Growing up with the challenges associated with separation, my values and moral foundation is authentically influenced by family, friends and the community. I am proud to say that I'm a product of my village and appreciate the contrasting influences I experienced while growing up in the Southeast. Those experiences, along with education and conversations are responsible for the objective reasoning I apply in my daily life.
With limited resources, I knew that establishing genuine relationships with people would be the only way to succeed. I learned to listen, understand and relate with those around me to successfully maneuver through obstacles and challenges. Through these adolescent experiences, open and unbiased communication became a core value as I saw firsthand the positive impact it had on myself and those around me.
Fueled by my past, motivated to innovate and encouraged by the people around me, my persistence prevailed as I became the first in my family to receive a college degree. I was taught at an early age that through hard work and a rounded education I would not only succeed but could be an agent of change. As I reaped the benefits from communal support along my journey, I never stopped putting others first. My most joyous moments come from witnessing the positive influence and power that stem from serving as volunteer in the community.
My involvement with the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, Boys and Girls Club, Salvation Army and United Way along with other organizations quickly showed me the determination and grit of the residents that make up this amazing community.