It’s ALWAYS important to give thanks to the strong women that birthed us, raised us, and taught us everything we know. Whether we were raised by our mami, abuela, or a tia, we reflect on how these strong women have molded us into the person we are today. These strong women that have majorly influenced our lives with their wisdom. Our madres weren’t necessarily CEOs of fortune 500 companies and yet we have been able to take their words and apply them to our professional lives, helping us become successful in our own right.
Personally, my mami has single-handedly been my greatest influence on how I have maneuvered my life. Both personally and professionally. My mom helped prepare me for so many life lessons even though I may not have known it at the time. I asked a few Latinx movers and shakers what the greatest lesson that their moms taught them was and how they used that to succeed in their career.
Ivy Rivera, Puerto Rican Reality star on BET’s Hustle in Brooklyn
Ivy Rivera is no-nonsense when it comes to securing the bag. Starting her off a career as a radio host at Brooklyn College, she’s climbed up the ranks and now stars in BET’s reality show Hustle in Brooklyn. Ivy grew up in Brooklyn with her mother and grandmother and credits them for nurturing the star within her with simple affirmations about being smart and being able to pursue her dreams. “One of the things that my mom always instilled in me was not caring what people say and trusting your own path,” she tells HipLatina.
Ivy believes that because she was given the freedom to explore what she loved to do, she is where she is in her career today. “It’s because of people like her that encouraged me, I’m proud to have my curly hair and proud to have my strong Brooklyn accent,” she says. Now Ivy hopes other women find the beauty and courage within themselves to pursue their life dreams. “I am a huge advocate for girl power and to go after your dreams. I always try to implement the talented women around me so they can be highlighted as well. I’m a voice for Latinas that look like me and sound like me to do what they want to do, even if it’s not in the same career path as me.”
Joy Valerie, Guatemalan Host of Basic Brown Nerds Podcast
View this post on Instagram
Ever wanted to ask me all the Podcasting questions?! Wondering where to start!? #NYC here is your chance – March 21st I’ll be joining @anchor.fm ‘s Women in Podcasting Panel & Workshop. Talking about my journey with @basicbrownnerds alongside some amazing podcasters. In a month we’re celebrating women’s history – let’s keep making history and sharing our stories ! Excited to get more unique voices into Podcasting!!! The event is Free but please RSVP – link is in bio ! Thank you Anchor.fm for having me be a part of this! Hope to see you there & feel free to tag a friend that might be interested! #womeninpodcasting #latinxpodcast #pocpodcast #podsincolor #womenintech #weallgrow #jefas #chapina #immigrantsmakeamericagreat #intersectionalfeminism
Joy Valerie is making her mark in the tech world and credits her mom and the work ethic that has been passed down for generations for helping her along the way. “My family is a matriarchy. I grew up raised by my single mother and she grew up raised by hers,” she says.
For Joy, the greatest lesson that her mom taught her was innovation. “She taught me how to make my own opportunity when the world didn’t give it to me and how to be an entrepreneur. I grew up joining her distributing flyers for her cleaning business, going with her to clean houses, I saw my mother work hard and never give up. I realized she learned that from her mother who raised 8 children with no man, sewing, cooking and hustling to make ends meet in Guatemala. She made sure her kids never went hungry and were able to succeed.” Joy applies these same methods to her life as an entrepreneur. “They’ve taught me to go create solutions and be resourceful with what I have. They’ve taught me that we are the legacy of our ancestors that keep pushing us forward.”
Cessie Cerrato, Travel Public Relations
View this post on Instagram
36 years ago, my parents tied the knot in one of the most magical places that exist in Miami: The Ancient @spanishmonastery 💒 This summer, I’ll meet @mx_cabrera at the altar in the same magical place to begin our greatest adventure yet: Marriage. 💓 For those that don’t know, The monastery was originally built in the early 12th century (1133 CE) in Sacramenia, Spain. The Cloisters were part of a Cistercian monastery for nearly 700 years. In 1925, the Cloisters were dismantled and shipped to the US by William Randolph Hearst. 💗💗💗💗 I can’t wait to marry you Manolo! Adventure Awaits, 8.30.19 #CessieFoundHerMANny
For Cessie Cerrato, Mother’s Day allows her to reflect on how her mother and abuela have both influenced her personally and professionally. “As a first generation Cuban-American, I was the first to attend and complete college. And the importance of an education and a career was instilled in me at a very young age by both my grandmother and my mother,” she says.
Cessie’s mother and grandmother knew that the key to her success would be achieved through higher education. “They wanted to make sure that I would have all the opportunities available to me that they didn’t have and they wanted to make sure that I could always sustain myself financially and never have to depend on anyone else.”
Her family also stressed the importance of making a good first impression. “From a personal standpoint, my grandmother made sure she always left the house looking 100 %! She would not step foot in the grocery store without looking completely put together.” This is something that she carries with her everywhere she goes. “My mom always said, You never get a second chance to make a first impression. That stuck with me for life.” Their advice shaped her and in the end taught her to prioritize career, work hard, be kind and never leave the house looking like a mess.
Martha Luna Medina, Venezuelan Wardrobe Stylist
Martha Luna Medina is a Venezuelan-born influencer started her style blog to help girls keep up with trends and be stylish while on a budget. She immigrated to the United States at 12-years-old and credits her abuela, Teresa Diaz de Medina for shaping her into the woman she is today. “The biggest thing I think I learned was working for everything I wanted. At the age of 12, I was making $100 working 3 or four days working with my grandmother. If I wanted something she’d say I’d have to work these certain days.”
Looking back, Martha feels that this was her grandmother’s way of teaching her a valuable life lesson, while simultaneously watching over her granddaughter. “I didn’t have the typical 12-year-old lifestyle. My grandmother was the head housemaid and I was an immigrant kid. How she protected me was by taking me with her but what she wanted to teach me was that in this country, you have to work for what you want.” She now takes that exact attitude into the multiple businesses that she runs. “I know I have to work for things. If I want to be CEO, I have to work for it. It was the biggest thing she taught me.”
Lenny Santiago, SVP Roc Nation
View this post on Instagram
I try to make sure most of my days are filled with Love & Laughter and my Birthday Dinners are no different. Blessed to see another year on 4/16 and bring it in with my family. If I’m not mistaken, I think @oneelijahkelley said something hilarious. Lol. Thank you Erin Harris for my making my birthday special as usual. You’re the BEST!! 📷 @jenjphoto
Lenny S has worked with some of hip-hop’s biggest acts, including Jay-Z, DJ Khaled, and Meek Mill. He acknowledges the role that his mother and grandmother played in his life even when he might not have realized it. “My mother and grandmother raised and taught me everything I know from morals and values to respect and integrity. They showed me what responsibility, ambition and hard work could get me,” he says.
As he builds his own career, he also helps other artists build theirs. Lenny’s mother and grandmother had equipped him with the tools he needed for success. “They laid the foundation of my life before I knew what success was or even how to achieve it. They gave me structure and security, which I now make a habit to instill in others. Not sure what I would have done without them.”
Lynn Kate, Ecuadorian Brand Influencer
Beauty blogger and brand influencer Lynn Kate is #hairgoals for many curly girls. She immigrated to the United States from Ecuador at six-years-old and has managed to create a brand built around self-love and acceptance. “This is the life she wanted for me,” Lynn says about her mom Anabel. She always remembers what her mom has taught her over the years “My mom always taught me to be true to myself, be patient and be assertive.”
Lynn has managed to build a brand of over 200 thousand followers while remaining in college. A road that hasn’t always been the easiest and there have been plenty of times that Lynn wanted to quit. Her mom was there to remind her that although things may seem hard at the moment, it’s just a temporary feeling. “There have been times when I really wanted to quit. Even with school, I wanted to quit and just work on my brand. My mom always told me to keep going.”
Kimmy Dole, Honduran Journalist
As for myself, I have my mom to thank for any successes I have and will achieve. We immigrated to America when I was a toddler and she wanted me to take advantage of the opportunities this country presented me with. From an early age, I saw first hand how my mom put 110 percent into everything she did and managed to do so with a smile on her face. I absolutely inherited my mother’s work ethic and I know that she got hers from my great-grandmother who raised her.
My mom always stressed the importance of education and that learning went beyond a classroom. For her, success in the United States could be achieved through hard work and education, which to her went hand in hand. “How will you get to where you want to be if you don’t work hard and just stop learning?’ she’d ask me several times over the years. We came to this country to make something of ourselves, and nobody is just going to hand it to us, we have to work hard,” she would always reiterate those words to me and it fueled my drive to make something of myself.
I learned to always work hard, to persevere and never stop learning. This is how I become the very best version of myself. I don’t have a trust fund but what I do have are my mom’s words of wisdom. Her gift to me. I happily apply those gems to any challenge that I decide to tackle in life. A Latina mom is an amazing gift to have and there’s no way to ever repay these women for all they have given us. Hopefully, we can carry on their legacy and continue to make them proud.
Happy Mother’s Day!