The National MANA 2022 Hermana Conference took place July 18-22 in Washington D.C. with the theme Lead, Serve, Educate and Advocate. It featured Latina Leaders, advocacy issues of the day, and opportunities to engage. In addition, the following Awards were presented: Chapter of the Year Award, Hermanitas Program of the Year Award, and MANA Volunteer of the Year Award. Martha Cardenas-Singh received the MANA Volunteer of the Year by MANA National, making history for the MANA de Imperial Valley Chapter.
It is the first time a chapter member is awarded this national recognition. Martha Cardenas Singh has been a MANA de Imperial Valley Board Member since 2013 and has served as President, Vice President, Hermanitas Coordinator, and is currently the Scholarship Coordinator.
“It is truly humbling to receive the Volunteer of the Year Award and I want to thank MANA National for this honor. The MANA de Imperial Valley Board is committed to supporting women, young ladies and educational programs for our youth and we do this rewarding work for the betterment of our community. Having our efforts recognized on a National level is truly a blessing and the icing on the cake,” stated Martha Cardenas-Singh.
Cardenas-Singh was recognized for her volunteer work and passionate activism and investment in local youth. In 2022 Cardenas Singh was instrumental in the organization of two local conferences offered for women and young ladies by MANA in partnership with Imperial Valley College, SDSU-Imperial Valley, and local organizations. In addition, she led a project with the local MANA Chapter to support local schools interested in fomenting STEM projects for local students.
Martha Cardenas Singh was recognized for leading the following projects for MANA de Imperial Valley Chapter:
Science Seekers – this project supported students with opportunities for hands-on, inquiry-based learning about science and scientific careers. The Science Seeker Grant provided twenty (22) classrooms with up to $1,000 worth of supplies as part of the 2022 Science Seekers STEM (Science, Technology, Engineer, and Math) Grant.
2022 Women’s Empowerment Conference – Women Owning their Futures
The event showcased panel discussions on the accomplishments of local women in business, elected office, health and advocacy. Attendees connected with like-minded women received insights on the importance of civic engagement and had access to resources to optimize their professional development.
2022 EmpowerHER Conference – The conference gathered young women of the Imperial Valley for an opportunity to learn about themselves, and future careers, and meet other like-minded young ladies.
Martha serves as the Assistant Director for the University of California San Diego- California Student Opportunities and Access program, allowing her to encourage all students to access higher education and/or a career technical pathway.
While working as a community advocate, she has nurtured a deep commitment to assisting students in navigating a higher education pathway and fights for social and economic justice.
She serves as Treasurer for ARC Imperial Valley, which assists individuals with intellectual challenges to achieve their potential through job training, case management, and employment. In addition, she serves as President of Soroptimist International of El Centro, providing opportunities to improve the lives of women and girls with access to education and training to achieve economic empowerment. She has been an advocate for over five years in providing education and prevention information on human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children. She is also Mayor Pro Tem for the City of El Centro.