Latina Army
P.O. Box 713
c/o Cynthia Toscano-Lopez
Shelton CT 06484
Contact Information
Address P.O. Box 713
c/o Cynthia Toscano-Lopez
Shelton, CT 06484-
Telephone (203) 508-9146 x
Fax 203-508-9146
Web and Social Media
Our mission is to celebrate and empower young Latinas by providing inspirational role models and introducing powerful life skills for personal excellence
The Latina A.R.M.Y. (TLA) strives to provide young Latinas and all girls with hands-on forms of self expression and resources to help them cope with problems and work toward solutions. Upon completing our program, we expect participants will feel empowered and equipped to pursue their life’s dreams. Demand and support for unique workshops has led to an exploratory evaluation and resulting expansion of our program model.  Currently we are piloting our newly expanded program model "La Mariposa" (The Butterfly) and we anticipate its national launch in June of 2014.   
At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 2009
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
CEO/Executive Director Nancy Roldan Johnson
Board Chair Eliana Nunez
Board Chair Company Affiliation Cigna Corporation
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses Bar Graph - All Years
Our mission is to celebrate and empower young Latinas by providing inspirational role models and introducing powerful life skills for personal excellence
The Latina A.R.M.Y. (TLA) strives to provide young Latinas and all girls with hands-on forms of self expression and resources to help them cope with problems and work toward solutions. Upon completing our program, we expect participants will feel empowered and equipped to pursue their life’s dreams. Demand and support for unique workshops has led to an exploratory evaluation and resulting expansion of our program model.  Currently we are piloting our newly expanded program model "La Mariposa" (The Butterfly) and we anticipate its national launch in June of 2014.   

The Latina A.R.M.Y., Inc. was established as a volunteer based nonprofit organization in 2008 in response to the crisis state of young Latinas in the United States. According to statistics: Young Latinas have the highest attempted suicide rate of any US demographic – 1 in 7 tries to end her life and only 58% of Latinas graduate from high school. They have the highest female drop-out rate in the nation and 53% become pregnant or mothers before the age of 20.

Young Latinas are the fastest growing demographic in the US; according to the Pew Research Center* “the Latino population, already the nation's largest minority group, will triple in size and will account for most of the nation's population growth from 2005 through 2050. Hispanics will make up 29% of the U.S. population in 2050, compared with 14% in 2005.”

* U.S. Population Projections: 2005-2050 by Jeffrey Passel and D'Vera John, Pew Research Center February 11, 2008

Shocked and disappointed that very little was being said or done to address these issues, founders Nancy Roldán Johnson and Carmen Marcano-Davis came together to create an effective program that helps young Latinas to make better choices and to become their own advocates. They realized that accomplished Latinas living in the United States are in a unique position to deliver a message of inspiration and hope to these young girls. 

Although the Latina A.R.M.Y.'s goal is to reach one million young Latinas, today the organization works with Latinas and caring non-Latinas to provide its Journey to Empowerment program to all girls. Workshops have been conducted throughout the state of Connecticut, in the Bronx and Staten Island, New York, as well as St. Louis, Missouri. Today, our program focuses on serving girls in the city of New Haven, Connecticut where we are developing a scalable model.   

In 2012-2013, TLA received a generous 2-year grant from Hispanics in Philanthropy's Collaborative for Strong Latino Communities to strengthen our program model and ensure girls bond with school, develop pro-social norms and achieve a deeper sense of self. The result is our newly expanded program model, La Mariposa/The Butterfly. In June 2013, TLA delivered its first facilitator training to engage individuals to deliver our expanded workshop to girls throughout CT. The program is built on the foundational principals of effective programming for girls using a relational, trauma-informed, and strengths-based approach throughout the workshops. In addition, workshop facilitation methods and session activities were aligned with additional gender responsive, culturally competent and effective program elements. We also expanded the sessions offered to accommodate programmatic changes from the original two sessions to eight. This expansion allows girls more time to bond with one another, with the facilitators, and to naturally integrate the skills into their daily lives. The program is currently being evaluated to ensure facilitators were provided adequate training and the program is delivered as intended and with fidelity. This work will continue through the early part of 2014 and will be prepared for distribution thereafter.

In 2013, Eliana Nunez, who is employed at Cigna, joined our Board of Directors. She brings strong project management and health knowledge to our evolving organization. Rosalinda Garcia also joined our board in 2013. A native of the Texas-Mexico border region, Rosalinda is an Assistant Dean at Yale College and Director of Yale's Latino Cultural Center. Nancy Roldan Johnson, TLA's creator/executive director, transitioned from her role to serve as a board director. She supports the organization’s communications, technology/social media activities.

In February 2014, TLA hired a consultant to help develop a new strategic plan, to be completed in June.


The Latina A.R.M.Y. seeks support in the following areas:

  1. We seek to continue to build our board of directors by identifying and recruiting candidates that are strongly committed to our mission, have nonprofit experience and/or board experience, and have the skills and competencies to continue to strengthen our organization.
  2. The Latina A.R.M.Y. is actively seeking to partner with girl-serving programs and other key partners who are interested in receiving training to facilitate La Mariposa groups.  We are also searching for qualified individuals to provide facilitator trainings in the near future.   
  3. General operating support for salaries and overhead expenses as part of the capacity and sustainability planning.  ($30,000)
CEO Statement

The Latina A.R.M.Y. believes that all youth can succeed if they are given the support and the positive examples to help them make wise choices. As a volunteer and passion-driven organization, we want to make sure our youth have access to everyday role models they can learn from and aspire to be like.

Our La Mariposa/The Butterfly Program has a three-fold approach:

  1. Providing powerful role models
  2. Teaching the Four "Life Tools" for Success
  3. Involving Caring Community Partners

We introduce girls to caring, everyday role models for inspiration. Our facilitators are accomplished role models who play an important role in the effectiveness of our workshops. They are women who have powerful stories to share, as they themselves have decidedly faced difficult challenges - despite the odds- so that they may lead a better quality of life and add value to society. Stories are an effective way of connecting to others. Through our stories and exercises, our program can help address a current issue or an unhealthy trend a group may be experiencing. Because our creative approach is delivered by women who represent our participant's culture, there is a connection that helps girls relate to and internalize the lessons.

Thank you for your support!
Board Chair Statement

The Latina A.R.M.Y. is currently on a growth trajectory. However, we have several challenges to address including building our organization in order to have paid staff to effectively carry out our mission. Given the challenging economic climate, we are being creative in the way that we raise funding to deliver our program by eliminating smaller scale fundraising efforts and concentrating our time and energy on signature events and targeted fundraisers to engage current donors and attract new supporters.

I chose to join the board of The Latina A.R.M.Y. because I want to serve as a positive role model to struggling Latinas so that they can realize their full potential. In order to address the many troubling issues facing young Latinas I choose to be part of the solution by joining an organization dedicated to helping girls to overcome their challenges.
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Youth Development / Youth Development Programs
Secondary Organization Category Education /
Areas Served
New Haven
State wide
Our traditional program, Journey to Empowerment, is a workshop series for girls and teens. Individually proven techniques for success, these are hands on workshops where participants are givent the time, space and materials to learn life long skills that can help her identify and work to reach her goals.  In particular, our program teaches the following skills (JARS): Journaling for self-awareness, creating positive Affirmations, establishing personal Rules for healthy boundaries, and Setting goals which helps each girl reach milestones.  Our volunteers add to the effectiveness of these workshops by sharing their personal stories of lessons and success. 
We are currently piloting our newly expanded 8 week program model La Mariposa/The Butterfly which builds on our traditional model.  A process evaluation is currently underway and the resulting findings and pre and post evaluations will help us finalize the program for final distribution in June 2014.  
Population Served Hispanic, Latino Heritage / Adolescents Only (13-19 years) /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.
By the end of each program series, we hope:  
100% of participants have at least one positive role model with whom they connect 
100% of participants believe they will graduate high school on time
100% of particpants believe they will complete college or earn a professional certification 
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state. Our long-term goal: 100% of girls who complete our program(s) graduate college or earn a professional certification.  They live healthy and productive lives.  
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact. The Latina A.R.M.Y., Inc. uses pre and post workshop assessements to gain insight as to: 1)how well we served our girls, and 2) the difference our progam made in their lives.  Where applicable, we seek feedback from counselors and invite girls to provide testimonials.  In the future we will incorporate focus groups and a tracking survey for program graduates to further explore program impact and areas for improvement.  
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.
100% of girls who participate in our workshops say they would recommend it to a friend.
98% say our Journey to Empowerment program has helped them feel better about their future and improved their self-esteem.
Many have shared how our program helped them feel beautiful, special and powerful.
Program Comments
CEO Comments
After five years of operating as a solely volunteer-driven nonprofit organization, we acknowledge that in order to grow and further develop our programming we must fortify our organization's infrastructure and secure an operating budget that will support our organizational long term strategic plans. A comprehensive fund development plan is being executed to secure funding from a diverse and stable pool of resources that were identified during two consecutive board retreats.
Although the Latino population in CT and in the U.S. is steadily growing, there continues to be a need to have relevant programs and services to effectively serve this segment of our population. The Latina A.R.M.Y. is uniquely positioned to bring a positive, inspiring and motivational program to have a positive impact on young Latinas.
I believe being a newer, grassroots organization one of our challenges has been finding high quality volunteers that have the time to commit to this working board. We find many high quality individuals with the passion to serve our organization, however it is sometimes difficult for them to find the time needed to move the organization forward. As a board, we have decided to take a proactive approach in board recruitment and reaching out to individuals we believe will bring passion, talents and time to enrich the board and the organization. I myself had to reduce my commitments to other organizations knowing that being a part of the Latina A.R.M.Y. was something I am truly passionate about and that it was going to take time for me to give it the attention it deserves. With today’s troubling statistics showcasing the challenges Latino youth are facing, I strongly believe our work is critical in helping turn the curve for our future.
Deborah Sabia, Board co-Chair


CEO/Executive Director
Nancy Roldan Johnson
Term Start Mar 2008
Nancy Roldán Johnson was born and raised in Bridgeport, CT. She worked her way through school to become the first in her extended family of twenty-one aunts and uncles and forty-nine cousins to attend and graduate college.  She is an alumnus of Housatonic Community College and Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, CT where she earned, with honors, a B.S. in International Business Management.  

Nancy has gained success in the fields of operations planning and business process management often becoming among the youngest and first Latinas to climb the corporate ranks in organizations such as: BIC Corporation, Playtex Apparel, and Warnaco, Inc.  After thirteen dedicated years in the corporate world, Nancy decided to stay home to raise her children. 

Ready to give back to her community, it was during her time at home that she created The Latina A.R.M.Y., Inc., (Accomplished Role models Motivating Young Latina).  For her work with The Latina A.R.M.Y., Inc., Nancy has been honored as a 2008 Woman of Distinction by the Connecticut Girl Scouts of the USA, she was featured in the November 2008 issue of O, the Oprah Magazine as a winner of their first-ever Women Rule! leadership contest as a future leader who is changing the world, and she was named winner of the 2009 New England Region Soroptimist International “Woman Making a Difference” award, an honor given at the international level to women such as Princess Diana, former child actor and U.S. Ambassador Shirley Temple Black, and Philippines President Corazon Aquino. 

Nancy is passionate about her work as an activist and travels extensively to introduce The Latina A.R.M.Y. to other communities and to teach people how they can begin to effect positive change.

Number of Full Time Staff 1
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 40
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate 100%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 0
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 1
Unspecified 0
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
The Latina A.R.M.Y. continues to seek collaborative partners in an effort to pool resources for greater positive outcomes.  The organization has collaborated with Girl Scouts of CT to offer extended in-school workshop programs to girls.  The Latina A.R.M.Y. has also working with Arte, Inc. on the SLATE after school two-year program in Fair Haven and Columbus middle schools.   
Women of DistinctionGirl Scouts of CT2008
Women Rule! LeaderO, the Oprah Magazine2008
Woman Making a Difference Regional WinnerSoroptimist International2009
Community Service AwardLPRAC & CALP2010
Excellence In the Community AwardThe Greater New Haven Association of Volunteer Administrators2011
Annual Destino Awards Not for ProfitNational Society of Hispanic MBAs2011
Youth Services AwardThe Connecticut Institute for Community Development (CICD) Puerto Rican Parade, Inc.2011
CEO Comments The Latina A.R.M.Y. has struggled to recruit and mobilize volunteers to carry out its mission. Additionally, since we are meeting a real need in the community, demand for our core program has increased. Thanks to the support of our foundations, The Latina A.R.M.Y. has been able to evaluate its program and implement enhancements that will result in a program that will be distributed throughout Connecticut beginning June 2014.  This change in our programmatic structure and my transition as Executive Director to board member while I live abroad has presented a challenge to our management.  Since its inception, I have served as Executive Director mainly on a pro bono basis.  However, in order to establish the Latina A.R.M.Y. as a sustainable organization, it is critical to hire a paid Executive Director who can carry out our mission.  We have begun working with a consultant and community leaders to help us develop a strategic plan, which includes the hiring of an executive director. Our board of directors is committed to this process and to the success our organization.  We are deeply thankful to our supporters for their continued trust and support.    
Board Chair
Eliana Nunez
Company Affiliation Cigna Corporation
Term July 2013 to July 2017
Board of Directors
Rosalinda Garcia Yale College
Nancy Roldan Johnson Volunteer
Deborah Sabia Girl Scouts of Connecticut
Cynthia Toscano-Lopez Pitney Bowes
David Vargas Pitney Bowes
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 0
Hispanic/Latino 6
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 1
Female 5
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 80%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 20%
Risk Management Provisions
Directors and Officers Policy
Board Co-Chair
Deborah Sabia
Company Affiliation Girl Scouts of Connecticut
Term Jan 2011 to Mar 2014
Standing Committees
Board Governance
Additional Board/s Members and Affiliations
Craig Johnson Pernod-Ricard USA
Dr. Carmen Marcano-Davis co-founder
CEO Comments
The Latina A.R.M.Y. is seeking to build a strong board of directors in order to bring our organization to the next level in its development. We believe that our nonprofit offers great opportunities to have visionary and results oriented leaders bring their gifts and talents to bear on the many challenges that young Latinas are facing.
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01 2014
Fiscal Year End Dec 31 2014
Projected Revenue $73,531.00
Projected Expenses $64,481.00
Spending Policy N/A
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
Other Documents
Other Documents 3
TLA Press Kit2012View
TLA Annual Report2011View
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201220112010
Total Assets--$27,961--
Current Assets--$27,500--
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities------
Total Net Assets--$27,500--
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201220112010
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountWalmart $5,050Hispanics in Philanthropy $14,771--
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountThe Community Fund for Women & Girls $5,000WalMart $3,700--
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountAnnie E. Casey $2,500Young Women's League of New Canaan $2,000--
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
CEO Comments
Due to income amount over the past three years, the Latina A.R.M.Y. has not been required to complete a 990 report by the IRS.
Foundation Staff Comments This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Some financial information from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved has been inputted by Foundation staff. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. A more complete picture of the organization’s finances can be obtained by viewing the attached 990s and audited financials. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.
Address P.O. Box 713
c/o Cynthia Toscano-Lopez
Shelton, CT 06484
Primary Phone 203 508-9146
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Nancy Roldan Johnson
Board Chair Eliana Nunez
Board Chair Company Affiliation Cigna Corporation


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