Hilda Solis is an American heroine whose success is not in business, but in politics. She is the daughter of immigrants—her father moved from Mexico and her mother hailed from Nicaragua. She herself was born in Los Angeles, CA, and raised in La Puente, CA. She has long been an advocate of workers’ rights, education, protecting the environment, and women’s rights.
Solis has achieved many firsts in her career: She was the first in her family to go to college. She was the first Hispanic woman to serve in California’s state senate. She was the first woman to represent the San Gabriel Valley. She was the first woman to win the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation’s Profile in Courage Award. She was the first Hispanic Secretary of Labor.
Hilda Solis graduated from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1979. Then she went to University of Southern California and earned a Master of Public Administration degree in 1981.
Solis has held many political offices. She worked as a management analyst for the Office of Management and Budget during Reagan’s presidency, and was then elected to the board of trustees for the Rio Hondo Community College District. She was elected first to the California State Assembly and then to the California State Senate. When she was elected to the U. S. House of Representatives, she was appointed freshman class whip and served on several committees. President Obama appointed her Secretary of Labor for his first term in office. After leaving the Cabinet, she was elected to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the post she currently holds.
We applaud this outstanding Latina leader, and put forth her story as an inspiration to young women across the U.S.