Estela Casas inspired our youth leader and video production intern Maribel Padilla over 10 years ago when Estela asked her what she wanted to be when she grows up, Maribel answered she wanted to be on TV just like Estela. Forward to 2013, and Maribel just graduated last December with a Creative Multimedia Degree from NMSU and is on her way to become a film-maker. Thanks Estela Casas for inspiring beautiful and talented young and local girls — with Maribel Padilla and Estela Casas at Latinitas Hollywood Cinema Chica Summer Camp-2013. Mrs. Estela Casas recently had reunited with Maribel at a Latinitas Summer Camp.
Estela Casas tells us in her own words about this emotional story:
“I was invited to be a speaker for a Latinitas session. Latinitas is a non profit organization that helps empower young Latinas. I was there to talk about the importance of pursuing higher education, combat bullying, making your parents proud and investing in your community. I answered a lot of insightful questions from the pre-teens and took pictures. As I thanked the organizers for inviting me, one of the young ladies approached me with a picture we took together in 1997. Maribel Padilla was shaking and I was about to learn why. With tears in her eyes and a shaky voice, she told me I inspired 16 years ago to dream big. Maribel recalled I asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up. Today that once shy little girl, now a college graduate told me she is achieving her goal of becoming a filmmaker. Maribel graduated from UTEP with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Media and says she is now pursuing a graduate degree in filmmaking. We cried together and took more pictures! I walked out of the Jose Cisneros public library feeling humble, inspired, surprised, encouraged and satisfied knowing that at least one of those little girls I’ve talked to over the years actually listened. That little girl I met 16 years ago met my challenge to set goals and dream big! Today was a good day!
“16 years ago, I took a picture with this little girl. Today she brought this picture we took together in 1997 during a Latinitas camp. I was there to help inspire young ladies to stay in school and to dream big. Little did I know that I would be the one who left with tears in my eyes and inspired about the career I chose. Maribel Padilla recalls I asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up. Maribel shared with me that I inspired her to pursue and education and her dream of becoming a filmmaker. Maribel just graduated with a Bachelors Degree from NMSU in Creative Media and she hopes to continue pursuing her dream in San Francisco! Thanks Maribel! You made my day! Thanks for reminding me that all the sacrifices I’ve made in my job like working evenings and holidays has been worth it knowing that I inspired you to dream big and make a difference!“