“Latinas Hunger For Independence”
Posted by La Alemana con Alma Latina at October 4th, 2011
I recently got to know a young Latina who is writing an interesting blog. Her name is Angelica Navarro and she is the creator of La Rosa Negra blog and a member of the Latin@ Youth Action League.
I conducted a quick interview with her for you to learn from her. Enjoy her answers…
- What makes you Latina?
- I never put thought into such a question. I just figured that being descendant of a Latino family and growing up with those traditional values was what defined someone as Latin@. I don’t think I have ever met a Latin@ that didn’t value or follow some traditional aspect of their Latino Heritage. So I guess what makes me a Latina is taking to heart those traditional values that are passed down from generation to generation that bring to light the Latino culture and which I hope to preserve and continue to pass down.
- I have never considered myself a leader. Most of my accomplishments have been for my own benefit. I have reached a point in my life though that I believe my experiences will help others, especially in the Latino community. I have been led to believe that in order to have a stronger Latino community we need to educate them through experiences of none other than Latinos themselves. Because if I can be successful so can my friends and family and those that are in their networks. We just need to tell them how to do it and what resources are available for them to achieve their goals. This goes for both the documented and undocumented individuals within the Latino community. In this sense we are a mixed community that must be educated in all issues that our communities face to make better decisions as a whole.
- I think my experiences and the injustices that I have witnessed are what motivate me to help the Latino community. I think there is nothing worse than to just sit and watch a rapidly growing community that has so much potential, but yet struggles so much, knowing that I have the capability and resources to help make a stronger community. I did not get an education to just make more money. I reached those goals to also gain the knowledge to help others.
- Honesty is my top value. If you are not honest with yourself you cannot be honest with anyone else. Honesty is the pinnacle to everything. It can make you or break you or break you. My other two values are family and faith.
- Latinas hunger for independence. We want to set ourselves apart from past generations that were very dependent on their husbands and even their children. When I was younger I started to baby sit my younger siblings in grade school and took care of them as my children. As I grew older I realized I wasn’t the only one that went through this. I grew up with the notion that I wanted to be prepared to provide 100% for my family than to have my children help me. I also wanted to be completely independent from a man. I want to make my own decision and achieve my own personal goals. So again, that independence, that ability to be able to depend on yourself is a goal that Latinas strive for.
- Well as mentioned above I want them to learn from my experiences. So other people won’t make the same mistakes as me, but make better decisions for their future. I want the Latina community to know that networking events are beneficial to their professions and that even though it’s a completely different world than what they are used to, it is something that they should definitely experience. In addition, I kind of want to become a role model. I want to show them what scholarships that they can apply for. What schools may be more beneficial for them. Show them that volunteering is more than just helping others. I want to show them that there is much more out there that they should experience to reach their goals and that will help motivate them to become successful.
- My journey has just begun. I started my blog June of this year. I joined the Latino Youth Action League a month after that. For now I will continue to blog my experiences, I hope to volunteer more and make some huge strides in the newly formed Latino Youth Action League. These next 12 months ares going to be extremely exciting as continue to build my network and start helping people in a more active and professional manner.
- I would never use the word hinder. As a Latino community though, I believe that we don’t know the resources that are available to us to become successful. Like the rest of the society here in the U.S. we get so caught up in our daily lives that we don’t take the time to look outside of our immediate world to discover details that can help us become successful. That’s why I feel that Latinos who have already reached their bachelor and master degree goals should go out and speak to those who have not made it in those areas and teach them how to get there or other goals that they once dreamt or continue to dream to about.
- Always strive for more. Never stay stagnant. Never put your dreams and goals on the backside because it’s those goals and dreams that keep us vibrant, that keep us living, and that make us successful. And if you are stuck and don’t know what to do SEEK HELP. Network, blog, volunteer, brainstorm ideas and don’t make excuses as to why you can’t do things. Do not self-sabotage and hinder your own success.
- I have to say I was one of them for a while. I was lost. I just did what my parents told me to do so I wouldn’t get in trouble. And it’s this statement that is one of the factors that motivate me to help the Latina community. I think we need to start asking all Latina generations not what you want out of life, but what you don’t want out of it. I chose not to struggle as my parents have struggled and I searched for a way to reach that goal. Therefore I went to school to achieve that better future. Life will never be problem free, but it can be less stressful if you prepare for those bad moments to make life just a little easier. Therefore, whether you are a Latina or not you need to ask yourself who you don’t want to become and once that is figured out the world opens up and you can then be introduced to a million opportunities on the type of person that you would like to be. And the intention of my blog is show those opportunities.
- What is most important to you in life when you’re NOT stressed out and why: variety/fun, love/connection, contribution, growth/learning, certainty/safety and significance/feeling important?
- Whether I am stressed out or not the most important thing in my life is the love of my family. You can make mistakes, have best friends, have long-time boyfriends, but no matter what my family has always been there for me and that is something that I will always cherish and never take for granted.
- I want more Latinas to be successful. I want them to be lawyers, own their own business, become activists, doctors, vets, etc. We are a powerful group and I would like us to show it from a professional and educated standpoint.
- As a Latina in the United States I first wish that we weren’t segregated as documented and undocumented. I know undocumented women my age who also have or are getting their masters degrees and it is completely a killer to know that the success of very intelligent women are in the hands of one of the biggest political debates in the United States. Yet, I hope that this type of segregation is eliminated or lessened so we can become a stronger unit.
To get in touch with Angelica Navarro, follow her on Twitter @LaRosaNegra1 and go to her blog at www.larosanegrachicago.com.
What did you learn from this interview? Share your thoughts below!