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Eglantina Zingg on Giving Back

Eglantina Zingg on Giving Back

Born in Caracas and raised in the Amazons, Eglantina Zingg spends her time between Miami and New York. A multifaceted philanthropist with an impressive career in entertainment, she attended Yale University and the prestigious London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art (LAMDA). Unbeknownst to most, she also studied as a marine biologist. Eglantina is also the founder of Goleadoras, a non-profit organization in the US and Latin America that empowers girls through soccer and hosts her popular podcast, The Zingg on YouTube and other audio platforms.

The holidays are a time for giving and spreading the love, so we asked Eglantina to tell us more about her passion projects and her valuable tips on creating social impact.

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1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am the founder and president of Goleadoras, a social impact platform that empowers and builds confidence in at-risk girls through soccer. The organization also promotes their sense of solidarity, ambition, perseverance and overall wellbeing.

However, my career began –and continues— in the entertainment and fashion worlds. It began with my own show on MTV Latin America for a decade, followed by a presenter gig on the Latin American version of Project Runway and I also did runways in Milan, Paris, London, Tokyo and Madrid. I was also the global ambassador and image for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, Tag Heuer and Paco Rabanne.

2. Tell us more about Goleadoras.

Goleadoras is my passion. It´s about giving girls and teens a global platform in which they can develop their life´s potential. The idea was born in Venezuela, over ten years ago, when I was working with “Un Gol por La Paz” a collaboration with the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF).

Goleadoras has been endorsed by the Economy faculty of Columbia University and several other international agencies and it is rooted in the transformative power of soccer in young girls and adolescents. The program has had measurable impact in the places it has been implemented in, including the Queens County in New York—the most racially and socioeconomically diverse in the country and it is also being implemented in the Chocó region of Colombia—an area that faces great social challenges.

3. What is the most gratifying aspect of your job?

With Goleadoras, every time I receive the measurable impact studies on the program and I see the most important goals being accomplished, for example a lower school drop-out rate or fewer teenage pregnancies, I feel very proud. On the other side, I feel very happy when a brand I admire and who’s values are aligned with mine, trusts me to communicate those messages to consumers. I think that all these opportunities validate my journey, career and my way of connecting with an audience, and that makes me very proud. Also, my podcast format allows me to connect to the audiences in an honest and direct manner—getting all those messages on social media makes me so happy.

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4. What attracts you the most to the Silvia Tcherassi brand?

For starters, the fact that it’s a brand with purpose. Silvia’s work through the years with the UNICEF anti-mining campaign is nothing short of admirable and I think her message: More Art, Less Mines needs to be heard. Her commitment to social issues makes her transcend the fashion world. But also, the versatility of her fabrics and designs that become more sustainable and environmentally-minded with time also make me admire her. She represents the notion that fashion should not be detrimental to the planet: You can create unique pieces and still be kind to the Earth.

5. Tell us about the recent looks you chose.

The most important aspect I wanted to communicate was the relevance and adaptability of Latin American design—of Silvia’s authorship—and also that it’s perfect for any climate, city or setting. It was the end of the autumn in New York, so I aimed for practicality and I think the pieces I chose allowed me to feel comfortable indoors and outdoors without skimping on elegance and style. I also wanted to project a strong, independent woman, which is what we aim for with Goleadoras, using tools such las leadership and self-esteem. I wanted to send a message of self-confidence, something that Silvia represents beautifully in her work.

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6. What tips do you have for someone who wants to get involved in their community and create social impact?

The first thing is identifying a problem and then coming up with a solution. Oftentimes, we spend a lot of time talking about problems and challenges—which is important—but we fail to follow through with concrete actions that will lead us to a solution. After planning and taking action, it’s easy to put things on the side when results aren’t achieved quickly or it’s frustrating when you aren’t able to raise the necessary funds, so perseverance is a key aspect: There will be highs and lows in the process, but don’t desert your goals.

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