Inspiring Latina | Karina Mora

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What does being a Latina mean to you?:

Connection. I'm so proud of being Latina because it connects me to a culture that is filled with beauty and resilience.

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I've been a photographer for 10 years, but I'm most passionate about connecting my family and others, to my culture. I travel to cities in Mexico to take pictures, then print and frame them, so you can always have a piece of Mexico in your home.
I'm passionate about educating others about Mexico through art. I want to challenge misconceptions and share the beauty, vibrancy, and humanity that is Mexico through my work.

What inspired you to start your movement, business, non-profit, dream, etc.:

I was inspired to start my new business a few years ago after having a few interactions with people in which there was a lack of basic understanding of Mexican culture. It was then, that I knew the importance of passing on Mexican traditions to my children, and how it was up to me to be intentional about it. I went to Mexico to clear my head and think through my feelings. While I was there I decided to create a platform to share and bridge that gap of understanding through sharing my art and pairing it with education about Mexican history.

What are some preconceived notions/stereotypes that you've faced in your business, movement, non-profit, etc?:

This whole business was started because of stereotypes of Mexican culture. From "Taco Tuesday's" to Cinco de Mayo celebrations, I hope to challenge and counter the stereotypes with history and images that show Mexico in a different light.

Who are some of your Latinx inspirations?:

@raisingespanol is a mom teaching about raising her son in a bilingual home.
@darielacruz is an artist inspiring others and sharing a bilingual & multicultural family lifestyle.
@carolina_adame is a fellow photographer, a great visual storyteller, and homeschool mom.

Inspiring Latina | Dr. Lopez

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What does being a Latina mean to you?:

Being a Latina means power beyond measure. It means fighting for what is right and never giving up. Being a Latina is who I am.

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I envision a world where finances aren’t a stumbling block for individuals who aspire to attain higher education. For this reason I’ve started a non profit scholarship foundation, where students with financial need can apply to receive aid. This program will also provide students with mentorship opportunities throughout their educational journey, to help them reach their academic goals.

What inspired you to start your movement, business, non-profit, dream, etc.:

Potential in individuals inspires me. While I was in college, I too, needed a role model and financial assistance. And when it wasn’t there, it was hard. I saw a lot of my peers quit along the way due to the same struggles. Now as a professor, I see this happen too often and it breaks my heart. If we all do a small part, we can help someone achieve their dreams.

What are some preconceived notions/stereotypes that you've faced in your business, movement, non-profit, etc?:

Growing up I didn’t have anyone that looked like me in college or in positions of power. So the message I received was, people who look like me aren’t smart or they do not go to college. I am not a statistic. One reason I wear my hair curly most of the time it’s to show people that women who look like me do in fact earn doctoral degrees.

Are you a US citizen? If not, could you share what your experience has been being an immigrant, and the process of becoming a US citizen, resident, etc.:

I’m a US citizen. Although, I came to the states against my will. My mom brought us over really young and it was very hard. There’s a misconception that individuals who have citizenship should be content because we don’t go through what individuals who aren’t go through. Never would I compare it to such levels. However, I have suffered ramifications of becoming a resident of a city and culture I was not accustomed too. I was bullied and told to go back to Mexico, and may I remind you I’m Puerto Rican. The whole situation is sad.

If we could just recognize that as human beings we are going to suffer and we for this reason should stick together and fight for what is right for everyone. We wouldn’t go through so much.

If you ask me, we are all immigrants.

What are some of your aspirations for Latinos?

That all Latinx are educated to levels where they are placed in positions of power. My aspirations are that we change the paradigm in this country. We are the largest community. Then let us be the Largest educated community in the United States of America.

Is there something else you'd like to say or add?:

I would like to say that it is in the collective that we can make this world a better place. Collaboration is key in change!

Inspiring Latina | Clarybelle

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What does being a Latina mean to you?:

Being a Latina for me means being strong, uniquely beautiful, and full of life.

We are strong because we endure many obstacles, but with our Latina sangre, we overcome them.

We are family strong, because we balance the household and family together, with our emotional strength. Latina’s are uniquely beautiful because we come in different shapes, colors and sizes.

We are full of life because God’s light shines on us.

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“A Beautiful Project” is a faith based organization. We are about volunteer work and providing educational workshops around the Chicagoland area. Our goal is to grow spiritually and get involved. We want to teach young women to give back to their communities.

What inspired you to start your movement, businss, non-profit, dream, etc.:

I began my #womenhood journey when I was 16 years old, it started off as a beauty blog. Then at 21, God planted a seed in my heart of service. My younger sister Suzzy and I ( Both Prom Queen Alumni’s ) decided to give back to our high school and donate prom dresses to teens in need. Later in 2017, we created a foundation “A Beautiful Project” to inspire young women to get involved in the community with us and grow spiritually. We believe that providing a nurturing environment can help young people reach their highest potential.

What are some preconceived notions/stereotypes that you've faced in your business, movement, non-profit, etc?:

The things I’ve faced having a community oriented organization is dealing with the lack of support from other women in the same field. I’d love for all of us to come together and make a difference in the world, but I guess not everyone rolls like that. It’s sad to say but many women don’t like to support each other. I want to help break this curse!

Who are some of your Latinx inspirations?:

My Puerto Rican mother Maribel Lopez and Grandmother Marisela Melecio. They have both paved the way for my family and I to achieve our goals and to be proud of who we are! They’re the real hero’s in my life.

Is there something else you'd like to say or add?:

My ultimate passion in life is to serve in the community and teach young women to believe in themselves, no matter where you come from. God made you with a purpose.

Inspiring Latina | Jelisa

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What does being a Latina mean to you?:

Being Latina for me means living loud, loving, extravagantly and owning what makes me uniquely me. None of us look the same, sound the same, but we are connected by our music, and the similarities in our culture. Being Latina means that I live in the light of my ancestors while forging a new way.

We are strong, resilient, and beautiful!

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I’m currently in grad school (almost finished) for my masters degree in social work. I learned long ago that I am an encourager - I love and love to see people succeed. I love stories. As a social worker I listen to so many heartbreaking stories and I get to see how resilient people are. How in spite of heartbreak and loss, they can move forward and build a life that means something. I’m hoping to launch a project soon that joins all different types of women together. Recognizing that the power of our stories makes us Brave. Whether our steps of bravery are large or small, our bravery gives others permission to unlock theirs. So soon there will be a Brave Ones movement.

What inspired you to start your movement, businss, non-profit, dream, etc.:

I’ve worked in the non profit sector since I was a teenager. Seeing people at their worst, absolutely broken, with seemingly no hope — I realized how important having an ally is. How important listening to someone’s story is. How important telling your own story is. Over the years I have shared my story of loss and heartbreak. My struggle with faith and realizing that God is the ultimate story teller. I’ve seen so many (women) identify with parts of my story and I’ve seen them open up about their own. The heart behind Brave Ones is that we are all on a journey of bravery and it looks different for all of us but this life requires us to be brave - inspite is so many things. The hope is that when we discover our identity and get around people who encourage us we can walk more freely in who we are. We all have purpose but so many of us lack a REAL community where encouragement is constant.

What are some preconceived notions/stereotypes that you've faced in your business, movement, non-profit, etc?:

Being a woman is difficult in a lot of sectors. Being a Latina can be even more difficult. I see the stares and experience the microagressions in class when I’m the only Latina in my graduate level course. I constantly have to change or decide how to dress or wear my hair. There was a time when I would only wear my hair straight to meetings because it felt more professional. I’ve had men talk over or completely shut me out of a meeting where I was the expert in the room or when discussing my clients. It’s difficult sometimes having to remind yourself - I’ve worked hard to get here. I deserve to be here. My opinion matters.

Who are some of your Latinx inspirations?:

Gina Rodriguez, Sandra Cisneros, Rita moreno, my maternal grandmother Maria Alvear Perez, my paternal grandmother Rosa Mercado, my mother Digna Maria Mercado.

Inspiring Latina | Liza

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What does being a Latina mean to you?:

Being unique and authentic, staying true to my roots and culture.

What do you identify as?

Mexican

Share your movement, business, non-profit, dream, with us::

Simply Destinee Youth Center is a not-for-profit youth dance team and center that promotes suicide awareness in memory of my daughter Destinee, who I lost in 2010. We focus on anti-bullying by teaching them to learn to express themselves through music and art. We focus on self-love, self-acceptance, and promoting positivity in the world. We serve minority children and at-risk youth. We offer services and resources for their parents and guardians as well, as we believe in the importance of providing suicide awareness to the entire family.

After losing my daughter, we realized that there was a need in the community and so many children are suffering in silence. We felt that we needed to find a way to offer a safe space for the children that allowed them to express themselves, as well as, learn how to accept themselves for who they are. We have been in operation now for over seven years and have had several hundred kids go through our program. We also offer services through the after-school program on the east side of Aurora which is primarily minority students as well. Since that time we have helped several families and children in crisis.

What are some preconceived notions/stereotypes that you've faced in your business, movement, non-profit, etc?:

I think for us the greatest stereotype that we face is that if you say that you have mental illness, you are crazy especially in the Latino community. A lot of people also look down on our organization because they feel that since we are talking about suicide, we're implementing ideas in the children's head. When in fact we're here to celebrate life. We love celebrating each child that goes through our program during their birthday month. We talk about things that are going on in today’s world that are greatly impacting our youth. We foster a safe space for them so that they can learn to express themselves in a more positive light. There's so many other things that we do that are quite the contrary but people assume that because of the fact that were talking about suicide prevention, which is such a taboo topic, that that means it's very negative and dark.

Are you a US citizen? If not, could you share what your experience has been being an immigrant, and the process of becoming a US citizen, resident, etc:

I'm fortunate enough to be a US citizen however my mom would often tell me stories about how my grandmother would have to cross over to give birth in the United States so that her children would be US citizens. As my mom was growing up she also faced a lot of discrimination because she had darker skin.

Who are some of your Latino inspirations?:

I think that any woman or man that is of Latin descent that has a social position is an inspiration for our younger generation. I feel the biggest setback for most of our children is that we don't have those people to look up to as inspirations. I am 46 years old and I feel like it’s just now where I’m meeting so many inspiring latinos that I wish I had met in my younger years.

Is there something else you'd like to say or add?:

I'm very proud of who I am and where I've come from and I know that a lot of those struggles have made my family who they are. There's nothing I would change about my life. I'm here to be a leader, a helper and most of all of friend. I would have never imagined my life to be the way it is right now and I know the selfish part of me says that I would give anything to have my daughter back. However, the other part of me says that we are put on this world for a purpose and this is my purpose.

THE AA PODCAST | EP 6: HOW TO BE A BETTER FRIEND...ERIN

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Friends, I’m super excited to share this new mini series that I’m doing with our podcast, called How to be a better friend to….

I’m interviewing my friends in my inner circle as we have a candid conversation about what it means to be a better friend…especially to someone who doesn’t live, look, or share the same season of life as you.

This idea was inspired by my friend, Melissa, when she shared with me that having cancer revealed to her who her real friends were. I wanted to interview her, and gather her thoughts around this, regretfully it didn’t happen. Melissa’s cancer came and she passed several months later. So I dedicate this series to her, as she taught me how to be a better friend, how to show up even when I didn’t have the words to say, and how to not always talk about cancer with her, but rather just life, and dream…..I admit it was the hardest thing ever. I didn’t feel right sharing what was going on in my life, but she wanted to feel normalcy. She wanted to partner with me in dreaming, and she did. Her legacy and fingerprint will forever be in me. And I just wish you had the opportunity to know her like I did.

So today if the official launch of this mini series, just 2 days after her birthday, and one day after Easter. I love all the symbolism, and how God shows up!

I hope this series blesses and encourages you!

Show notes:

Our photobooth business: 

adventurebooth.co

Instagram: @adventureboothco

Want to stay connected with Erin?

Follow her on Insta: @erin.channell

Until next time,

Jasmine

THE AA PODCAST | EP 5: SEX, MONEY...AND COMMUNICATION

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Today's episode was a spontaneous recording where I didn't know what the topic was going to be about, but I'm so glad we had this conversation. We are talking about sex, money....and communication in marriage, and all that we've learned over the last 12 years. We dive deeper into therapy, purity culture, identifying our triggers, and how taking all the personality tests has helped us to learn more about each other!

SHOW NOTES:

Here’s the book that I loved, and talk about called The Seven Money Types by Tommy Brown: https://amzn.to/2CWnPD2


*Please keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews.

THE AA PODCAST | EP 4: WHAT IS THE FIREHOUSE DREAM & HOW WE BOUGHT A FIREHOUSE?

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Friend!!! I’m so excited to share episode 4 with you!!! Today we are talking all things about The Firehouse Dream. The process in purchasing the firehouse was one of the most hardest seasons for me, along with the uncertainty of the final outcome…..which now we know everything turns out okay, but during the 3 month process we had no idea what was going to happen. Through this season of waiting though, the Lord did some major healing and helped me to see that no matter what the outcome was, that He is still good, and that He will always love me! I hope you enjoy this episode, and are deeply encouraged by it. I pray that you would dream with God, and take small steps to making them a reality!!!

Until next time, be blessed!

Jasmine

Show notes:

I mentioned some scripture that I clinged onto when I was in the process of purchasing the firehouse, and wanted to share them with you below.

Matthew 10:10 (MSG) Don’t think you have to put on a fund-raising campaign before you start. You don’t need a lot of equipment. You are the equipment, and all you need to keep that going is three meals a day. Travel light.

Matthew: 10:42 (MSG) Accepting  someone’s help is as good as giving someone help. This is a large work  I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it. It’s best to start  small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for  instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true  apprentice. You won’t lose out on a thing.”

THE AA PODCAST | EP 3: WHY WE AREN'T PRO-COLLEGE

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Yes, I said it….WE aren’t pro-college….well maybe….kind of?!?

We definitely aren’t anti-college, but do feel it’s not necessary for every field. Listen to this podcast episode to discover why we say we are pro-calling versus pro-college, and how our college experiences influenced our language around this as we raise our girls. Before we recorded this episode we also asked our IG friends to ask us any questions they may have. Here’s what was asked: do we have a college fund for our girls, and what happens if they don’t know what they want to do when they graduate from high school.

Episode 3