how to become leaders.

“It helps us, education-wise,” Padilla said. “It helps us for the future. It helps us personally. It helps every aspect that you need help in to be able to prosper.”

The students spoke during a panel discussion and presented La Mariposa in one of the breakout sessions as well.

Lori Theriault is the founder of Work It!, a program that allows students and adults to experience personal and career inspiration while building resumes of passion, not just experience. Theriault coached Padilla and Segovia in preparation for their presentations at the Latina Symposium and the public speaking portion of it.

“It was a conversation about leadership styles that identified how they lead because the Latinas and Power is about empowerment and leadership this year that’s the topic,” Theriault said. “Work It! enhanced the mariposa program by adding personality testing which identified the type of leadership skills that they both carry.”

To learn more about the Latinas and Power Symposium, visit

Karla Santos can be reached at 860-801-5079 or

more insights