Meet the Team
Ariana C. Allen
Founder & Editor-in-Chief
Ariana graduated from Loyola Marymount University in 2008 with her B.A. in Women’s Studies. As an undergraduate, Ariana was active in her sorority, Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc Alpha Beta Chapter, holding several leadership positions, including Vice President; She ran and won for a position as a Senator of ASLMU (Student Government); Greek Council Representative; and worked as a Special Projects Coordinator for the Chicano Latino Student Services department. In addition to her on-campus activities, Ariana interned with Latina Magazine and gaLAn Entertainment, where she nurtured her love of Latino media.
While in college, she was inspired by conversations with her friends about their struggles navigating the ins and out of college. Curious, Ariana decided to turn these experiences into a paper for her Feminist Methods class. Through interviews, surveys, and research, she discovered that it wasn’t just her friends who struggled; it was a wider spread issue than she imagined. Inspired to do something about it, Ariana combined her love for media and she decided to launch EDducatedLatina, as an online destination for college Latinas to turn for inspiration, community, and resources. She dreams of nurturing EDL into a multimedia
A New York native and proud Dominiriqueña (Dominican/Puerto Rican), Ariana currently lives in Inglewood with her awesome husband, Michael Allen. When she is not working on Educated Latina, she is busy fulfilling her role as Chapter Advisor to her sorority sisters at LMU. You can also find her reading (mysteries are her favorite), writing and catching up on her favorite shows. She is passionate about traveling, cruising in particular, and as a proclaimed Francophile dreams of going to Paris.
Natalie Torres Haddad, MPA
Partner & Financially Savvy Latina Contributor
Natalie is a financial literacy workshop facilitator, an Award Winning Author of Financially Savvy in 20 minutes for which she won the International Latino Book Awards 2016. Her mission is to uplift students everywhere. Natalie has extensive experience counseling minority and female owned businesses, founding her own widely known nonprofit, LA’s Prom Closet, at 26 years old. The winner of the National Magazine Minority Business Entrepreneur’s Who Rock 2016, she continues to work hard to help provide the resources her community needs.
She is One of the 4.1% of Hispanics holding a master’s degree in the United States, she is a first-generation college graduate with a Master’s of Public Administration from California State University Northridge and two undergraduate degrees from California State University Long Beach in Finance with an Emphasis in Real Estate and International Business, Natalie has lived in El Salvador, Mexico, Spain, and France, traveled to over 30 countries.
As an immigrant born in El Salvador and raised in Inglewood, CA, and became a citizen in her teens she was denied many resources that so many Latinas still face today in school. Growing up in Inglewood during the LA riots a community plagued with gang activity, and poor schools, Mrs. Torres was surrounded by those facing permanent or massive debt. Determined to be the exception, by age 24 bought her first property and has owned several rental properties since.
She partnered up with Educated Latina because of her struggles while in college and in graduate school forced to quit for a few months, and luckily thanks to her family and friends had the courage to continue to complete her graduate school. This gave her the purpose to help other women facing similar issues, offer solutions, and the resources to solve them.
She loves to dance, run, hike, cook and play with her two dogs and husband, Nader Haddad. She resides in Huntington Park, CA.
Dr. Sylvia Landaverde, Ed.D
Partner & Ask Dr. Syl Advice Columnist
Dr. Syl, also known as Sylvia Cristina Landaverde Rivas, grew up in the inner-city of Inglewood, California. Raised by Salvadoran immigrants, Sylvia attended the Inglewood Unified School District public school system. Upon graduating from Morningside High School, Sylvia got her bachelor’s of arts degree in sociology with a minor in women’s studies from California State University, Long Beach.
After working in the social services field for several years, she returned to school to get her master’s in public administration from California State University, Dominguez Hills. Once Sylvia got her master’s degree, she began school administration work as a human resources officer for a non-profit, special education private school in the South Bay area.
Recently, Sylvia attained her doctorate degree in educational leadership with a concentration in educational psychology. She wrote her dissertation on the growing gender gap among Latino students attaining a postsecondary education. In her study, she identified male college student experiences and retention issues in a college leadership program through a qualitative case analysis. Sylvia’s goal is to transition to higher education administration and continue her passion of helping minorities attain a postsecondary education.
Sylvia lives with her fiancee and two-year-old son and enjoys travel,volunteer work and spending time with her family.