The Story behindElla
The story of ELLA begins with Lilly Travieso, who began playing sports at a young age. Over the years, she became passionate about playing softball and dreamed of playing the sport at a top university someday. Lilly embarked on a strenuous mental, physical, and academic journey to achieve her dream. However, along the way, she discovered the many obstacles and disparities faced by Latina athletes culturally and economically. With the help of her parents, Lilly received an award to play D1 Softball at Cornell University.
Lilly wants young Latina athletes like herself to have the same opportunities, but mostly, she wants all young female athletes to have the mentorship and support they need as they embark on their own athletic, academic, and professional journey. Lilly and her Mother, Patty, founded Empowering Leadership in Latina Athletes (ELLA) Sports Foundation with a mission to support young Latinas to become leaders of tomorrow through sports and academic excellence.
ELLA seeks to develop strong Latina leaders that will positively impact their communities while establishing their own legacy. The ELLA network provides young female athletes with opportunities to prepare themselves with college preparatory courses, high quality training, valuable networking, athletic and college mentorship, and exposure to leadership opportunities.
The Founder of ELLAElla
Lilly Travieso was always athletically inclined and played different sports from a very young age. Over the years, she became passionate about playing softball and aspired to play softball in a top university. By playing this sport, she was able to overcome personal challenges and achieve many milestones. She learned to become a leader in and out of the field and traveled throughout the United States and internationally, such as Cuba to play softball.
This sport also brought many challenges and adversities in her life. She personally experienced many inequalities within the softball community, directly tie to the economic status of a player. She was raised in a middle class household but had to revert to raising funds to cover some of her softball travel expenses. She often wondered how anyone else with the same passion and aspiration she had would make this happen. Lilly is humble and thankful for all these opportunities that have come her way and would like young Latina girls like herself to have the same opportunities. Therefore, the idea and vision of ELLA was created.