Dominique Gonzalez, 20 Latinitas Under 20

Name: Dominique Gonzalez

Heritage: Mexican-American

Hometown: El Paso, Texas

Volunteer Experience:

Most of the volunteer experience she has is with Latinitas. Because  she is so passionate about the Latinitas mission to empower young Latinas, she decided to devote much of her time volunteering with this organization. Other than being a part of the Youth Editorial Advisory Board, she is also a Latinitas Club Leader in guiding a weekly after-school girl empowerment activities. Every week, she volunteers for a couple of hours after school teaching the girls in the club how to use media and technology, become media literate, and be proud of who they are as Latinas. She has also been a summer camp leader. She really enjoys being a big sister and mentor to all the girls in her clubs.

What challenges has she overcome?

Since she left home for college her grandmother’s dementia has advanced and most of the burden of taking care of her has fallen on her mother. Dominique has previously mentioned, “Sometimes I can’t help but wonder how much my help would have made a difference if I were home. It has really been a struggle for me to leave home for college in general, but to be away while my family needs me is even worse. It has really taken a lot of inner strength to convince myself everyday that finishing my degree at UT is what will really make both myself and my parents proud.”

What makes her a leader?

Dominique’s leadership and vibrant personality make her a valued Latinitas member. Through the Youth Editorial Adviosry Board (YEAB), I have seen Dominique grow as a writer and as an editor. She has assisted others find their true voice through their writing by taking on the leadership role as the YEAB Editor. She offers feedback on the article to each member and ensures each member understand the writing process towards submitting content to the magazine. She is a natural born leader and I am grateful for her contributions to the YEAB program.

What extra-curricular activities is she involved in?

Dominique is a Club Leader with Latinitas in Austin and is the YEAB Editor for the YEAB program. She is passionate about Hispanic literature and hopes to one day return to her hometown of El Paso to promote both youth and adult literacy. She loves to teach, dance, shop, cook, travel and above all try new things.

How is she a good example and positive role model to other girls?

She is a vibrant and compassionate individual and is not deterred by obstacles. These qualities, on top of her natural leadership qualities, make her a positive role model for other girls. Her involvement with the community and dedication to empowering Latina youth is admirable, because she is representing traits a strong Latina should have: courage and passion. She is passionate about writing and has made an impact towards improving the writing process and helping find the YEAB member’s voice through their writing.

When asked to share advice to younger girls, she says: “Advice I can give to other girls is  to never allow other people to tell you who you are. Every girl needs to search within and discover who they are, especially Latinas. We can’t give into stereotypes and let them define us. I believe learning to love yourself as you are and appreciating where you came from are the most rewarding accomplishments for a Latina.”

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