Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month- María Alejandra Amiel

Oct 10, 2022 | About Ventures, Diversity Equity and Inclusion, Impact, Latino Business Owners, Our Entrepreneurs

¡El 15 de septiembre al 15 de octubre es el mes de la Herencia Latinx/Hispana! En Ventures nos esforzamos para centrar y celebrar nuestra comunidad. Para celebrar y honrar este mes, vamos a presentar a miembros de la comunidad Ventures y compartiremos sus historias y experiencias.

September 15th-October 15th is Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month! At Ventures we work to center and celebrate our community. To celebrate and honor this month, we will be featuring members of the Ventures community and sharing their stories and experiences.

María Alejandra Amiel – Ventures Business Specialist

1. Can you tell us more about why you decided to join Ventures?

A big influence for María Alejandra joining ventures was the pandemic in 2020. She chose to pursue fulfillment in her career after feeling burnt out in other jobs. What she identified in her academic background is that she wants to support communities that don’t have enough resources. Especially the Latinx/Hispanic community. She identified Ventures as an opportunity to be in service of people who have dreams and passion but are marginalized and deal with barriers. Enjoys providing support to those people to make their passions a reality. She enjoys having the unique opportunity to become a piece of that story for the entrepreneurs success at Ventures.

2. If you identify as a member of the Latinx/Hispanic community, how does your identity interact with what you do at Ventures?

“Being able to serve the Latinx/Hispanic community is gratifying. Representation matters. Having entrepreneurs see people in their community working with them as Ventures staff helps me feel rooted and serves as my ‘why.'”

Working with Ventures makes María Alejandra feel that she is giving back the opportunities that she has been given. It challenges her to continue to remember her perspective and be open to others’ perspectives. It makes her aware of her lens that she brings her to her work.

3. Can you tell me more about how your role supports the Latinx/Hispanic community?

The biggest piece of her role that supports the community is making programs more accessible. Working on the logistics of programs, she serves as a voice for those who may not be eligible and provide support to those who are not eligible. María Alejandra loves that she’s able to support the community by giving honest and true vision of what courses are, services are, and if Ventures is a good fit for each person. She has experienced that being able to speak to folks in Spanish creates trust and understanding. It also facilitates growth and healing within the community. She also is able to encourage people to give back to the Latinx/Hispanic community.

4. Why do you think it is important to create safe spaces and foster a sense of community for Latinx/Hispanic folks?

“Representation matters. Having this awareness from the staff perspective directly effects how we serve our entrepreneurs. Providing a “seat at the table” and giving people a voice and helping them feel seen. Challenging white supremacy and colonialism. Creating a space where there wasn’t one before which is a start that can lead people to feel empowered and create change. Create source of empowerment for that community to challenge the system.”

5. What does Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?

Originally being from Peru and living in the US meant María Alejandra felt a split between “home” and “belonging”. María Alejandra feels she never fully fit “Latina box” and was never really validated in her identity. At first, it felt like it centered on people who fit that “box” and she didn’t feel like she could claim that space. As she has grown up, she has learned to give herself space and allowed herself to own her identity. Without taking up space that “should be” for someone else. Big opportunity for growth, learning, feeling comfortable in her identity as Latine, and celebrating her identity.

“Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month is also a time of reflection and celebration. Part of why this work is so important is because I get to give back to the community that supported and uplifted me.”

¡Gracias a todos aquellos que participaron! Y gracias a Mayra que realizó las entrevistas. || Thank you to everyone who participated! And thank you to Mayra who conducted the interviews.

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