I hate to admit I wasn't always proud to be a Latina. My journey to becoming a strong and proud Latina started when I came to college, and it still hasn't ended! Before I ventured out of my hometown for college I didn't have a strong Latina to look up to (or at least I thought I didn't). I believed in Latina stereotypes because I only chose to notice the bad in my fellow Latinas. I had no pride in being a Latina because I associated being Latina with dropping out of school, getting pregnant and living off of food stamps. I didn't understand the issues Latinas were facing and certainly never thought I could help.
Coming to college and becoming a Latinitas club leader definitely changed my perspective about a lot of things, especially my culture. I realized that Latinas are so much more than a statistic or stereotype! In the past couple of years I have become so empowered! By educating myself about the struggles and triumphs of Latinas (and going through a few of my own) I have become so proud to be a Latina. I began to read beautiful literature by Latina authors, I familiarized myself with powerful Latina leaders and became inspired to become one myself, but most importantly I gained a huge respect for the Latinas in my own familia!
It took me leaving home to realize so many things that I wished I would have figured out a lot sooner! I have learned to embrace the things that I was self-conscious about like my accent, my frizzy hair and my hips that certainly don't lie! My Latina attributes are what make me beautiful and unique. I realized that instead of perpetuating the Latina stereotypes I could help stop them by reaching out to Latinas who are in need of a role model! My most important discovery was that I had two of the most powerful Latinas I have ever met living in my own family! My mother and my grandmother define what it is to be a strong Latina, I am so proud of them and hope that they have the same pride in me! My journey to being a proud and successful Latina is only beginning and I can't wait to see where it takes me! Latina Power!!!!!