"Great Minds Discuss Ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people."
I attended a latina conference at the college of DuPage IL. It was very encouraging, empowering and excited to see a number of latinos who registered for the event.
I remember the days as an immigrant and daughter of migrant workers, I was unable to attend college right after high school.
My grade point average, all my achievements, and accomplishments did not matter, at the time I was not a legal resident and was unable to study. I remember the days I would walk with my best friend to the college and sit at the library and read.
I was able to attend one of her classes and sit, the experience only inspired me to want to get an education. I saved up and a few years later as a single mother through thick and thin I graduated college.
My goal since I became a mother was to give her the example of independence, the ability to go to college and not struggle as I had without mentors. I still remember the first time I walked to her college interviews for admittance and I am proud to say that this year my 22 year-old will be graduating from UIC, her dream is to direct and produce and she's doing it.
I came from migrant workers who worked the fields from sunrise to sunset, from growing up in a trailer with no running water or basic needs at times, I saw my parents work to the bone to provide us with a better life, to going to high school, getting involved in the community for various causes as well as my local school.
My goals were to someday and in some way provide the tools necessary for young girls and women to step into their purpose and ability to create life on their terms, seek a higher education and reach their potential beyond limits.
I am realizing all those goals and more. I feel thankful and blessed to be able to attend events such as this one, learn and watch how mothers get involved along with their daughters, fathers with their daughters in the name of progress and a better life.
I see people not native to this country standing up for education and the greater good for communities and families, for young girls and women. I admire their ability to step in as mentors and organizers to assist and inspire these ladies to become successful. Here I stand with Kate Skegg, British a member of AAUW and active in the latino communities and beyond to champion education.
Education expands our horizons and knowledge is freedom.
It allows the walls of ignorance to fall and the fields of opportunity and potential to expand.
It empowers young girls and women to learn and in turn young boys and men to do the same, to stand and claim their space as given and not borrowed nor charity, but earned and a place to be respected.
Susana A. Mendoza keynote speaker and IL comptroller gave an inspiring speech on the power and ability women pocess when mothers, fathers, and mentors set goals and not limits.
I cannot say enough how excited I was to have this experience today and the ability to see young girls and mothers in a room full of people to champion the education and progress of future generations. One of my dreams was to create platforms for minorities and non minorites to come together to champion for progress, education and have the opportunities to succeed. I was thankful to learn from those already on that path. I am more than thankful and proud that my daughter will be forming part of those women who through thick and thin decided that education is freedom.
“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick butt."