Hispanic/Woman/IT Support Engineer/Religious 

I only wish I can embody half of my parents’ strength throughout my life. Both my parents came to the United States as immigrants, to give their future kids a better life. And they have, by all means. They put 3 kids through college, and were all working successfully in our fields. Their sacrifice, hard-work, their motivated speeches, and their uncompromising loyalty to our culture pushed me to want to be better. They made us proud of who we were, as Hispanics, as Guatemalans, as first generation born from immigrants (who are now residents/citizens, thank you very much!). They made us be proud of our background, but never allowing us to use it as an excuse to not work hard, no matter what was going on in the world. It would be disrespectful if we didn’t work our hardest to be better with our opportunities being born here.

I started at the bottom, fixing printers and taking computers apart at a cheese packaging warehouse with 30 employees. But now, 5 years later, I’m fixing and building corporate systems for Amazon and am a recent home owner in Garden Grove. I support 3 different sites, and have even run a site on my own; I am a part of a team of 5, supporting about 1,000 users far and wide within Southern California. I knew since a young age, that I would not let others stop me. I am the middle child, and the only girl. I grew up with 2 brothers. My mother used to tell me (and still does) great words of wisdom, but something that always stuck was when she used to tell me, “Don’t ever, NOT do something because you’re a woman. Do it because you ARE a woman.” I always felt that as a WOMAN, I thought differently as the others, especially working in a male dominated field; but I didn’t allow that detail to stop me. I banked on my strengths, never scared of demanding respect, and therefore, I proved I was worthy of having my voice recognized at the table. If I went through college and got hired for my skills and experience, then I deserve to have a voice during this meeting. I learned through all my years of working, that there is power in your voice.

No matter the struggle, my persistence has been coupled with my faith as an important backbone in my life to never quit and to never be scared of my dreams. However big they were, I knew I could attain any one of them, no matter how long or how deep or how far from my family. Even if I failed, I would make myself get up and find another way. I wouldn’t allow myself to QUIT, which is different from failing. This is something I had to tell myself every day when I worked full-time while going through college for 5 years. That it’s okay to make mistakes, but don’t ever QUIT. There is power in realizing you have power over your own life and happiness. If I recognize I am not happy in an environment, relationship or situation in life, it’s up to me to change the environment or situation, and chase my own happiness. Forgive yourself for your mistakes, sleep on it, wake up the next morning and move the f*** on. Keep striving, keep building, and keep moving.

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ig: eileenmarina