Angeles González (BA '93)

A portrait of Angeles Gonzalez smiling in her home.

As a Texas Woman’s University transfer student in the 1990s, Angeles González spotted a magazine picture of several college women all wearing matching shirts with Greek letters on them – and the women all looked like her. The sorority was at a college in Pennsylvania, she remembered, and she reached out to the organization to see about establishing a new chapter at TWU.

It turned out to be too much of a challenge for the Pennsylvania group to launch a new chapter thousands of miles away in Texas, so González and a handful of Latina friends did the next best thing.

They started their own.

Drawing their inspiration from the Pennsylvania sorority, González and her friends chose the Greek letters Sigma Lambda Alpha, which for them translated to Señoritas Latinas en Acción, or Latina Women in Action. “We did a lot of work establishing goals and researching activities,” González recalled. “We knew we wanted to be a group that celebrated our culture and did a lot of good for the community.”

They are all young women who want to stay connected to their culture and their families – and at the same time better themselves... If it wasn’t for SLA, a lot of us wouldn’t have come out of our shells and taken on leadership roles.

The sisterhood was a resounding success. The young women bonded and forged a tight, supportive community. As they pushed one another to have academic success, they had time to socialize, too.

“My fondest memory of TWU is midnight breakfast. I liked how we took a break from studying and walked over to the cafeteria late at night for fun and food. Some of the student groups even danced out there – it was like a party,” she said.

Since the chapter was founded in 1992, the sorority has raised its profile by supporting charities, such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and celebrating the culture of its members.

And the sorority has added seven chapters at other universities in Oklahoma and Texas, including TCU, Midwestern State University and University of Texas institutions in Austin, Dallas and San Antonio. There’s a common thread among members from all chapters, González said: “They are all young women who want to stay connected to their culture and their families – and at the same time better themselves.”

When they finish their college experience, the young women are poised to become leaders. González herself is a prime example. She moved with her family at the age of 9 from Zacatecas, Mexico to Texas. As a first-generation college student, she admittedly was introverted and shy. But being in a leadership position in SLA changed that.

My fondest memory of TWU is midnight breakfast. I liked how we took a break from studying and walked over to the cafeteria late at night for fun and food. Some of the student groups even danced out there – it was like a party.

Now in her ninth year as principal at Richard J. Wilson Elementary School in the Fort Worth Independent School District, she already has impacted thousands of young lives. González also serves as a mentor to new principals and future school administrators.

And each year when the school celebrates career day, González calls upon former members of the “Señoritas” sorority – among them entrepreneurs, educators and engineers – to inspire her newest crop of schoolchildren. “If it wasn’t for SLA, a lot of us wouldn’t have come out of our shells and taken on leadership roles,” she said.

Page last updated 4:10 PM, October 2, 2018