Moving...

Monday, February 6, 2012
Starting today, I will no longer blog from this URL. I will be blogging over at http://BlogsbyLatinas.com/Blog. I redesigned my directory Blogs by Latinas and have decided to combine all of my blogs. No worries, the content will remain the same.  Sorry for any inconvenience or confusion. 

-Monique

Meet Ana Garcia Rivera

Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Editor's Note: Ana was referred by "all the curvy women in Puerto Rico." I love it. I do remember her from the Torrid Model Search. She's a beauty!

Name: Ana Garcia Rivera
Hometown: Bayamon, Puerto Rico
Education: Bachelors Degree in Human Resources Management-Cosmetology School
Profession/Career: Administrative Assistant

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you "grew up?"

I wanted to work in anything that had to do with beauty and fashion.

What has been the "proudest" moment in your life?

One proud moment was where I won third prize in a makeup contest and the second proudest moment was when I got the courage to start modeling which led me to being first runner up at Torrid Model Search in Puerto Rico and I have been modeling ever since on an Island that is for thin models, but I am making a difference. Also, I had a Boudoir Shoot for Esposa Moderna Magazine modeling beautiful Lingerie from Blossom Boutique that was very well liked.

What does being a Latina woman mean to you?

I am proud of my Latina Heritage, and everywhere I go I embrace it the best way I can.

What advice do you have for today's young Latinas?

Don’t ever give up on your dreams, and be your best cheerleader in life.

What Latina in your life has been a major inspiration and role model?

I don’t have a specific Latina that inspires me. When I see a Latina woman that fights for what she wants, that is the one that inspires me.

What is your favorite quote or saying that you live by in life?

When the World says “give up” Hope whispers “Try it one more time”

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I hope to be working in the Fashion and Beauty Industry in front or behind the camera.

Meet Mercedes Sanchez

Thursday, December 29, 2011
Editor's Note: I've always admired Mercedes and her work, especially Be Chic Mag. We knew each other online, before finally meeting face to face at a conference. She's one of the hardest working bloggers I know.

Name: Mercedes Sanchez
Hometown: New York City's Lower East Side/ East Village
College/University Attended:
Le Moyne College (a private, Jesuit college in Syracuse NY)
Profession/Career: Multimedia Journalist: Fashion & Beauty Blogger at BeChicMag.com; Columnist for ImpreMedia; Freelance Writer. Former NBC-TV producer.
Web site:
http://BeChicMag.com

Where were you born and where did you grow up for the most part of your life? 

Manhattan. Born and Raised.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you "grew up?" 

I said I wanted to be a journalist, lawyer or actress.

What has been the "proudest" moment in your life". 

It’s hard to choose one. As an ‘entrepreneur,’ all the small accomplishments make me proud!

If there was one experience in your life that you could do over, what is it and what would it be? 

I might have stayed in New York City for college instead of going away. I had good experience in college, but New York is where it’s at. Why would anyone in my field want to go away?

What does being a Latina woman mean to you?

Being Latina means celebrating my culture in everything I do.

What advice do you have for today's young Latinas?

Embrace your nationality. Be aware of your surroundings including current events. Study your craft well and practice what you love. Have faith and persistence.

What Latina in your life has been a major inspiration and role model?

My mother and all my aunts. I also have to say this: When I worked at the New York Post with editor/author Sandra Guzman she told me to never accept “no” as an answer. I never forgot that.

What is your favorite quote or saying that you live by in life?

Con Dios todo se puede.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Published author, more TV segments, running my own business. Con Dios y adelante.

Inspirational Latina in the News: Julie Swearingin

Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Inspirational Latinas are every where, they do pretty much everything, and they make the news.  Here's proof. Fort Worth's Star-Telegram reported that on October 20, 2011, Julie Swearingin was promoted to lieutenant in the Fort Worth police department. According to the article, that makes her the first Hispanic woman in the history of the Fort Worth department's to reach a command-level rank.

"Hopefully, it will not only open doors for the Latin women on our department but somehow encourage other Latin working women in our community as well as all women in the work force." -Julie Swearingin, Star-Telegraph.com 12/26/11

Congrats Julie! You're definitely an inspirational Latina in my eyes.
You can read the entire article here. 

Meet Jennese Torres

Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Name: Jennese "La Diva" Torres
Hometown: NYC
Profession/Career: lawyer and professional DIVA. I have my own law practice which is a storefront, so I have many people walking in and out with all sorts of legal issues. It's demanding work and I had to learn everything hands-on. In fact im still earning everyday! Also, I have my own website LaDivaLatina.com. that is my passion. I absolutely love doing it!
Web site:
www.LaDivaLatina.com
www.TuAbogadoDelPueblo.com 

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you "grew up?" 

A dancer. Now im lucky if I get a minute to listen to music. So sad! 

Where were you born and where did you grow up for the most part of your life? 

I was born in NYC with frequent flights to and from La Isla del Encanto. I grew up in all of NYC... all the boroughs except Staten Island. We lived in Harlem, Bronx, Queens, Spend lots of time in Brooklyn, and went to school in Long Island. I remain in NYC. Many people move out. I think we should STAY and rebuild our communities. my office is in the community as well, it's my way of "paying it forward." You know all the opportunities I've got, I have to give those opportunities right back the way it was given to me. It isn't mine to keep. I have to "pay it forward."

What (if any) adversaries or discouragements did you face growing up? 

Too many to name. every new career I had was because I was pushed away and told I was not good enough. So I kept trying new things. Finally, since I kept bouncing around so much to different jobs, the final straw I said, before I get pushed out I'm LEAVING. So, I took the LSAT and applied to law school. And that was the end of THAT. Now I have my own practice. I'm my own boss. The only one that can push me out is my landlord and she won't if i pay my rent the 1st of every month. 

If there was one experience in your life that you could do over, what is it and what would it be? 

I'm not sure. I know I take alot of chances. My grandmother taught me that. She used to say when I was little - Yo no my moriria con la duda! So I dont know if there is one thing I would do over. 

What has been the "proudest" moment in your life?" 

Meeting the Honorary Sonia Sotomayor. I actually met her TWICE. I was awe-stricken the first time and that was BEFORE she was a Supreme Court Justice. Imagine how I felt when I met her the second time - AFTER she became a Supreme Court Justice. I almost couldnt stand on my own two feet! I had a "mini-speech" prepared. I said, "you know that they call you the 'wise latina'?" She said: Yeah... I know! As she nodded. Well they also call you something else too I dont know if you've heard? She said: Oh? I said: they call you a "diva Latina!" She laughed. I said: What do you think about that? She said: I dont know! If its a good thing then thats great! I said: Oh--- it's a very good thing!!! But my proudest moment might yet be to come - and it invovles the Honorable Sonia Sotomayor again. Well, very soon, I will be admitted and sworn into the U.S. Supreme Court. I hear the Justices will be there. I surely hope so! I can hardly contain myself! Being admitted intto the US Supreme Court - the highest court in the land means that I can argue a case in front of the Justices. 

What does being a Latina woman mean to you? 

It means that I am FABULOUS!  It means that I have to juggle two cultures which at times conflict. Means that family comes first. Means that culture is paramount. Means that we have a rich history and everyday we are living an even richer hsitory. 

What advice do you have for today's young Latinas? 

Never forget where you come from. Because no one will ever let you forget anyway. 

What is your favorite quote or saying that you live by in life? 

When the going gets tuff, the tuff wear red lipstick. to me it means -- always put your best foot forward and never let them see you sweat. Act like you know. Fake it till you make it. If you put on that red lipstick... and look fabulous, no one can stop you. Cuz no one will know if you are really struggling inside. It also means to me that beauty, and womanhood in general, is very powerful. Put on red lipstick and look like a movie star and dazzle them with your wit--- bam! People won't know what hit them! 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Owner of a large law firm with 7 attorneys working for me. 

Name a fellow Latina, in your professional world, that inspires you. Why? 

The Honorary Sonia Sotomayor- of course, not only is she a Supreme Court Justice, and Puerto Rican but she is very down to earth, very LATINA. And I say - WOW! She DID it! She really did it! If she can do it then we can ALL do whatever we dream of! And ... she wears red lipstick! Oh YES she DOES!!!

Meet Tina Sanchez

Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Editor's Note: I met Tina through the fashion world. She's such a hard worker and demands only the best.

Name: Tina Sanchez
Hometown: San Jose , CA
Education: BA in Business administration with concentrations in Marketing, International Business
Profession/Career: As a side note I started working at the age of 5 and started my first business at 11. There’s two parts to my professional career, corporate and fun stuff. I worked in corporate for about 14 years; financing, real estate law and public relations. I’m a former plus size model, make-up artist and celebrity stylist.
Web site: www.moxiemgmt.com and
www.fullychic.com

Where were you born and where did you grow up for the most part of your life? 

San Jose, CA I lived here most of my life, lived in Mexico, Texas, and Las Vegas. The Bay Area is a great place to grow up, you get expose to a lot of great life lessons; forward thinking served with a side of reality. I like to think of it as a way not to be sheltered to the rest of the world.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you "grew up?" 

A attorney, which is still what I’m striving to do, I put law school on hold to launch MoxieManagement.

What (if any) adversaries or discouragements did you face growing up? 

During my first two months of my freshman year I was 17 and both on my parents got sick. My dad had to have emergency surgery to remove a brain tumor and my mom had fibroids. With both of my parents sick, and with the odds against them not surviving their surgeries, I had to make a choice. I made the choice to put college on hold to raise my siblings, run the family business and take care of my parents. This adversity didn’t put a stop to my college career but made me more determine to finish.

What has been the "proudest" moment in your life?" 

Wow, just one? In the last 10 years it has been graduating from college, the look on my parents face was priceless when I crossed the stage. As a daughter of parents who left their countries to the US for a better life it was a way for me to pay my parents back for the sacrifice they made for my siblings and myself.

What does being a Latina woman mean to you? 

I love this question! I’m biracial, my father is Mexican and my mother Chinese but from Guatemala; I know a mouth full you should see our family events; insane! What’s not to like about being Latina? We come in all shapes, sizes, different religious backgrounds, and different skin shades; we are beautiful people. I love that we are passionate group of people with a rich history. Being Latina to means being proud, yet humble and being respectful of others. Being sassy but with class!

What advice do you have for today's young Latinas? 

When I speak to young ladies I pass on the same information that was given to me by my mentors Deanna Garza- Brown and Anthony Robins; stay in school, create goals, stay ACCOUNTABLE. Don’t follow the money follow your passion, the money will come along! I think today’s young Latinas get bit smitten by the things that glitter, and lose focus on what they need to be doing; the parties, and clubs will always be there, you’re not missing anything. I can tell you from experience, I lived in Vegas I wasted plenty of time in the Vegas scene. Imagine how much more can be accomplished if we spent a little less time dropping it likes it hot and hitting the books?

What Latina in your life has been a major inspiration and role model? 

Wow, this is like asking me who is my favorite designer. I come from a matriarchal family, and these women are non-conventional and have accomplished amazing things in their lives. It would be silly of me not to say my mother, she came to this country with such determination to have a better life and she is has done it. She is an artist, a entrepreneur, and has taught me so much about business. My Nina Cuca or Dr. Ruth Millan as her colleagues know her. My Nina Cuca, helped pave the path for many my generation and many generations to come. She was devoted to the cause of the civil rights movement, many times she put her life on the line to see future generations become something of themselves. Our generation takes it for granted that now people all shades get to sit together at a Starbucks and its all because of people like my Nina who fought for those rights. Thank you, Mami y Nina.

What is your favorite quote or saying that you live by in life? 

You can’t continue to do the same thing and expect different results. Many people waste a lifetime using the same approach and expecting a different result, that’s insane and a waste of time.

If there was one experience in your life that you could do over, what is it and what would it be? 

Nothing, every experience is a lesson that I needed to go through to make me who I am today.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 

Professionally, expanding my businesses, helping my clients dreams come to life, obtained my jd/mba degrees and mentor the younger generation. Personally, be at a healthy weight, finish a full marathon, continue to work on the Dr. Yanis in eradicating poverty, lastly married with children.

Name a fellow Latina, in your professional world, that inspires you. Why? 

My mentor; Deanna Garza-Brown, she is truly talented and amazing! She is has a wealth of information which she passes along. Many professionals get a bit a greedy with their knowledge and never pass it along…never understood the logic in that.

Meet Melissa Lopez

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Editor's Note: Melissa was referred by her sister Zulay. She said, "I hope you pick her she is an amazing little sister and a great friend! No one else deserves this more!"

Name: Melissa Lopez
Hometown: Bronx, NY
Education: BA in Communications, MBA in Marketing
Profession/Career: Marketing professional spending her "after nine-to-five" teaching fitness and dance classes
Web site: www.funfitchic.net

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you "grew up?"

I wanted to be a Rockette! Actually, I wanted to be a dancer - a ballet dancer, a back-up dancer (specifically Janet Jackson' back-up dancer), or a Broadway dancer. Deep down inside I always knew that I wanted to tap into my creative side.

Where were you born and where did you grow up for the most part of your life?

I was born in the South Bronx and I lived there until I graduated High School and moved into a dorm at Pace University in Pleasantville, NY. A completely different world.

What (if any) adversaries or discouragements did you face growing up? 

I can't say I had any specific discouragements but I could say that it was difficult growing up around complacency while being a dreamer. I really believed and still do believe that I can do anything I put my mind to. Where I grew up, I always felt like most people accepted things the way they were and whether or not they were okay with it, they never made a change. It was a constant discouragement for most and many times, I felt like giving in but that's not me. I don't accept the status quo and I really do believe that my life and my choices can change the world.

What has been the "proudest" moment in your life"

Purchasing my very own home before 30! I don't make a big deal about many things but this was very personal to me. Having lived in a rental my entire life with my family, it was very important to me to finally own a piece of "the American dream." It's not a big space but its mine and I am so proud of it. I have led many personal firsts in my family, yet this one had a special meaning to me because I was able to save up all the money necessary in a year. I ate rice with no beans and no chicken everyday BUT I did it.

What does being a Latina woman mean to you?

It means strength, love, passion and family. It means breaking down the stereotypes while staying true to your culture. I love being a Latina, I love speaking Spanish with my girlfriends and I love to see the mouths drop when I tell people I am Puerto Rican raised in the South Bronx. You have to carry it with a badge of honor wherever you go.

What advice do you have for today's young Latinas?

I've learned that education takes you very far - beyond the classroom. Continue learning, always be aware of your surroundings and let your intelligence lead the way. Latinos are hard-working. People know us as hustlers and I don't mean it in it's negative connotation. We put our hearts and our pride into our work and when you combine that with intelligence, you will always be a tough act to follow.

What Latina in your life has been a major inspiration and role model? 

As a kid, I would have said Rita Moreno! What a woman. I still look up to her very much but as an adult, I have to say my mother. We were fortunate enough to live in a two-parent household but at that time my father worked a lot and my mother held down the home. I know now all the pride she had to put aside to keep things together in our family. She taught us how to care for one another, how to love, and how to be humble. My favorite memory (and it might be quite foggy) was the day my mother arrived back home from a very bad day at work. She cried and told my dad she NEVER wanted to go there again. My father understood and told her that she didn't have to. After that, my mother used her creativity to design pieces of art and then sell them to her friends and their family during all holidays, she babysat children, she did everything she could to hold up her end of the bargain. I see that in myself - the entrepreneurial spirit and the creativity. I've had some rough times during this economy, but I always stayed afloat - I credit that ability to my parents.

What is your favorite quote or saying that you live by in life?

"I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much" by Mother Teresa. In trying times, you have to have the faith and belief in yourself and the universe that you will overcome whatever obstacle is placed in front of you and you will be stronger for it.

Name a fellow Latina, in your professional world, that inspires you. Why? 

Supreme Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor is a great inspiration. Like me, she grew up in the South Bronx. She was smart and didn't always fit in. She has had to overcome opposition and stereotypical views in front of an entire nation, and she always did it with grace. I previously worked in government and know first-hand that our nation's governmental institutions are lacking Latinas. She's a trailblazer and a woman of strength and integrity.