The American Dream
by Talia Rodriguez
This month I turn 33 years old. I hardly know what I’m doing in life, but this month I feel like I know a little more about what I’m doing. I call that success. All because of something I knew all along.
One of my most famous lines is the following:
In order to change something. You need one person inside city hall, one person outside city hall protesting, and one person who wants to write about it.
If you have that trifecta, You have a old fashion New York fighting chance.
Throughout my life, I have rotated between those three positions (within the city council), (outside the city council). I literally gave my speech at the women’s march right in front of city hall, it’s on YouTube y’all. Now I am (the most underrated) of them all: the person who writes about it. Because (the other half of my line). “Because if nobody writes about it, nobody knows about it, and if nobody knows about it, they can’t care.”
That’s a Talia original. For the record.
Empathy is what I want to write about. It is defined as the first step towards a compassionate response and/or the ability to identify and understand other people’s emotions.
The world lacks empathy for my people or for all the people who suffer. The whole lacks empathy for a few, it’s a problem discussed in philosophy classes, including mine at St John Fisher College. I believe that the lack of empathy in human beings is the root of evil. You recover your own spirit from envy when you are proud of others.
I couldn’t be more proud of Sandra Mayoral, born thousands of miles away in San Salvador, El Salvador. She tells stories of her grandmother Paula brushing her beautiful long hair telling her to close her eyes and imagine the United States. MILLIONS HAVE THAT DREAM BUT PLOTTWIST: she made it, she really made it out of the “mud”, as my people would say. Her aunt raised her and taught at the only university in El Salvador. Sandra is truly a movement, everyone around her instantly becomes more positive and is engulfed in the power of positive thinking. Science says that positive thinking encompasses the mental attitude of optimism. That’s Sandra, she is optimism embodied in a beautiful being with perfect hair and the most feminine voice you’ve ever heard from a CFO. And that I love (on and off my radio show where she joined me).
She owns three businesses and several real estate investments, has a son who is in a very prestigious university, and a literally adoring husband who could have mentioned her a thousand times the first time he and I had lunch.
To be loved, I think that is what we all seek. There are so many people who love Sandra, if you were to make a map around that girl who is brushing her hair and add all the people she helped or gave the opportunity to, along the way, there would be thousands of people in so many places on her map. Her journey to CFO was not easy, she came to the United States with expectations: to excel. She earned her excellence and a Bachelor of Business Administration and an MPA in Public Administration.
New to Buffalo, she is from Los Angeles, a place almost a world away. A place of beaches and privilege, but she brings with her the best of California, the sun, and the determination of a young girl who wanted something -she hadn’t seen yet. When I sat next to her, I felt capable. Sandra Mayoral runs several companies. LAGIRLSTYLE on Instagram is an expression of her style and the community she wants to build for women, where all girls and women feel empowered and beautiful. We will talk about it all month on our social networks.
Sandra makes women feel energized, loved and safe and that’s why she’s our #latinaherstory for November.
Read Sandra’s full interview below, follow her brand, learn the story of an immigrant girl who achieved the American Dream.
1. Where were you born? – I was born in San Salvador, El Salvador. I was raised by my grandmother Paula and educated by my Auntie Isaura Catalina. The main top five values I learned from them were the following: § Working hard for success § Education is a must not an option § Treat others as you would like to be treated § Pay it forward § Work hard and play hard.
2. What was your experience as a student? – As a child I didn’t necessarily enjoy school. I rather be outside playing with my friends. Until the age of 10, I lived with my Auntie Isaura Catalina who was a professor at the UCA only University in El Salvador. Where she noticed my deficiencies and instilled the skills necessary to become an outstanding student. Once I left home to come to the US, the skills she taught me were never forgotten. I developed a joy for studies and achieved my BS in Business Management, Minor in Human Resources and finally my MPA emphasis in Public Administration which was quite helpful during my 23-tenure working as an accountant for LAUSD in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles the Business district and focusing on a $35M monthly/budget.
3. When did you realize that you were a Leader? – I do not necessarily think that I am a Leader. I am a humble servant of the General public and enjoy helping others, whether that is via encouragement 2 or guiding them and sharing my story of an immigrant girl who achieved the American Dream.
4.What is your favorite part of yourself? – My positive outlook in life. I absolutely enjoy being who I am and my Life. I think that Life is too short to let it pass you by. I encourage everyone to travel the world, meet other cultures submerge yourself into the world which is so small yet so big.
Sport Clothing Line LAGIRLstyle Fashion
5. Why? – Fitness and fashion combined are my passion.
6. What/Who inspired you? – Two woman shaped my life and developed success early on in my life. My inspirations are my Grandmother Pali and my Dear Auntie Isaura Catalina Duran
7. If there a specific person you could work with who would it be? – John F. Kennedy He was the youngest and President to ever be selected president of the United States. His work and love for the country and abroad made an impression in my life. As a child I recall my grandmother describing him as being one of the best. As he supported aid to El Salvador during its political turbulent times. One his famous quotes is one of my favorites “Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate”. This is something I carried throughout my Business career in college and in real life.
8. What is your plan for growth? – My plan for growth is steady, fun and simple
9. What is one thing you want people to know about you/your brand? – I was born in El Salvador. But the United Stated of America educated me and prepared me for the real world of success and reaching the American Dream. The LAGIRLstyle is trendy fun and comfortable for that woman who wants to conquer the world one workout at a time.
Talia Rodriguez is a bi-racial, bi-cultural, and bi-lingual Latina from Buffalo. Ms. Rodriguez’s mission is to write about Latina’s, who have shaped the face of our city and our region. It is Ms. Rodriguez’s believes that our own people should inspire us and in telling our collective stories, we push our community forward. Ms. Rodriguez is a community advocate and organizer. She is a 5th generation West Sider, a graduate of SUNY Buffalo Law School, and an avid baseball fan. She lives on the West Side with her young son A.J… Ms. Rodriguez sits on the board of several organizations including the Belle Center, where she attended daycare. Ms. Rodriguez loves art, music, food, and her neighbors.