Annual conference for men promotes entrepreneurial skills


Naila Salguero

Guest Speaker Ignacio Rojas spoke about education during the “Fortaleciendo al Hombre” conference on Oct. 13. Rojas was one of four speakers, including himself, to speak at the event which provided tools for men to strengthen their relationship with their family.

Naila Salguero, Staff Writer

The Department of Adult Education and Diversity Program hosted its fourth annual “Fortaleciendo al Hombre” held in the Student Center on Oct. 13.

The conference provided insights and ideas to involve and strengthen men with their families. This year focused on “Micro Entrepreneur,” along with areas focusing on health, education and civics.

The conference was a free event and open to the public, specifically for men. It also had guest speakers sharing their stories about health facilitated by Glenn Canales, education with Ignacio Rojas and civics by Rigoberto Reyes along with keynote speaker Moises Perez-Martinez.

The first men’s conference was held in 2015 with 120 men in attendance. Community Relations Coordinator Gloria Del La Torre expressed how many men felt “appreciated that they too are being thought of.”

The following conferences became bigger as word got out from other men and women who share their experiences, more people became interested in going.

This year 207 men reserved, and throughout the whole conference everyone seemed inspired.

Guest Jorge De La Torre attended his first men’s conference and enjoyed it so much that he says he would come back again.

De La Torre said, “Time is flying by and I haven’t started my own business, ss the main topic is to build a business of your own or to expand one.

“I always had it in my mind to start my own, but it was just a thought. I never had the right resources to be guided to the right path, maybe if I was younger things would have been different,” said Del La Torre.

He continued saying, “I would be more than happy to go back next year and invite more people.”

Founder of the conference Daryabuth Martinez said she would get calls from the district saying how they heard amazing things about the conference.

It first began with the women’s conference; Martinez started the first ever conference back in 2014.

Martinez has been working at Cerritos College for 20 years; with her experiences the idea of starting a conference first came about when many women would come up to her and talk about their issues and struggles. With so many, it was difficult for her to help them one by one.

Some of the struggles these women were facing were being unable to take classes, being single mothers, and some being undocumented.

Martinez also realized how difficult it was not only for her struggles, but also for others to have an education because of the difficulty in the language. There are many women who hold back or feel discouraged to pursue an education.

One day she decided to come up with an event where women could feel comfortable among other women, and that’s when the women’s conference first established.

Each year they have different themes, the first year was how education is important to women.

Martinez had an idea “Maybe I can help the men?” She continues, “Maybe we can empower men like we do for the women?”