Hamline News

She’s Perfect for the LEAD

Senior business major Jacqueli Yaurincela Bonete will attend the Latina Economic & Development Conference (LEAD) at Harvard University Friday and Saturday, February 8 and 9, 2019.

“I am excited. I used to watch Maria Elena Salinas, the Univision reporter and personality, on TV,” Yaurincela Bonete said. “and she’s the keynote speaker.”

The annual LEAD conference began in 2009 to promote the development of a network of professional Latina women in a conference format combined with mentoring opportunities.

Yaurincela Bonete is not sure how she came to be invited to LEAD. 

“A lot of people have guided me,” she said.

Perhaps it was Richfield, Minn. mayor Maria Regan Gonzalez, who Jacqueli campaigned for. It might also have been one of the contacts she made during her work at Minneapolis South High School organizing a student group and conference. Or, perhaps it was one of the people she met during her experiences with El Colegio, a high school and youth development program for bilingual, bicultural students and their families. She served El Colegio both as a participant and later as a board member.

Norma Garces, the executive director of El Colegio, said Yaurincela Bonete “...is a persistent and relentless force. Humble yet proud. Culturally grounded. She embodies resiliency and leadership in her life as a Latina woman, wiser beyond her years.”

Indeed, Yaurincela Bonete is absolutely prepared to attend LEAD.

At Hamline she has served as the Secretary for Hispanic and Latino Organization (HALO), with the Hamline Undergraduate Student Congress (HUSC) as the Multicultural Alliance Representative, and was a Site Leader for Hamline's Catalyst Alternative Spring Break trips.

In 2016 she was invited to the White House by then President Obama’s Office of Women and Girls to attend a conference of “young women leading the way.” She is part of a Latinx student alliance that focuses on working with other Latinx college student organizations around Minnesota to organize and create a yearly conference that focuses on providing key essential leadership, networking, and financial skills for students. Yaurincela Bonete also worked throughout her time at Hamline and has two jobs right now.

In addition to her current work, service responsibilities and classes, Yaurincela Bonete is a Capitol Pathways intern through the Citizen’s League. In that role, she works for a lobbyist, scheduling appointments with legislators. On her first day she secured eight appointments out of a possible thirteen. She attributes her success to her networking skills.

“You have to get to know the right people,” she said.

Yaurincela Bonete knows how to connect with others and feels lucky to know so many who have helped her. She marvels that people she had worked with, such as U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar, are now in positions of power.

Reflecting on the accomplishments of people she knows, she said, “You never know who will be tomorrow’s leaders.”

That may be true, but if Yaurincela Bonete’s past is any indication of her future, she will will surely be among them.


Written by staff