MY ROOTS ARE LOUD, BUT I NEVER CONNECTED WITH THE NOISE.
Born and raised in Miami, Florida into a Cuban family in a very Latino city, I always had a deep connection to my Cuban heritage. (I mean, my first language is Spanish) However, I felt like “the mold” that was my environment outside the walls of my home did not fit me. I knew my greater purpose was outside the city I was born into. So, I left.
I set my sights towards the West Coast despite all odds from people who told me it was a “bad idea.” But, I was a manifester at a young age. My dreams of living in Los Angeles landed me at my first choice university - USC. As an alumna of the University of Southern California, I earned my Bachelor's degree in Broadcast and Digital Journalism with a minor in Spanish language.
I ALWAYS HAD THE MINDSET, BUT LACKED THE CEO CONFIDENCE.
I'm the Founder and former president of the student chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) at my university. I also founded a student-run, digital social media outlet for people of color at Annenberg to leave a legacy behind for students to tell stories for communities of color in America.
My professional career has taken me across several media landscapes (on-camera, behind-the-scenes, and digital) ranging from entertainment to international news. I have interviewed several celebrities on Hollywood's red carpet, community members in the state of Virginia and produced a short documentary in Greece focusing on the intersectionality of the LGTBQI and Greek Orthodox Church.
In 2016, while completing my last undergrad year, I reported on the Haitian migration crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.
However, something was missing. This feeling was becoming unshakable as I moved on from my college life. I asked myself, “Where am I going? Why am I not happy?”
GROWING PAINS DEMAND TO BE FELT AND IT HAPPENS WHERE IT ALL BEGAN - HOME.
I eventually landed back in my home city of Miami because it felt like the “safe choice.” I worked with South Florida media startups in the podcasting and film industry and then landed the dream job in working with a public news figure with over 2 million followers across social media. I considered this position to be the “dream job” that would define my journalistic career.
I would soon come to find out that the reality did not match the dream.
A series of events post-college tossed me upside down that tore my confidence in my professional life. I increasingly felt unappreciated at the “dream job,” fell into a deep depression, forced to move out of my apartment due to unemployment, and got into further financial debt. All while realizing, I wanted to pursue my dreams in another continent. I even sought a series of odd jobs just to survive in the U.S. after I manifested losing my corporate job. I literally lost it all.
And, the scarcity mindset began.
Shocking to say out loud? I know. So did I. But, I let go of the limiting belief that these pitfalls are something I need to be ashamed of, and instead embrace it as part of my story.
In hindsight, I am grateful.
THE START OF SOMETHING POWERFUL TOOK A SEAT BEHIND THE WHEEL. I NO LONGER SAT IN THE PASSENGER'S SEAT.
Without the challenges I’ve faced thus far, I wouldn’t be where I am today. So, I began to do the “inner work.” I asked myself, “what do I define as happiness?”
I looked at my past and recall the time I studied abroad in the Basque Country of Spain as the best time of my life. Meeting new people, cultures different from mine, and experiencing a different lifestyle is all I ever wanted since 2016.
I left everything behind in America. I sold almost everything in my possession and moved across the Atlantic to live my life in happiness, which is living abroad.
Four years later and I am living life on my own terms. I am now the Founder and CEO of my own online, media business, Work in Progress Media. Although 2020 turned into an unexpected year, it was my year to take a risk on myself and embrace entrepreneurship.
I freelance for media publications and my work can be seen in VICE, We are Mitú, Latino Rebels, NPR, NAHJ’s Palabra, HyperAllergic and the New York Times.
Follow me along the journey as my story is still being written… After all, we are all a Work In Progress.