Upon my arrival to the United States in 2006, I spoke no English and knew very little about the American culture or its people. I also had limited resources to attend college. I wanted to become a leader, but I didn't know if I had the means or the ability to do it in a new country. So I looked to the leaders in my life for inspiration—these leaders were women.
My two English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers were women. They taught me to read, write, and speak in a foreign land. They guided me as I formed the bedrock of my new life. My local women's alliance and Chambers of Commerce were also helmed by women who helped me acquire the scholarships that allowed me to attend college. Everywhere I looked in America, I was surrounded by women who were changing lives and making big things happen.
Two years later, I joined a different Chamber of Commerce, where once again I worked under direct guidance of a remarkable woman: its president Asusena Resendiz. Some men do not have the opportunity to have a female mentor at work, and I think that is a shame. Being mentored by Asusena taught me so many lessons about leadership. She showed me how to work diligently and creatively, and she believed in me and helped me grow. I remember when our Chamber of Commerce was looking for two board of directors positions, and I asked Asusena if it would be too optimistic to apply for the position. I remember her smile and her answer: "you'll never know if you don't try." I applied and at the age of 20 I became their youngest Honorary Board Member ever.
Since then, I have served as a liaison between various organizations throughout the Dallas / Fort Worth area. I am excited to be an advocate and supporter of my community. And I am proud that I have been mentored and motivated by the women in my life, who taught me invaluable lessons about business and leadership. I am proud that I can lean in with them.