By Samantha Paradiso
Veronica Penaloza Wolfermann graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.S. in Advertising, while also receiving her B.A. in Journalism from La Universidad Catolica Andres Bello in Caracas, Venezuela. Aside from her studies, Wolfermann has received numerous accolades, including Austin Inno’s 25 Under 25 and her 2014 Harvard Diplomacy Award.
At Facebook, Wolfermann manages 25 nonprofit partners and consults product strategy. Her role as an Account Manager for Nonprofits at Facebook helps her work closely with these organizations, actively helping them fundraise to support their operations and spread awareness of their causes. Some of her most notable work includes her involvement with charity: water, a nonprofit centered on providing drinking water to people in developing nations. Her engagement contributed to raising enough money to give 15,666 people clean water for over a year.
In her free time, Wolfermann manages her own coffee business, Frontino Coffee, as its CEO and cofounder. Latinitas is grateful for all of Wolfermann’s hard work and contributions, and we can’t wait to see what great things she’ll do serving on our board!
What is your main interest and/or motivation for serving on the Latinitas Board?
It took a series of lucky events for me to end up in tech, but the need to add diversity in powerful companies can have serious repercussions. Today is the ad boycott from allowing hate against critical communities, tomorrow it might be that VR headsets are not unlocking because they do not recognize brown faces. I have a responsibility as a latina in Facebook, and one of the few who are truly proud and vocal about their immigrant heritage, to give back to my community. It should not be an act of luck to get representation in tech. It is a vocal and active commitment that starts early through programs like Latinitas.
In your opinion, what are the most important issues facing Latina youth today?
Confidence. Impostor syndrome starts young for us, and while this painful issue is a result of lack of representation in media, systematic racism and terrible regulation, we can stop it while young and enable chicas with critical skills and experiences to believe in their relentless #chicapower.
Responses have been lightly edited for brevity and clarity.