LIGHTHOUSE IMMIGRANT ADVOCATES
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from and what is your background?
I am originally from Mexico and traveled as an immigrant with my family to the United States when I was 12. I grew up in Grandville, MI; attended GRCC, GVSU, and Aquinas. In 2019, I became a citizen and decided to use my voice to advocate for other immigrants in our community, that’s when I became the Executive Director at Lighthouse Immigrant Advocates.
Is this where you thought you would be when you were in elementary school?
Absolutely not! I thought I would travel for work, and as an immigrant, that dream was far from the truth. I underwent an immigration process of roughly 20 years during which I was not allowed to travel outside of the United States.
What is the most engaging part of your current work?
I love continuing to build onto my skillset of communication, public speaking, and relationship building. The most rewarding relationships I have built are with our team and with community partners.
What is a significant experience that has shaped how you lead today?
Being an immigrant, I learned how to be innovative and flexible. This has shaped my leadership style to be an energetic force for my team. I focus on results rather than following a process. I believe each individual can arrive at successful results through diverse methods.
Tell us about someone who has played a significant role in your journey (mentor, boss, coach) – growing you and helping you advance?
One person who has been a great mentor has been Mike Mitchell. His positive leadership has encouraged me to do things outside of my comfort zone, often leading to successful projects and career moves.
Is there anything you wish you had known earlier in your journey?
I wish I knew that it is okay to deviate from a plan, and that career paths are not linear.
What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?
I can be easy-going, but I have a strong character.
If people see you out on the town and want to buy you a drink, what should they send over to your table?
If someone sees me and about, I enjoy chatter and small talk. If they wish to buy me a drink, anything mixed with coffee or kahlua is always a winner.