Eva Longoria Is Empowering the Latina Community Through Education

Most Popular

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Most Popular

Who: Eva Longoria, Founder, Eva Longoria Foundation, and Cofounder, Eva's Hero's

Day Job: Actress.

Pomp and Circumstance: Recently, Eva Longoria, 39, presided over a graduation ceremony of sorts: presenting diplomas to parents in Compton, California, who'd passed a nine-week course on improving their children's education.

The Big Picture: It's all part of Longoria's plan to close the education gap plaguing Latinas, and for those who participate, it is life-changing: 90 percent of kids with parents who finish the program graduate from high school. Many of the parents themselves never made it through grade school.

Proof Positive: "I talked to a parent with a third-grade education who was crying because she had never had a certificate in her life," Longoria recalls. "Now she's taking a class at a community college—and that model behavior can be emulated by her daughter: If Mom can do it, I can do it, too."

Extra Credit: She has advocated for immigration reform and children with special needs; started a political action committee; and created a program that provides training, mentoring, and seed capital to Latina business owners. "The people I want to help most are women," she says, "because they are the center of our societies."

Get Involved: evalongoriafoundation.org/donate or donate to Padres Contra El Cancer, Eva Longoria Foundation, or Eva's Heroes

Related: 19 Other Women Who Are Changing the World

Photo via Peter Hapak

More from Marie Claire:
Culture
Share
"We Just Kept Running and Running": A 17-Year-Old Fan Opens Up About the Manchester Concert Bombing
Culture
Share
Apparently Marilyn Monroe Was the Inspiration for 'Twin Peaks'
Prince William, Kate Middleton
Culture
Share
Prince William Pays Tribute to the Manchester Attack Victims and Their Families in a Statement
Culture
Share
After Bombing, Manchester Residents Show Us All the Meaning of Unity
Culture
Share
This Woman Cared for 50 Children at a Hotel Following the Manchester Attack
Culture
Share
'The Bachelorette' Is a Necessary Shift in the Conversation About Black Womanhood
Culture
Share
An Explosion at an Ariana Grande Concert Leaves 19 Dead and 50 Injured
Culture
Share
New 'Game of Thrones' Photos Tease a War Even Bigger Than the Battle of the Bastards
Culture
Share
Why It's Such a Big Deal That 'The White Princess' Features People of Color in Tudor England
Culture
Share
Exclusive: Watch The 'Love Actually' Cast Be Adorable While Naming Their Favorite Romantic Movie