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Women in Leadership Series

In a series of Q&A profiles, Carthage is highlighting women with leadership roles in student organizations. The women in this series have started their own campus organizations that have brought students together who share the same passions and goals for their future. These women are an inspiration to the Carthage community, and their leadership and drive is deserving of recognition.

Lizeth Brito ?23 Lizeth Brito ’23 Lizeth Brito ’23, YES

Youth Empowered in the Struggle (YES) is the student component of Voces de la Frontera, an organization created to raise awareness and encourage change for undocumented individuals. Lizeth Brito ’23 became the YES organizer for Carthage in 2021 to bring more voices to a cause she is passionate about.

What inspired you to bring YES to Carthage?

Lizeth: “I got involved with Youth Empowered in The Struggle (YES) my freshman year of high school. Many student members such as myself, are directly affected by many of the issues that YES and Voces advocate for. Through YES, I gained leadership skills and the confidence to achieve my dreams. After serving as chair of the Civic Engagement Committee at Voces, I knew bringing this organization to Carthage would help connect and empower other students.”

Have you always seen yourself as a leader?

Lizeth: “Not necessarily. In high school, I was part of a core group of student leaders at Horlick High, but I lacked the confidence to speak in public like others in the group. I was afraid to step up and share my story. I’ve found this to be common with many other first-generation Mexican American students like myself. YES was the first place that made me gain friendships and mentors that supported me in finding my voice.”

What has been the most exciting part about running your club?

Lizeth: “The most exciting part about organizing at Carthage was seeing students participate in marches for the first time. We first took our club members to D.C. to be part of a nationwide march and, later that year, to our annual May Day march. When you’re there, you know you’re contributing to something greater. Our marches are an excellent way for students at Carthage to connect with other YES chapters around Wisconsin.”

What has been the most rewarding part of running your club?

Lizeth: “My goal was always to empower and motivate students. It has been extremely rewarding to hear about the way I have made an impact on students’ lives. Joining YES has motivated them to be a more involved student and member of the Carthage and surrounding communities.”

How did you balance school, a student job, social life, other activities, and leadership?

Lizeth: “It took work to balance the multiple responsibilities and activities I was involved in. I started prioritizing the activities that I truly enjoyed and began cultivating some beautiful friendships with others with similar interests. I realized that cutting activities that didn’t serve me or align with my goals was crucial in avoiding burnout.”

What advice would you give to anyone looking to start their own club?

Lizeth: “If you feel something is missing at Carthage, you can start a club to fill that void! I can assure you that others probably feel the same way and would love to join your club! If you are willing to do the work to get it started, the application is fairly simple. I recommend getting in contact with a faculty advisor who is willing to be supportive and attend most meetings. It will make a difference!”