Toni Lee Jimenez '03
Position: Founder/Publisher, ChicaGirl Magazine
Lesson Learned: With hard work and dedication, you really can do what you put your mind to.
ChicaGirl is a content-driven magazine that displays real girls (i.e., no celebrities) as cover girls. We publish motivational stories and have awarded over hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarship money.
I always knew I wanted to own a business, but right after I started the magazine and before I launched the first online issue in 2007, I was sued by a large publisher. I was involved in the lawsuit in federal court for a year and half. It would have been so easy to give up, but I refused. I was lucky to have the support of my family and during this time I realized who I was as a business person. I saved all the money I could while I had a job in politics to start the magazine. I initially performed every job in the company including writing, and even graphic design. In January 2012, we published our first print edition of ChicaGirl. I hope to expand the magazine’s reach to other outlets and regions with a high Latina population and continue to build the ChicaGirl brand nationwide.
When I was at LMU, I remember Dr. Kiesner and Dr. Hess always being very supportive. And after graduating, I've received more support from them. It's been a blessing to have them support my passion and my dream to "inspire girls one page at a time" with ChicaGirl Magazine!