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This Latina...

BY VANESSA TORRES, SOCIAL STRATEGIST, CHICAGO
 

A recent report published by Nielsen reveals that Latinas are “the growth engine of the U.S. female population and are expected to represent 30 percent of the total female population by 2060.”
 
Leíste eso (did you read that) mi gente? Latinas are breaking barriers every day and I am proud to include myself in that category. As a 28-year-old Latina in the advertising industry for the past year, I have had my share of diversity/adversity moments. I’ve learned to step back and accept those experiences as learning opportunities for both parties. I am reminded daily that I am grounded in who I am as an individual and, most importantly, with what my family has imparted within me through the years. Both of my parents have told me time and time again that my strong connection to my roots (culture, family and community) will be my foundation forever. Because of that, I am able to connect with those around me, embrace others, and share new ideas (and after all, the ad world is all about new and big ideas!)
 
When I was offered the position at Draftfcb as the community manager for a client’s Latina initiative in June 2012, I was thrilled to become part of a global agency that supported such campaigns. As time progressed, I have become deeply embedded in the Draftfcb family, logging experience for numerous other clients including Discover, Diner’s Club, Sony, Stelara and Jack Daniel’s. That experience gave me the opportunity to work with other disciplines, meet new clients and – best of all – more coworkers. More than ever, I now believe that the experience of working with others is about bringing the best of who you are, at the right moment, to make a great impact.
 
I believe that’s why it is important for me to honor and celebrate Hispanic Heritage month — because of its simple reminders that there have been pioneers, history makers, thought-leaders, and mentors who, just like me, faced challenges in the beginning but continued to hold strong to the their roots. This is the month to celebrate living and working in the U.S. and to share my heritage with others.
 
I wear my Latinaness proudly. And this is just the beginning.
 

ANNETTE MARROQUIN (LEFT), AAE, AND SOCIAL STRATEGIST VANESSA TORRES, ARE DRAFTFCB CHICAGO'S SOMOS LEADERS.
 
 

Hispana! A Colorful Life!
BY ANNETEE MARROQUIN, AAE, CHICAGO
“Who runs the world?” Latinos!
Ok, not quite, but we will. All counts show that we Latinos will be the largest U.S. demographic by 2050. That’s pretty cool!
Thankfully, I am a product of two people who decided to make a living for themselves in the United States — to build their goals and dreams while contributing to the economy of this awesome country. As a child, it was very difficult for me to grasp the concept of why I spoke Spanish and English while others did not. It was difficult to understand why I did not celebrate all the popular American holidays my friends did. Eventually, I grew up and understood and appreciated that I was lucky to get the best of both worlds.
My mom and dad helped me become the woman I am today by instilling in me both Mexican and American values. I remember refusing to speak Spanish at home and now laugh at the days when my father would ignore me unless I spoke to him in Spanish. His reasoning: “I don’t want you to forget the language because in the future you will have greater opportunities being bilingual.” He sure was right. I am proud that I have the ability to speak two universal languages because more opportunities come knocking on my door. Thanks, Dad!
When entering the workforce, I originally wanted to be a broadcast journalist. But, advertising seemed a better fit and I quickly jumped in, landing an opportunity at a Hispanic agency in Dallas, Texas.
As I became more knowledgeable and gathered different skill sets in that environment, the greatest opportunity arose. After being an AAE in Dallas in 2011, I was recruited by Draftfcb as a junior level advertising professional. Very few people can say they were recruited at my level, but I was, largely because of my in-depth insights and understanding of the Hispanic community coupled with being bilingual.
The joy, fulfillment, and satisfaction I get from the advertising industry — working in both the Hispanic and general market — is incredible. I get to thoroughly enjoy both of my cultures each and every day.
Hispanic Heritage Month reminds me to be grateful and proud. I’m grateful to all those who came before me and endured pain and suffering while seeking acceptance in America. I’m proud of how far we have come. Being of Mexican descent has given me significant insights while granting me countless opportunities to experience the best of both worlds. I am proud to be Mexican. I am proud to be American. I am proud to be Hispanic. Happy Hispanic Heritage Month.