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Hispanic Heritage Month: The Freedom to Celebrate Me

Hispanic Heritage Month: The Freedom to Celebrate Me

I’ve had the honor of being part of the Company for more than nine years, starting as a Store Manager, then promoting to General Manager, and now celebrating my one-year anniversary as a District Director of Operations.

I love that the Company offers many talent programs, like Team Up–the mentioning program–and Step Up–the high potential program, which have helped me reach this next level in my career. In Team Up, I was matched with mentors that pushed me, guided me, and gave me the opportunity to grow. In Step Up, our talent department helped ensure I was ready for the next leadership step in my career. Along with the programs, I also have amazing leaders that continue to impact my life both professionally and personally.

The Company encourages us to celebrate our cultures and helps ensure we feel included in many ways, like with our Empower Resource Group (ERG), LEGADO (Latinos Educating, Guiding, And Driving Opportunities). LEGADO has given me the opportunity to have a support system of Latino peers and leaders where I can share my ideas and connect with others on a variety of topics, like self-development. Every day, I feel like I get the opportunity to celebrate my culture and honor my values and traditions.

Being Hispanic and preserving our traditions is so important to me. I believe we need to stay connected to our roots to preserve our culture for generations to come. We historically have a strong sense of family, unity and religion, and know the importance of respect and honor.

I try to stay true to the values and traditions my parents showed me growing up. From big celebrations to when my dad just wants to cook and have us over for a game of Loteria, we always speak Spanish. This isn’t because my family doesn’t speak English, but because we want our children to be able to communicate fluently in both languages.

Every celebration with family is important to me, even if it’s small. I look forward to many Hispanic holidays and traditions, but my favorite is Christmas! I enjoy being surrounded by family, friends, and neighbors. I always have a “Nacimiento” (Nativity Scene) displayed next to the Christmas tree. On Christmas Eve, we all get together and make all our favorite dishes–Pozole, Banuelos, Champurrado, and Tamales. We have dinner and stay up until midnight awaiting Christmas Day.

Speaking of food, I can’t forget to mention it! I love being able to prepare family recipes and enjoy different cuisines from different countries or from different parts of Mexico–where my family is from. One of my favorite comfort foods, and my team would agree, is tacos!

Growing up Hispanic taught me that responsibility and accountability are shared. We celebrate each other’s wins, big and small, set high goals for each other, and challenge each other on the way there. We have integrity and honesty, and always own up to our mistakes because we know we can get through it together. It was never about who was better, but about how we could all succeed together, and my background certainly carries over into my life–especially at work! I love that I’m given the freedom to bring my heritage to work every day and share it with my coworkers so they can learn more about me.

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