Back to School for Me?

This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Pine-Sol® and Latina Bloggers Connect. The views are my own, mostly because I’m lucky enough to have awesome role models and women in my life, so yeah.

“Aunque El Camino Sea Difícil, Las Mujeres No Se Rinden” (When Life Gets Tough, Women Rise Above It)

 I never wanted to be a lawyer, not really. A politician, yes. I tagged along with my grandpa as he exercised his rights and fulfilled his civic duties by helping people register to vote and fighting against unfair taxes and crooked politicians. I admired him so much. He never went to college, and yet somehow he started a cash register business, raised 5 kids with incomparable values, and made time to take his granddaughter to the library every weekend.

In middle school I heard about the first magnet school in El Paso. It would be a specialized school for qualified kids who want to go into the medical field. Boom. That was it. I competed in health competitions and even won first place in the regional health spelling bee. I learned how to bathe a patient and take blood pressure. In high school.

But for some reason, when I got to college–the college I knew was a given because it was local and I knew nothing else–I abandoned the health field and turned to political science.

I was lucky and got into the Law School Preparation Institute at UT El Paso. No one in my family was a lawyer, nor did I know any. I had no idea what the LSAT was and how complicated the law school process was. But that summer before my senior year of college, I spent every day at school reading Plato, learning how to take the LSAT, and think analytically. We had mock law classes and learned how to brief.

It worked.

I got into law school at SMU and became he first person in my family to pack up and move away for school. And for good. Without my parents’ support, the role models at school, and some amazing teachers and mentors in law school, I don’t think I would be practicing law today.

It’s easy in a predominantly Hispanic community like El Paso to become part of the stereotype. To be complacent and never wonder what more exists. It’s not everyone, but a lot of people. In a town where pregnant high schoolers is commonplace, and most people live within 20 miles of the home they grew up in, the environment doesn’t exactly nurture development and exploration. This may be a generalization, but many Hispanic families (extended or otherwise) put most value on staying close to home and not rocking the boat–if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  WRONG.

But I beat that idea of complacency and despite not having immediate family who had ever lived outside of El Paso, I knew I wanted to. I graduated from college with honors, graduated from law school three years later,then passed the Texas bar exam the first time I tried.

Not bad for a girl whose biggest influencers are her entrepreneurial dad and grandpa, neither of whom went to college but both of whom taught me exactly how far hard work and character can take you; and my mom, who graduated from college at 40 years old, after many years of multitasking and late nights working her but off so she could finish her college career with only 2 Bs, and then she topped it off with a master’s in education.

So now, like my mom, I’m thinking of going back for my master’s while working full time. But I’ve got two kids under 8….so excuse me if I am crazy.

****

A survey among women across the U.S. on behalf of Pine-Sol® Brand Cleaners showed that of 86% of women ages 35 plus, say their biggest female role model is someone they know personally, not a celebrity or political figure. Not a shocker, the celebrities we “see” on tv aren’t the real thing.  Women see the best female role models in their family (60%) and their communities (24%).

The most important fact?  65%  of women feel they are currently a role model to someone in their life.  That someone  who is a role model can be you. Let’s be real, as mamas, we ARE the first role models in our kids’ lives and we need to keep our place there.  If you want to read some great stories or share your own, you can visit this website: www.LasMujeresNoSeRinden.com or www.WomenRiseAboveIt.com. I read a few and truly felt how proud those women were to share their stories.

Maybe I’ll have to seriously consider that crazy voice in the back of my head telling me to consider a Master’s degree. As if two degrees isn’t enough already. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment or just want to see what it’s like to go to school when you’re a “grown up.”  Or maybe… I’m thinking about showing my girls the sky’s the limit, no matter how old you are.

Las Mujeres No Se Rinden

To recognize and celebrate the remarkable women among us, Pine-Sol® has teamed up with actress and activist Rosie Perez to launch the ‘When Life Gets Tough, Women Rise Above It’ campaign. As part of the campaign, Pine-Sol® awarded a $25,000 donation to Women Empowered, a nonprofit based in Los Angeles that connects, educates and supports women of all ages and backgrounds, inspiring them to give back to their communities. After all, we all pay it forward because someone paved the way for us.

You can win too! Share your story of triumph at http://bit.ly/1b6Ur5p and inspire others by entering the Pine-Sol® sweepstakes on http://www.WomenRiseAboveIt.com or http://www.LasMujeresNoSeRinden.com. Or just go read the stories and be inspired yourself!

  • Once a week for 12 weeks, Pine-Sol® will award one lucky winner small tokens of appreciation. (Flower bouquet + Pine Sol coupons) ARV: $150
  • Three first prize winners will receive complimentary house cleaning services for a year ARV: $2,400
  • One grand prize winner will be awarded an all-inclusive trip to enjoy a peaceful spa experience at a deluxe hotel. ARV: $5,000

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States & D.C. 18 years and older. Ends 1/31/14 at 11:59 a.m. PT. To enter and for Official Rules, including odds, and prize descriptions, visit  www.womenriseaboveit.com. Void where prohibited. 

SIN OBLIGACIÓN DE COMPRA. Abierto a residentes legales de los 50 estados de los Estados Unidos y D.C., mayores de 18 años. Termina el 1/31/14 a las 11:59 a.m. PT Para participar y consultar las Reglas oficiales, incluyendo las probabilidades y las descripciones de los premios, visite http://www.lasmujeresnoserinden.com. Nulo donde esté prohibido.

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