reclaiming the word vaga.
redefining life on our own terms.
fearless, strong, resilient.
“According to Etimologias De Chile, the word “vaga” comes from the Latin word vagabundus, which gives us “vagabond,” meaning one without a home address, title-less individual, or one who frequently moves from place to place (Diccionario Etimologico Castellano en Línea, 2021).
Her Vaga Bound Roots has reclaimed this label and identifier to holistically represent the realities and potential of BIPOC women as fearless, strong, and resilient. A vaga is the most courageous community member who disrupts the status quo, finds motivation despite constant discouragement, continues to fight, asks for support, and celebrates her heritage in an impactful manner. Vagas understand that a sustainable community of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color requires the undoing of long-standing, toxic traditions perpetuated by patriarchy and white supremacy.”
- Excerpt from application essay
Mary Avilez, 2022 Scholarship Recipient
Supports and empower BIPOC women in academia and beyond by increasing access, supporting retention, and celebrating their resiliency in academia and beyond
HVBR also houses the Vagas With Degrees Scholarship Foundation which financially empowers BIPOC women by providing scholarships and financial resources to support their academic endeavors
women based and bipoc led
Our organization captures a unique experience for Latinx/Hispanic girls and overall women of color. The word “Vaga” portrays an experience that captures the intersectionality of culture, social constructions, and gender normative behavior. This word has the unique ability to establish community by drawing on our ability to connect with fundamental components of our identity.
HVBR is a grassroots movement that is women-based and BIPOC led. Core practices are based on efforts to empower women by addressing challenges that influence the first-generation experience in higher education. With these thoughts in mind, we have executed free workshops on college readiness and mental health amongst other initiatives.
Our staff’s educational and professional background uniquely position our organization to excel in the delivery of social services at the community level. Collectively, our board of directors has expertise in the delivery of mental health services, higher education, event management, and grant writing and reporting. Furthermore, our board resides in the east and west coast, supporting our ability to disperse messaging and services across the nation.
the story behind the inspiration
Her Vaga Bound Roots first began as a personal blog to document the founder's experience as a first generation Mexican-American moving from The San Fernando Valley (California) to New York City to pursue a Masters Degree at New York University. She was the first in her family to move out-of-state and pursue a masters, and wanted to serve as inspiration for others, particularly women of color, to reclaim their power and embrace their inner VAGA: a fearless, strong and resilient woman, and to go out into the world, follow their dreams, and trailblaze their own paths. In short, she wanted to be the role model she wish she had growing up.
In 2018, Her Vaga Bound Roots was officially founded as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Since then, it has grown to be what it is today- an organization that increases access by hosting college readiness workshops led by experts in in the field who provide guidance around college applications, personal statements, or FAFSA applications, supports retention by way of hosting workshops that are geared towards addressing challenges that often come with attending a higher educational institutions for example addressing mental health concerns, or providing financial resources like our scholarships to help pay for their academic endeavors. And lastly celebrates their resiliency and amplifying their voices via our annual graduate series: Vagas With Degrees
HER: Representative of every woman
VAGA: fearless, strong and resilient
BOUND: a woman bound to greatness
ROOTS: to remain grounded & never forget where you came from