Anabella is a co-founder of LILI, and a proud: El Pasoan, Mexican, American, Mayan, wife, daughter, and sister. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with her Bachelors and Masters of Science in Social Work.
“I founded LILI because I know that when latinas get in a room together, amazing things happen. As someone who was raised in a predominantly Latinx city, I had the privilege of being surrounded by my people on a daily basis. However, when I came to UT as an undergrad, I experienced culture shock. I felt that there was nobody that looked like me and could not understand what I was experiencing. I felt completely lost, and it was not until I was able to connect with other Latinas on campus, that I realized what I was missing. I don’t want any other student to feel alone and lost.”
Mikaéla (Mika) Romo-Ortega
Mikaéla (Mika) Romo-Ortega is a co-founder of LILI and is from San Antonio, Texas. She graduated from Saint Louis University with her bachelor’s degree in Urban Education. After graduation, she moved to Austin to start her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction at The University of Texas at Austin. Mika is one of five siblings who all live in San Antonio. She is a Spurs fan through and through.
“Growing up in San Antonio, a city whose population is overwhelmingly Latinx, I was not entirely confronted with what it was like to be considered “different” until I moved away for college. I attended a Saint Louis University (SLU) in St. Louis, Missouri. It was the furthest I had ever been from my family. The vast majority of students were White and from affluent socioeconomic backgrounds. I spent most of my time in college trying to figure out where I “fit in”. My time at SLU influenced a deep yearning to build intentional community in college spaces (especially PWI’s). My goal as a LILI co-founder is to develop intentional and informed programs for Latinx college students. As a Latina/Tejana/Chicana professional in higher education, I aim to contribute to the ever-changing field of student affairs with new practices and pedagogy to better serve the growing Latinx & Indigenous/Native people student population.”