Two Saturdays ago, four of our Cloud & Fire ladies attended the 2017 Adelante Mujer Latina Career Conference at CSUN which was put on by the Comisión Femenil of San Fernando Valley. They heard inspiring stories from multiple women who pursued their education and careers despite personal challenges, and attended workshops for careers in education, social work, media and journalism, law enforcement, and more. Each of them were touched by different elements of the conference, from learning about careers that they had never considered before to identifying with the amazing professionals and their personal experience with education in California.
Janet Rodriguez (pictured far left) enjoyed the education and dentistry workshops. She learned about the higher levels of education, like the California board where they plan the future of schools and educational policy. In the dentistry workshop, they shared about all the offices in the Van Nuys area that actually offer volunteer opportunities to build their experience.
Daniela Guerrero (pictured center) was particularly inspired by the presentation of one of the teachers in the education workshop. Not only was she Latina but she also came from a background where none of her family pursued education, something Daniela strongly identified with. Hearing from Dr. Angeles, who is among the extremely small percentage of Hispanics to earn their phD, motivated Daniela to let go of any fear or doubt she had in her education dreams. She also found the session on grants and scholarship extremely informational, and was inspired by the thought that, even if your gpa is low and you feel like there are no scholarships for you, paying for college is always possible somehow.
Kimberly Ortega (pictured second from the left) also went to the education workshop and was really inspired by the other presenter, who was born in the US, moved to Mexico at four, and returned to the states for high school. Despite the language barrier, she took AP English and pursued a college degree for journalism, a career which eventually led to work in the Department of Education. Her dedication and determination really inspired Kimberly to follow her own dream of becoming a science teacher.
Eileen Rodriguez (pictured second from the right) felt like she really learned a lot. In both her workshops (law enforcement and media and journalism) they focused on the power of networking and that getting into a career often depends on who you know. From this Eileen advised our current students to just go to any and every event around career planning, whether here at Cloud & Fire or elsewhere. Wisely, she added, “being at home, you guys are not going to find anyone who is in their career and wanting to guide you. So just go!”
All our Cloud & Fire ladies enjoyed an informational and inspirational conference; every woman there, whether they were an announcer, leader of a workshop, or keynote speaker, had only positive and empowering words for all the young Latina women. They left refreshed and ready to continue pursuing their education and career goals.