What Does Your Heritage Mean to You?
When I think about my heritage, I think about my grandmother who was always knitting. Heritage has a profound significance in my life, serving as one of the gorgeous tapestries she would weave, holding together the values, traditions, and wisdom passed down through generations. This inheritance is a testament to my roots and the special cultural and familial legacy that has shaped my identity.
As a first-born generation individual, my heritage holds a profound meaning to me. Learning about it from a young age instilled an understanding of who I was, where I came from, and that I am purpose driven. It has been a guiding force in my life, shaping my values, identity, and worldview. I tap into it as a source of strength, and wisdom. Being purpose-driven, a trait deeply rooted in my heritage, has allowed me to have a clear sense of what I want to achieve in life. It has taught me about intentionality, setting meaningful goals and to put in the hard work to reach them. Having this purpose influenced by my heritage infuses meaning into everything I do.
In What Ways Does Your Heritage Influence Your Work?
My heritage represents a bridge between generations, connecting me to my ancestors and their stories. It is a reminder of the sacrifices they made and the values they held dear, all of which have been passed down to shape my character and beliefs. It’s a source of knowledge, reflecting the rich tapestry of customs, languages, and practices that make up my cultural identity.
Through the years, my heritage has served as a compass that guides my actions and decisions. It continues to teach me the importance of “true grit,” a determination and resilience that knows no bounds, no matter how challenging the circumstances. It has also cultivated a forward-thinking mindset within me. It’s not just about the present; it’s about planning for a brighter future, and the generations ahead. Learned intentionality and mindfulness has allowed me to have the foresight to make thoughtful decisions and to contribute to a better future not only for myself but for my community as well.
What Hispanic Mentors Have Inspired or Influenced You and In What Ways?
My mama, my first mentor. She’s always walked a fine line between determination and stubbornness. She is the “cool” Tia (auntie) and mom to our friends and family. If you upset her, she is a force to be reckoned with. She is a first generation into the United States, with humble beginnings, but ambition and determination that has no end in sight, to this day. In her late teens, she became a news anchor and transitioned into radio. In her early twenties, she became the Director for Public Affairs for the largest radio corporation in the United States. She was offered a position at CNN HQ in Atlanta GA, which would have made her the first Latina news anchor for the company. My mom chose to pursue a family and stay in her home state. She pivoted in her career and became a business owner in a male dominated realm of construction. When she retired, she returned to school to finish her degree. To date she continues to challenge me and my siblings. She is a truth teller, a change agent, and an incredible storyteller.
Dr. Ellen Ochoa who is an astronaut and the first Hispanic woman to go to space. Her groundbreaking achievements in space exploration are a source of inspiration. Her career influence has motivated young Hispanics to pursue careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields, particularly in space exploration and aerospace engineering.
Dolores Huerta is a labor leader and civil rights activist who co-founded the United Farm Workers (UFW) alongside Cesar Chavez. She is known for her dedication to farmworker rights and women’s rights. In addition to her labor activism, Dolores Huerta has been a strong advocate for social justice and civil rights. She has fought for gender equality, immigrant rights, and various other social causes throughout her life. Her efforts have made her an iconic figure in the history of labor and civil. She holds fifteen honorary doctorate degrees including an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Yale University. Her activism continues to inspire and influence individuals.