Celebrating My Role Models

Celebrating My Role Models

One woman’s stories of how her role models have shaped who she is today.


When I look back at some of the most impactful moments in my life, a mentor was involved in some way, shape or form. I’ve had mentors who have helped nurture my craft, protect me from unseen danger and encourage me at times when I was ready to throw in the towel.

Navigating Waters
As an editorial intern at a popular Latina-focused magazine, I was learning how to navigate the waters at a fast-paced outlet – and, quite honestly, life. I’d watched the well-known movie featuring a young female writer and a prominent (and devilish!) editor as an intimidating character, and I’d hoped I wouldn’t have a similar experience. I did, however, come across an intimidating powerhouse similar to her who would forever change my life.

Elayne led the digital department, and she grabbed the attention of anyone who came in contact with her. Her wardrobe and style were unmatched, presence quiet yet powerful, and her demeanor incredibly sweet. Not only did Elayne give me countless opportunities, she’s continued to believe and invest in me. She is more than my mentor; she’s my big sister and friend.

I have to thank her for helping me land my first full-time position after graduation. There are also the countless hours of career and business advice that led me to start my own ventures, and she encouraged me to take risks I wouldn’t otherwise consider. At times when I may second-guess myself, or question my skills, I think back to the closing of a note she wrote me, “Shine on!”

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Leading By Example
Another leading lady who’s encouraged me to excel in all that I do is my tía-turned-mentor Maritza. When it comes to work ethic and personality, I’ve always recognized our similarities. Like my mother, at an early age, Maritza encouraged me to stand firm in my talents and seize once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. I’ve always admired her tenacity, resilience, sense of humor and style. She’s led by example, teaching the young women in our family that hard work pays off. Her “Go ‘head, girl!” shouts play in my head whether we’re in the same room or not.

My mentors have not only impacted my life, but the lives of other women – because they’ve inspired me to mentor other young women. The relationships I’ve developed with this next generation of innovators and leaders were ignited by my existing mentor-mentee relationships.

Not a day goes by that I don’t thank them for pouring immense knowledge and love into me. I thank them through my actions, words and legacy I’m working to create. I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without every word of advice, hands of support and unyielding love. For that, I celebrate each and every mentor who has helped shape my life.

Tell us the number one thing you learned from your mentor.

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