Empowering Dreams and Embracing Diversity
A Senior Academic and BACR Career Coach's Journey
My name is Beatriz Vargas, and I am a senior academic and career coach for the Chalk and Hope SF programs under BACR. In my role, I provide support to young people in enrolling into school and achieving their career interests. This may involve assisting them in applying for internships or navigating specific college programs. Today, I would like to discuss the importance of my work and shed light on my personal experiences as a Hispanic career coach.
When asked about the meaning of being Hispanic, my thoughts are a bit conflicted. While I understand the overall definition, I also recognize that it can be connected to stereotypes and misconceptions. Personally, I prefer to identify myself as someone with Mexican roots, as my parents were born in Mexico but raised in the United States. To me, being Hispanic means valuing family, embracing diversity, and being part of the pursuit of the American dream. I have seen how my own family, and many others like us, have strived to achieve more than they could have in their hometowns.
As a Latina, I take pride in the creativity and perspective that our culture offers. Despite socioeconomic challenges, there is a remarkable ability to find joy and appreciation for life. From the vibrant clothing to the rhythmic music, our culture radiates happiness and celebrates the beauty of our traditions and heritage.
What sets our culture apart, in my opinion, is the strong sense of humility and a diligent work ethic. Our community is known for its resilience and determination to overcome any obstacle. Regardless of the circumstances, we always find a way to take care of what needs to be done. Financially, it can be challenging for many individuals to secure employment, but the support system within our community plays a key role in empowering and uplifting one another.
Throughout my journey, I have been fortunate to have mentor figures who have played a significant role in shaping my career path. One individual that stands out is Teresa Nauer, the program co-director for the Chalk and Hope SF programs. She has been a consistent source of guidance and support, not only assisting me with school assignments but also offering invaluable life advice. I believe the impact of a mentor can be profound and believe that finding someone who believes in your potential and supports your growth is essential.
The desire and drive to give back to the community stem from my roots and the values instilled in me by my family, particularly my mother. She always emphasized the importance of doing kind things for others without expecting anything in return. Her teachings have motivated me to make a positive difference in the lives of young people and advocate for equal opportunities in education and career development.
In my role as a senior academic and career coach, I am committed to providing support and encouragement to young individuals as they embark on their educational and professional journeys. I believe that everyone deserves access to quality education and the opportunity to pursue their dreams. By guiding and empowering students, we can help them overcome challenges, develop essential skills, and achieve their full potential.
One of the most rewarding aspects of my work is witnessing the growth and success of the young individuals I support. Whether it's helping them navigate the college application process or guiding them in securing internships, seeing them achieve their goals is incredibly fulfilling. It is a reminder of the importance of mentorship and the lasting impact it can have on a person's life.
Identifying as someone with Mexican roots, being Hispanic to me means valuing family, embracing diversity, and pursuing the American dream. Our culture is characterized by creativity, humility, and a strong work ethic. Mentorship plays a vital role in shaping one's career path, and the desire to give back to the community stems from the values instilled in us by our families. I am passionate about supporting young individuals in achieving their dreams and making a positive impact on their lives.