On Thursday, November 8th, Celebrities gathered to support the Eva Longoria Foundation‘s(ELF) work to empower Latinas through education and entrepreneurship as well as to celebrate the Foundation’s 2018 honorees, Zoe Saldaña and Gina Rodriguez. Attendees at the November 8th dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills included: Eva Longoria Bastón, Zoe Saldaña, Gina Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin”), Rosario Dawson (“Jane the Virgin”), Olivia Munn, Terry Crews (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) & Rebecca Crews (Singer), Miguel (Singer), Karla Souza (“How to Get Away with Murder”), Roselyn Sanchez (“Grand Hotel”),Mario Lopez, Bryan Craig (“Grand Hotel”), Guillermo Diaz (“Scandal”), Carla Jimenez (“The Mick”), Chris Warren (“Grand Hotel”), Amaury Nolasco (“Telenovela”), Andrea Navedo (“Jane the Virgin”), Gloria Calderon Kellet (“One Day at a Time”), Denyse Tontz (“Grand Hotel”), Edy Ganem (“Devious Maids”), Isabella Gomez (“One Day at a Time”), Eduardo Verastegui (“Little Boy”), Katherine Castro (MAMBA), Lisa Vidal (“Being Mary Jane”), Maria Canals-Barrera (“Cristela”), Shalim Ortiz (“Grand Hotel”), Jose Moreno Brooks (“Telenovela”), Thomas Barbusca (“The Mick”), Lincoln Younes (“Grand Hotel”), and Alex Meneses(“Telenovela”), Jaime Camil (“Jane the Virgin”).

Guests arrived at The Four Seasons Beverly Hills for cocktails followed by dinner and an inspirational program. The evening’s emcee Mario Lopez welcomed attendees, highlighting ELF’s effective work to help Latinas close the opportunity gap in education and employment. Mario then introduced ELF founder Eva Longoria Bastón, who spoke about the Foundation’s important and culturally-relevant programs that reach girls facing education inequality, economic barriers, and prejudice.

Eva welcomed Corie Barry, CFO and Strategic Transformation Officer for BEST BUY Co. Inc., to announce that ELF and BEST BUY will partner to open a new ‘Teen Tech Center’ in El Paso, Texas in late 2019. The center will give youth access to technology, mentorship, and exposure to careers in tech. The next speakers were Brandy Mones and Valeria Aguirre, junior mentors in ELF’s Los Angeles STEM education program.

The two 7th graders spoke about their work helping the younger girls in the program learn about coding, robotics and more. Eva returned to the stage to present Zoe Saldaña with the Foundation’s first-ever “Latina Visibility Award,” highlighting Zoe’s work to represent and amplify the diverse and meaningful stories of the Latinx community.

The next speaker was Itzayana Felipe, an ELF scholarship recipient and first-generation Latina college student. The daughter of immigrants and a USC School of Architecture student, Itzayana spoke about how the ELF scholarship has helped her cover the numerous school-related expenses that can pose an overwhelming financial burden for first-generation students. Rosario Dawson then came to the stage present Gina Rodriguez with the Foundation’s first-ever “Latina Leadership Award,” for Gina’s work to inspire the next generation of Latina leaders through her activism and advocacy. Eva and Mario returned to the stage to close the program and thank supporters for their financial contributions.

Event sponsors included Best Buy, College Track, Target, Gilbert & Jacki Cisneros Foundation, Intel, Town & Country Magazine, SOMOS Healthcare, Coca Cola, Google, Televisa Foundation, Turner Impact Capital, Creative Arts Agency, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and Comercia Bank.

Eva Longoria Foundation was established in 2012 by actress and activist Eva Longoria Bastón to bring people together to empower Latinas to reach their full potential. In the last six years, ELF has invested more than three million dollars and reached more than 23,000 women and girls through programs designed to help Latinas succeed – from math and science education for middle school Latinas, to college scholarships for first-generation students, to microloans for Latina small business owners. 

By providing Latinas with the resources to succeed in school and business, the Foundation works to improve their lives, empower their communities and shape the national conversation about leveling the playing field for minority girls and women.

If you would like to donate to the Eva Longoria Foundation, please visit: http://www.evalongoriafoundation.org/donate.