• Yanira Guzman

Proud Moments

Updated: Apr 23, 2020

This is one of my proudest moments in life. This is my college graduation day from UC Berkeley.

Why is it my proudest moment? Because, for me, this day didn't just represent my accomplishment and dream, but that of my parents, of my family, and my larger community. Neither one of my parents completed elementary school, yet they valued education. They wanted better for their children - for me - and they sacrificed so much for me to achieve it. Yet, this day, they crossed that stage with me. Mano en mano . (Somewhere there is a picture of all of us smiling, even my mom - who doesn't smile)

This picture represents the perseverance, the belief that I can, that I am worthy of a world-class education. This represents to all those that thought that I couldn't, that thought I wasn't worthy of college – that they're wrong!

And, believe me, others told me directly to my face, that I wasn't worthy to go to a University. When I was 15, my high school counselor told me to take a home economics class when I told her I wanted to go to college. That conversation scarred me. She didn't bother to see me, look at my academic record, or even ask about my dreams. Within 5 minutes of walking into her office, her mind was made up. To her, I wasn't college material.

And so, people ask me why do I do what I do? Why do I write résumés, why do I coach others how to navigate the workforce? And I can honestly say that it goes back to this moment. I don't want others - with similar backgrounds as me - to struggle as I had in figuring out the unwritten rules of corporate world. Throughout my journey, I found others that had my back, and I'm telling you, I've got your back.

I see you. I feel you. I was you. Together, we'll get to where you want to go.

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