Pictured: Asha Nahar; Galo Rodriguez, President and CEO of The Village; Jeanmarie Cooper, Girl Within Luncheon chair and member of The Village’s Board; Dr. Estela López, 2019 Woman of the Year; Phoebe Rotelli, 2019 Young Woman of the Year; Nekita Waller, CT State Troubadour; Beth Costello, CFO of The Hartford (presenting sponsor) and member of The Village’s board; and Rachel Lutzker, Fox 61 and event emcee.
The Girl Within Luncheon celebrates over 120 years of helping young women and girls who have experienced abuse and neglect make sustainable progress toward recovery and independence.
Funds raised through the Girl Within Luncheon support early intervention, educational and empowerment programs for young women, girls and their families.
Join us to gather inspiration from our 2019 Woman of the Year and first-ever Young Woman of the Year, and hear the story of a young woman who found hope and healing through The Village’s Intensive Community Program.
2019 Woman of the Year
Dr. Estela López
Social justice advocate and community leader
Dr. Estela López, social justice advocate and former teacher and administrator, has devoted herself to uplifting underrepresented student populations, especially Latino students, students of color, first-generation students, and young women. She has provided vital leadership to the Connecticut State Board of Education, advocating for policies that address the education gap among minority children. She also serves on the Board of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, with which she has been involved for many years, including as chair of the Latino Endowment Fund. Previously, she was on the Board of the Aurora Foundation for Women and Girls. At the national level, she served as a senior associate volunteer with Excelencia in Education. Over the years, Estela has personally mentored more than 30 women in achieving their goals and dreams.
2019 Young Woman of the Year
Phoebe Rotelli is a 13-year-old philanthropist and 8th grade student at Smith Middle School in Glastonbury. After learning about social awareness in elementary school, she developed a passion for giving back to those in need. Over the past five years, Phoebe has collected and donated 4,200 pounds (over 2 tons!) of clothing to the Second Chance Shop of Glastonbury, with all proceeds benefiting The Village. She enjoys engaging with her community and peers each year to help make her annual clothing drive a success.
Jeanmarie Cooper, chair
2018 Girl Within Luncheon
We are so grateful to the over 500 guests who attended our 2018 Girl Within Luncheon on Friday, December 7, and to our sponsors – especially our presenting sponsor, The Hartford. Because of their generosity, we raised over $190,000 to support The Village’s life-changing programs for at-risk girls and young women in the Greater Hartford area.