Female Led Blogs Worth Checking Out

latina girl on computer

The beauty of the internet is that it serves as a platform to give everyone who has access to it a voice. While there is many negativity throughout the internet, here are a few Latina/Female run-blogs that need more exposure.

Feminist Culture (feministculture.com)

Feminist Culture was started by teen feminist Alexis Moncada in March 2015. The blog accepts contributions from everyone who submits an article. The writers post articles, book suggestions, videos, and other media sources discussing every feminist issue as Moncada’s goal is to make the site as inclusive as possible through intersectional feminism.

LatinxForChange (latinxs4change.blogspot.com/)

This blog is a small time blog with contributing writers from all around. The blog addresses all kinds of issues concerning Latinxs such as racism, culture politics, and change. This is a very new blog and it is worth the read. One of my school friends occasionally submits her own articles and poetry to the blog.

Natalie Sylverster (nataliasylvester.com/blog/)

Sylvester is a more of a personal blog. Sylvester shares her experiences as a fiction writer and freelance journalist. This blog is definitely for the bookworks. Sylvester released her first book Chasing the Sun back in June 2014. Definitely check out this blog if you’re in for a laugh.

Dulce Candy (dulcecandy.com/)

Dulce Candy is a fashion and beauty blog created by Latina YouTube vlogger Dulce Tejada. Tejada posts daily her Outfit of the Day along with helpful information about where she bought her outfits and such. Even if you’re not into fashion and beauty, the blog is very aesthetically pleasing.


Career Spotlight: Mental Health Specialist

Lety GreeneCareer Spotlight

Name: Leticia Greene

Hometown: Veracruz,Mexico

Employer: US Army

Job Title: Mental Health Specialist

What are some of your job responsibilities?
I am primarily responsible for assisting with the management and treatment of inpatient mental health activities, and counsel clients/patients with personal, behavioral or psychological problems.

What is your educational background?
On the Civilian side I have B.A in Advertising and Design that I obtained from the Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla.

On the Military side I completed my Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Fort Sam Houston,TX  in Mental Health Specialist, which is my Military Occupational Specialty 68X.

Describe your college experience and how it helped you prepare for your career:
My college experience was one of a kind. I studied in Puebla,Mexico, which was 3 hours away from home,Veracruz; therefore, I ended up moving to Puebla.

The reason why I chose a B.A in Advertising and Design is because my parents own a printing shop. I spent most of my childhood in that place. Actually, my mom told me that since I was 5 months she used to take me to her work. An interest in colors, texture, and design grew rapidly during my childhood. This led to informing my parents that I wanted to do something related to the business, photography and design. This career had it all, a combination of all my interests.

During the summer break of  2007, I had the opportunity to work at a Summer camp in upstate  New York. The fact that I was exposed to different people and cultures made me want to come back for more, and I did. After I graduated from college, I decided to go to New York as an Au Pair for a year, but I ended up staying for 4 years!

During those four years in New York, I studied English as a second language and Conversation and pronunciation courses at the Westchester Community College. When my level of English improved I decided to do something more challenging; for this reason, I did a couple of college courses in Multimedia Programming and Design at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. However, I wasn’t able to graduate because I chose to take advantage of the great opportunity to join the US Army.

My college experience wasn’t all in the classroom. College for me meant living on my own in a different city, different country, facing challenges on my own and mastering a second and a third language. The hardest part of college was being away from my family and friends, but the hard work and perseverance paid off.

How did you find your current job?
When I was in college in NY, a friend, whom had been recently recruited by the U.S. army and with knowledge of my Brazilian Portuguese skills, told me about theMilitary Accessions Vital for the National Interest (MAVNI) program in the US Army. MAVNI is a recruiting program that permits legal non-citizens who posses in-demand skills to join the Army in exchange for expedited U.S citizenship after graduating from ten weeks of Basic Combat Training or accepting a commission as Army Officers.

Luckily for me, a spot for Brazilian Portuguese was open. I took the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) and the The ACTFL, The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages,Oral Proficiency Interview, or OPI. The OPI is a live, 20-30 minute telephone conversation between a certified ACTFL tester and the candidate. I nailed both of them, I was admitted, and I decided that 68X Mental Health Specialist  was the best option for me.

What did you do to prepare for this career?
I trained in Fort Sam Houston as part of  Advanced Individual Training (AIT) in the US Army. The training consisted of 3 months of classes and physical training and 1 month of clinicals where you are assigned by groups to practice your skills and knowledge at a local hospital.

What do you like the most about your job?
Helping those with invisible wounds and the satisfaction of seeing patients overcoming problems that have interfered in their lives.

What is the most challenging part of your job?
Being a Mental Health Specialist is a very mentally-emotionally charged career, where you’ll have to put yourself someone else’s shoes. No matter what, patient care is first; you have to give a 100% every day. You also have to be very attentive because you never know the outcome of a wrong sign with body language, and how the lack of undivided attention to someone can be terminal.

What advice would you give to help a girl prepare for a job like yours?
This job is excellent for someone who really enjoys helping  others; someone who has a commitment to find different and creative approaches to help someone who needs to be listened or is having a hard time to communicate his/her needs. A job where you have to remain both compassionate and professional at the same time. However, it is also extremely rewarding when you realize that you actually help someone who probably was on the wrong route.

What do you do for fun when you aren’t working?
When I’m not working I spend time with my new family in El Paso, my husband and my husky. I am a strong believer of dedicating quality time to those who you love and care about you. I love enjoy photography, baking, going to the movies, volunteering and working out.  I’m still working on making friends in El Paso area; it is not easy to make friends when you have different activities going on, but it is important to have a strong primary support group to rely on wherever you are.

Latina Organization Spotlight: Latina A.R.M.Y.

Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 1.00.37 AMEveryone deserves to have someone to look up to, to empower them, to give them advice, and to give them courage and strength to help them succeed in anything. A shining example of this type of dedication is the Latina A.R.M.Y organization.

Started in 2009 in Shelton, Connecticut, this non-profit organization strives  “… to celebrate and empower young Latinas by providing inspirational role models and introducing powerful life skills for personal excellence.” Through its La Mariposa program, Latina A.R.M.Y. teaches young girls life skills, such as: Jars – journaling, affirmations, personal rules, and setting goals.

To accomplish the Jars process, role model facilitators help with hands on workshops by giving young Latinas materials, time, and space to help identify and reach her goal. During this process, accomplished Latinas give two hours of their time to speak to the young girls from local schools and communities. During the workshops, the girls are taught at least four life skills with an open-ended question segment. This greatly helps motivate young Latinas to follow their dreams and aspirations. When a young child sees someone who is like them and successful, it makes such an impact on their views of the world and of them.

But without these role models and volunteers, this organization would not be as successful, which is why it is important to volunteer for women and girl orientated organizations. This is how organizations thrive and do something meaningful that will benefit someone greatly. Not only will this look great on resumes and your overall work ethic, you will be helping a fellow Latina in need in life skills, school work, self love, and overall obstacles us Latinas go through in life.

According to the American Association of University Women, Latina girls have a higher high school dropout rate than girls in other racial or ethnic groups and also least likely to earn a college degree. Don’t you want to see a change in this trend? By volunteering and steering these young Latinas in the right direction, you can make such an impact, enough to change this statistic. By just making a difference to one Latinas life, you will start a never-ending chain in which that Latina will pass on the wisdom she received from you onto another Latina in need. To succeed and change this negative statistic, we Latinas have to empower each other and help make a positive change in this world.

Latina Spotlight: Nydia M. Velazquez


Nydia M. Velazquez, the Congresswoman, is originally from Yabucoa, Puerto Rico. She was born in a family where she was one of nine children, and was the first one in her family to earn a college diploma. Her passion for politics took her to where she stands today.

She has shaped history numerous times during her term in Congress. In 1992, she was the first Puerto Rican woman voted into the U.S. House of Representatives. Six years later in 1998, Nydia was named the Ranking Democratic Member of the House Small Business Committee, making her the first Hispanic woman to serve as a Ranking Member of a full House committee. The word “can’t” doesn’t exist in Nydia’s vocabulary! To add to her extensive list of accomplishments, in 2006 she was the first Latina to chair a full Congressional committee after being named Chairwoman of the House Small Business Committee.

Velazquez is well known as an equal rights fighter and advocate of economic opportunity for the less fortunate and working class. Congresswoman Velázquez mixes intuition and sympathy as means to improve economic development, community health, environment, affordable housing and health care, and quality education for all the families in New York City. Nydia is a great example of how passion works as an inspiration to achieve your goals.

Spotlight: Rosa Guerrero

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 1.54.42 AM
Written by Renee Malooly and originally published on Borderzine 

Link to article: http://borderzine.com/2014/11/at-80-el-paso-folklorico-pioneer-rosa-guerrero-still-lets-faith-guide-her-steps/

Dressed in a bright orange jacket adorned with a necklace and a crucifix pendant, Rosa Guerrero flashed a warm smile, projecting the trademark youthful spirit and upbeat stamina that belied her approaching 80th birthday.

“Age is just a matter of the mind,” Guerrero said as she sipped her cranberry and orange juice drink, a mix she concocted herself. “If you don’t mind, then it doesn’t matter.”

Guerrero’s long resume in the professional dance world has not weighed her down. An avid dancer in all types of genres, a dance teacher of students that range in age from two-year-olds to 100-year-olds, and an ambassador for Mexican folkloric dance, her love for dance is evident in the rhythm of her hand gestures and expressive nature.

“I started dancing in my mother’s womb,” Guerrero exclaimed as she sculpted a simple dance move with her hands.

Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, Guerrero has always been a dedicated individual who never settles for the bare minimum. Growing up without a car, Guerrero said she would walk to dance practice downtown from her central El Paso home.

“We did without a car,” Guerrero said. “It’s not a sin to be poor but it is a sin to be lazy,” she said, proud of her humble origins.

Frank Lopez, a friend of Guerrero for more than 10 years, first saw her in her dance element at a nonprofit performance. Lopez is an executive director of Ngage, a Las Cruces,New Mexico, nonprofit educational organization.

Lopez said Guerrero’s kind nature makes her unique. “She’s very down to earth,” Lopez said. “She gives as much of herself to her community.”

A Roman Catholic, Guerrero said her strong sense of faith has guided her. She describes herself as ecumenical — someone who has a love and respect for other religions, beliefs, and faiths.

“To me there is only one God and he is our father and our maker,” Guerrero said. “I believe that all religions are based on that creator.”

Lopez said that Guerrero takes deep subjects of culture and race that are usually difficult for others to be open about, and makes them poignant subjects.

“She’s very spiritual in a beautiful way.”

Guerrero became immersed in other religions and cultures through dance. She is responsible for spreading Folklorico dance style throughout the United States after becoming the founder and artistic director of the Rosa Guerrero International Folklorico Dance Group. Guerrero said all individuals are unique and together make one giant tapestry, the title of a documentary she made that stresses this concept.

Guerrero’s nonprofit was the first Mexican folkloric dance group in the nation to dance at the Kennedy Center in 1991. They were also the first to dance for the CIA in 1992. Former secretary of defense, Robert Gates, was the CIA director at the time.

“He gave us a tour and he was very friendly to me,” Guerrero said.

Describing the performance for the CIA, Guerrero said the environment was very professional. Never letting go of her cheerful personality, Guerrero presented a gift consisting of El Paso Saddleblanket and Chile Company souvenirs to Gates on stage in front of the large conservative crowd. Guerrero said she jokingly told Gates that she is president of the CIA in El Paso, which filled the auditorium with laughter.

“All I did was break the barrier,” Guerrero said.

Dennis Bixler-Márquez, director of the Chicano Studies Program at UT El Paso, has known Guerrero since 1971 when he was a member of Teacher Corps. He said that Guerrero captures and represents what El Paso is about in an artistic sense through music and dance.

“What makes her inspirational is that she is a cultural ambassador for the city on both sides of the border,” Bixler-Márquez said. ​

Exposure of culture is important to Guerrero. Receiving bachelor’s degree from Texas Western College, now the University of Texas at El Paso, in elementary and high school education in 1957, Guerrero has worked at numerous public schools throughout El Paso to spread that idea. She hopes to spend the rest of her life writing.

“One written word is worth one thousand spoken ones,” Guerrero said.

Guerrero’s husband of 60 years, Sergio, three children and five grandchildren are strong figures in her life. She said everything she has wanted is to make her family proud. She is grateful for her parents and said she is thankful for anyone who has been a part of her life.

“God put you here and your parents give you your life,” Guerrero said. “The rest is up to you.”

Latina Spotlight: Isabelle Salazar

I’ve met a series of professional women throughout my life. Whether they’re engineers, teachers, or business women, they’ve all influenced me in some way or another. However, none of them had managed to leave an emotional impression on me that went beyond awe for their strength and determination.

It feels as if I’ve been searching for a role model my entire life. I’ve been looking someone with whom I can connect with beyond professional and polite conversations and smiles. I’m well aware of what the role of a mentor is supposed to be – I’ve had the definition drummed into my head through countless business seminars.

Isabelle Salazar changed my life. She is not only my journalism adviser – someone I automatically respect because of her position of power as my teacher – but she has also become a close friend and confidant. She’s the person I come to first when I have an issue I need help dealing with or when I have good news to share. She has gone above and beyond her responsibilities as my adviser and words cannot express how thankful I am to have her as a mentor. I’ve known Ms. Salazar for the entirety of my high school career and with high school graduation being nearly two months away, the four years of knowing her seem like a lifetime.


Maroon News editors working SXSWedu. Photo credit: Isabelle Salazar, @ibellesalazar

Ms. Salazar is the person that made me realize that I wanted to pursue a career in journalism. Since the moment I realized what I wanted to do with my life – pursue a communications degree, work for Univision – I’ve worked hard to prove not only to myself but to her that I have what it takes to achieve my goals. I’ve attended session after session of social media and journalism trainings to become better at what I do.

Ms. Salazar changed my life for the better because she’s been there for me when I need her. She was one of the first people I told that I am an undocumented, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) student and since then, she has stopped at nothing to help me on the path to a higher education – including, accompanying me to St. Louis, Missouri when my parents weren’t able to do so due to their immigration status.

Our relationship is all about giving as much as we get. She shares with me as much as I share with her. I’ve told Ms. Salazar some pretty emotional and deep stuff. She’s seen me at my worst and she’s seen me at my best. Through our time together, she’s almost become a second mother to me, although her young age says so otherwise.

I have spilled the darkest secrets of my past that aren’t really so secret anymore. She was one of the first people I told about my past before coming to Austin – from crossing the Mexico-U.S. border to living with an abusive father. Ms. Salazar helped me free myself from what was holding me back: fear of judgement.

I’ve always been ashamed of my immigration status and I’ve always been ashamed of revealing any details of my abusive childhood. The fear of judgement plagued my mind for years on end and it severely damaged many relationships for me.

However, she encouraged me to share my story through The Maroon, our news magazine that has an audience of about 2,100 students, staff, and faculty. I wrote a commentary piece that spread over nearly four pages. I wrote my story with great detail and poured my heart into it. After the story went into print, many of my peers came up to me, thanking me for sharing my story with raw honesty. They trusted me enough to share with me that we’re not so different; they trusted me enough to tell me that they too are undocumented.

I would have never dared to even think of sharing my story with more people than necessary if it hadn’t been for my adviser. Ms. Salazar has not just been a mentor and a friend. She gave me courage and she gave me strength, and I will always be thankful for that.


Career Spotlight: Press Secretary- L.A. Federation of Labor

Gabriella Landeros

Name: Gabriella Landeros

Job Title: Press Secretary for the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO

What are some of your job responsibilities?

I support over 300 labor unions in their media needs, prepare the Federation’s Executive Secretary-Treasurer for all media and speaking obligations, write speeches, and plan and execute media strategies for the organization’s campaigns. I also edit and assist in drafting policies and manage the organization’s digital channels.

What is your educational background?
I graduated from the University of California, Riverside in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Cultural Studies and minor in Spanish. I also spent my junior year abroad studying in Madrid, Spain.

Describe your college experience and how it helped you prepare for your career:
I always loved writing, but I was interested in news writing in particular. I volunteered at my university’s radio station (KUCR 88.3 FM), and I was on-air every morning reporting the news for the day. I was also a student reporter for Uwire.com: The College Network and writer, editor, and reporter for my university’s virtual newspaper. During study abroad, I also got the chance to take radio and production classes with students from around the world. To top off my college experience, I interned in Washington, D.C. as a Congressional Reporter for the Talk Radio News Service. It was in D.C. where my love for writing and politics joined forces.

How did you find your current job?
Networking! I met my now coworker during a media training in Washington, D.C. We had a lot of things in common, but the most striking coincidence is that we both grew up in the same area. She told me about the Press Secretary position at the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, and I jumped at the opportunity. I am grateful for the chance at giving back to my community, while being close to my family. My mom and brother are proud union members, and I knew I wanted to find a career that involved advocating for good jobs and fair wages.

What did you do to prepare for this career?
I wrote and read a lot. Since college I maintained a blog and contributed stories to different news outlets, such as Latinitas Magazine and the Independent Voter Network. You have to enjoy writing and stay up-to-date on the news everyday. Part of my role involves being contacted by the media if breaking news occurs in relation to my organization. I not only have to be quick on my feet, but I have to understand what is going on and how I am controlling the message.

My past positions that include campaign work and serving in the Obama Administration, also prepared me for the long and unexpected hours that come with a career in communications.

What do you like most about your job?
I like being able to control the message and pushing the values my organization represents, which I also identify with and believe in. Whether it’s a campaign or issue I’m publicizing, I feel satisfaction knowing the amount of workers it will impact. Most importantly, I feel like I’m making a difference.

What is the most challenging part of your job?
The most challenging part of my job is writing in someone else’s voice that is not my own. With communications, you often have to write from a different perspective that you may not be used to. Although challenging, it makes you think out of the box.

What advice would you give to help a girl prepare for a job like yours?

  • Start building your portfolio now. Any job that involves writing or the arts, is going to ask for samples of your work.
  • Write! Write about anything you’re passionate about, and do it often.
  • Never take someone else’s work for your own.
  • Stay up-to-date on current events.
  • Read books.
  • Take advantage of internships.
  • Never give up!

What do you do for fun when you aren’t working?
I enjoy running. Running is my version of yoga – it relaxes me. It helps me de-stress.

Career Spotlight: Project Manager for IBM

IMG_3957Name: Karen Mariela Siles

Hometown: Born and raised in Cochabamba, Bolivia; moved to the US, Northern Virginia area when I was 15 however due to a full time offer I moved to Austin, TX after college graduation.

Employer : IBM Corporation in Austin, TX

Job Title: Project Manager for IBM Cloud Organization

What are some of your job responsibilities?
The goal of a project manager is essentially take a project from beginning to end, making sure that all the components that are needed are facilitated in order to get to our deadline. In my case, I work with software developers and ensure that we are reaching deadlines for our project to deliver cutting edge technology for IBM Cloud.

What is your educational background?
In May, 2007, I got my Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from George Mason University in Fairfax,VA.

How did you find your current job?
I have been with IBM for eight years; this is my fourth career path that I have taken. My first job with IBM was due to an organization called Society of Hispanic Professional Engineer (SHPE). Through SHPE ,I was able to attend their National Conference that offers professional development, networking, and a career fair. Through these conferences IBM was able to recruit me and I was offered a full time position with IBM in Austin, TX

What did you do to prepare for this career?
I graduated as an Electrical Engineering in college but my first choice of major was Computer Science. I took a lot of programming courses so I got my first internship as a Computer Programmer during my Junior year of college. As a senior I had to opportunity to stay with CACI as a computer programmer, but I decided to take the IBM offer in Texas. My first job with IBM was a Software Engineer helping people with their middleware and making sure that I helped customers solve their problems.

What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of my current job is when my team reaches their deadline and we have a developed product. The best part is always when you see that you have completed your project and you can see the affects of your work.

What is the most challenging part of your job?
I always find it challenging when developers need help but are not able to find the righ resources to get the help they need. As a Project Manager, I need to ensure that they have all the  capabilities in getting the right aid, but sometimes you depend on other teams to deliver their part before you can start yours.

What advice would you give to help a girl prepare for a job like yours?
In my opinion, everyone should study a career in STEM. The thinking and the tools that STEM classes give you are very hard to get if you are pursuing a non technical career. As a Software Engineer,  I wish I would have taken more engineering and computer science courses in high school. Some teachers at the university cannot spend a lot of time with you as a high school teacher can, so I wish I would have learned more basic science, engineer, math and computer science in High School. My advice would be to take STEM classes throughout high school; it will give you a strong basis for whatever you decide to do in the future.

What do you do for fun when you aren’t working?
Most of my career advancement was through my networks and meeting people who wanted to mentor me. Therefore, most of my free time is given towards community service organizations like Latinitas where we can empower young people, or mentor them to become amazing individuals. Giving back is the best part of my day and I like to spend a lot of time volunteering. However, if I am not volunteering, I enjoy spending time with my dog, Kasper. Currently, I am training for a half marathon, which has caused  me to enjoy running in my spare time. I did my first half marathon with the Disneyworld, Princess Half Marathon.  I am very excited for my first half marathon, but I doubt it will be my last.

Latina Spotlight: Marlett García (MSW)

Originally from Presidio, Texas, Marlett García is a Victim Specialist at the Paso del Norte Center of Hope

(a program under the Center for Children).

What are some of your job responsibilities?
To provide extensive case management services to victims of human trafficking to include crisis-intervention, immediate and long-term assistance, and referral support. To collaborate with law enforcement and social services agencies to provide ongoing emotional and social services to victims while working through the victimization.

Other responsibilities include: assisting victims with the completion of documentation and applications as a means to obtain federal, state, and/or local assistance. Also, to conduct trainings and presentations to agencies, community organizations, law enforcement, and medical personnel on human trafficking in order to increase knowledge and awareness on the subject.

What is your educational background?  I obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas in 2011. Four years later, I obtained a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at El Paso.

Describe your college experience and how it helped you prepare for your career: Attending college was one of the best decisions of my life. It was truly a wonderful experience! College provided me with the necessary skills to become a constructive, adaptive, and innovative professional. My professors and courses enabled me to learn new skills and improve old ones by creating a constructive and stimulating environment which was conducive to my professional and personal growth.  Learning about practices and services that assist individuals and groups prepared and equipped me with the skills necessary to work with male and female victims to include youth, LGBTQI community, and juvenile detainees who fall victim to human trafficking. The ability to provide adequate services to each client can be attributed to the education received while in college.

How did you find your current job?  In 2014, I began my final year in Graduate School at the University of Texas at El Paso. To meet the requirements set by the Master of Social Work (MSW) program, I became a second year intern for the Paso del Norte Center of Hope. As an intern, I was task with the duty to research trends, data and statistics, and evidence-based practices in order to understand the complexity of human trafficking and to improve the community’s awareness and knowledge on the subject. The position as an intern provided insightful information on the agency and its mission to serve victims of human trafficking. Immediately, right after graduation, I applied for the position of Victim Specialist for the Paso del Norte Center of Hope.

What did you do to prepare for this career? I spent countless hours researching human trafficking. To learn about its trends, indicators, challenges, gaps, and implications I spent many hours reading articles and books on the subject. I also watched numerous documentaries and movies that depicted true encounters experienced by victims of labor and/or sex trafficking.  Most importantly, I asked lots of questions. While serving as an intern, I shadowed my supervisor and mentor, Mrs. Virginia McCrimmon. Through her supervision I was provided with the opportunity to ask questions and learn about real cases and experiences from victims of trafficking. Immersing myself in the work, I learned essential information which became beneficial during the process of obtaining this position. Serving as an intern and familiarizing myself with the work and the topic prepared me for this career.

What do you like most about your job?  My favorite part of my job is having the opportunity to help individuals who are resilient, driven, and strong-willed despite their victimization and trauma.  For me, experiencing the moments when a client obtains his/her documentation or when he/she feels empowered to disclose information about the victimization is truly significant and powerful. Moments such as those make my job so rewarding.

What is the most challenging part of your job? Most challenging part of the job is the limitation to provide services to potential clients who do not self-identify as victims. Also, the trauma and experiences endured by victims of human trafficking can create a significant restraint on services as victims are not likely to collaborate with law enforcement unless positive rapport has been established.

What advice would you give to help a girl prepare for a job like yours? Never be afraid to ask questions. To learn and become comfortable with your position, you must never be afraid to question your role and that of your agency. Give yourself the opportunity to learn new skills as well as improve new ones. Take time to assess your strengths and implement them in your work setting. By acknowledging your strengths and skills you will become a more effective and innovative professional.

What do you do for fun when you aren’t working? I like to dance, cook, and paint on my days off. I also enjoy volunteering for different organizations around the community. Keeping myself engaged in healthy activities is vital for my well-being as it provides balance and stability.


Latina Leader Valeria Chavez

Valeria Chavez
A recent graduate of Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey, twenty-four year old Valeria Chavez has earned a law degree from the prestigious Mexican university. Driven by the injustices that she saw by everyday life, especially towards minors, she felt an internal calling to help those that were oppressed by their situation.

During her time as a college student she “[discovered] the inconsistencies within the Mexican system, the large pockets of corruption that asphyxiate the country, the high poverty rates, the millions of injustices that Mexican women suffer [as well as the kids] that were abandoned by their fathers to pursue the ‘American Dream’ or the mothers that were kidnapped by organizes crime so they can work in drug laboratories. Who is not going to be motivated with all this suffering,” challenges Chavez.

Being aware of the world that many Mexicans live in, Chavez threw herself into her community. Back in 2007 she began volunteering at Los Brazos de Dios A.C., a kitchen soup in Chihuahua, Chihuahua for children and teenagers that were afflicted with poverty. Every December the organization planned a posada, gathering of several days that provided lodging, and Chavez would talk and play with the children. Throughout the rest of the year she would celebrate El Dia de Niño, Children’s Day, or visit them in the summer to see what they were up to.

Although she moved out of the state, Chavez continued to make an impact wherever she went. In college, she created the program called Rescatando Mentes, Rescuing Minds, which drove to “rescue the minds” of children and educate them on topics that might be taboo for them. Chavez was inspired to create this program since in 2014, in areas of Michoacán, Guerrero, Jalisco, and State of Mexico, children were being kidnapped from rural places by criminal groups regardless of age and sex.


“It occurred to me to present this idea to the Instituto de Desarrollo Social del Tecnológico de Monterrey (IDESS), to start a community service project and that way form a group of my peers that will help me carry this out,” says Chavez.

According to Chavez, the program was built on four building blocks. The first was to giving children ways to prevent being victims of sexual assault, what to do if they were victims already, and how to talk about it.  The second pillar was to prevent addiction of drugs. They kids were informed of the types of addiction that exist and the consequences that happen due to the addiction. The third pillar was to motivate them and inspire the children. They were shown videos, had presentations, and given role models of legendary figures that managed to do great things by starting with nothing. The last block was built on the rights of children. Chavez and her team explained the rights they have as children and reminded them that they needed to be respected. Overall, the project was a success as the children and schools welcome this project into their classrooms.

Chavez built her experience as acting president of, La Sociedad de Alumnos de la carrera de Derecho y Ciencias Políticas, the Society of Alumnus  for Law and Political Science, for three semesters of college. She helped organize trips to historical landmarks in Mexico such as the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, Senate of the Republic, Government Palace, among many more. Within the second semester, the organization had invited key figures from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Ecuador. Chavez says that these visits were crucial as a student since you learn things outside of the classroom.


Being the first lawyer in her family, Chavez says that her father is her greatest inspiration to continue working. Although he passed away fourteen years ago, she remembers how her father was able to accomplish great things despite not going to college. To this day, Chavez continues to be reaping from her father’s hard work. “To me that is something that is worthy to admire every day,” says Chavez.

Currently the young lawyer is working in Ochoa Figueroa de Abogados, a law firm in Mexico, where she is the leader of an investigative project. Her team is currently compiling a “Libro Blanco,” a document meant to yield information over a certain topic, for the State Government of Mexico so they can look for any administrative inconsistencies within their spheres.

Where ever she is, Chavez wants to create change. “I wish to make a difference and leave a fingerprint wherever I go. There is no [final] answer and I believe that no one has discovered it, but I want to continue working towards making smaller changes to hopefully create a large one. There are many things that move me like injustices, education, and poverty, and they all can’t be solved at the same time. But I am sure that it doesn’t matter if you’re in the lowest position or the highest one we might find ourselves in, there will always be something worthy to do for society.”