LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — 12 women across Southern Nevada are being honored with the Women Inspiring Nevada award, a recognition by Vegas Inc. The award highlights the women who are leaders in industries like education, healthcare, hospitality, law and philanthropy.
“Oddly enough, the pandemic has been a blessing in disguise,” said Jennifer Inaba, special publications manager for Greenspun Media, a company that helps Vegas Inc. identify influential and extraordinary women in the valley.
“We’ve really been able to find some of these other folks that are often behind the scenes and just really doing the groundwork for everyone here in the community.”
One of the honorees is Erica Mosca, who is the founder and executive director of Leaders in Training. Mosca created a nonprofit organization to help students become the first in their families to go to college.
Mosca is a first-generation college graduate. She grew up in east Las Vegas and her parents immigrated from the Philippines. She attended Boston University. In 2008, she was working as a fifth-grade teacher when she saw her former students were in need of assistance in attaining a post-secondary education.
“I started leaders in training to ensure that people who look like me, could be in positions of power in the future, and to do this by ensuring that they foundationally got through the pipeline to college access,” said Mosca.
When the pandemic hit at the beginning of 2020, Mosca saw many of her students and their families were at a disadvantage compared to others at school. Leaders in Training stepped up and helped them remain competitive when applying to colleges and universities.
“We did foundational food drops so there was food every week, to laptops making sure everyone had technology at home,” Mosca said. “We were able to secure a national grant of $100,000 to give $500 to every family as just cash for what they needed right when the pandemic started.”
Mosca’s philanthropic efforts were noticed by Inaba and her team at Greenspun Media and Vegas Inc., and Mosca was added to the list of women they sought to honor for their 14th annual Women Inspiring Nevada awards.
“I’m really proud of being recognized for the work, because I think it shows the importance of being grassroots, working with the community, not doing the work to the community, and that long-lasting change is really the impact that we need to have,” Mosca said.
Mosca and her fellow honorees are featured in Las Vegas Weekly, and they will receive their award in the summer.
Learn more about the Women Inspiring Nevada event here.