Lime is the first bike share to reach a Native American community

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up close picture of lime bike logo on a basket of bicycle

Over 119 bike-share systems now exist across America, and with the rise of dockless bikes, more and more communities are gaining access to these crucial mobility tools. But if you look at the map, you’ll see that the spread of bike-share services has left out an entire population: the more than 570 Native American tribes in the United States.

Today, Lime (formerly known as LimeBike) took the first step toward providing access for a Native American territory. The dockless bike-share company will launch in the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, as part of a larger northern Nevada regional partnership that will also bring bikes to the University of Nevada, Reno and a handful of cities. The Reno-Sparks Indian Colony is situated not too far outside the cities of Reno and Sparks, and tribal leaders told Lime that they’re looking forward to the opportunity to reduce automobile traffic and boost mobility for residents.

If this launch is successful, Lime could look to expand to more remote reservations that have been overlooked in the bike-share boom.

Continue onto Fast Company to read the complete article.

Spanish-speaking SoCal residents can now enjoy the FREE comedic and educational “SoCal Yard Transformation” guide

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picture of a yard resource book in Spanish

Riverside, CA – Western Municipal Water District’s (Western) new handbook, the SoCal Yard Transformation guide, is now available in Spanish. The landscaping guide is free and available to Western customers, as well residents throughout the Santa Ana Watershed. 

The Spanish version was developed in response to the more than 1.5 million Hispanic/Latino residents in the watershed region.

This landscaping guide offers full-color illustrations, and covers topics such as water, planning, soil, planting, utilizing native plants, irrigation, and sustainability. It was written by experts in an easy-to-understand manner and includes a dose of humor. Assisting local homeowners to strive for sustainable water use, the SoCal Yard Transformation English and Spanish versions provide important recommendations on how to create permanent water-saving landscape changes. With California’s cyclical drought conditions, homeowners now have a helpful guide to adapt their yard to be water wise.

“With such a significant demographic of Spanish-speaking residents within the Santa Ana Watershed, we wanted to provide a version of the book for those who prefer to read in Spanish. We want our Spanish-speaking residents to know that upgrading their landscape doesn’t have to be expensive or troubling, but rather it can be fun and rewarding in surprising ways,” said Pam Pavela, Western’s water resources specialist, handbook editor and co-author. “Adjusting your home’s landscape can increase your property value and save money on your water bill.”
SoCal Yard Transformation’s seven simple chapters break down everything that homeowners need to know to create a lasting transformation:

  • Water: Where it comes from, how it gets to the tap, and the true cost to the customer
  • Planning: A simple guide on how to design a water-efficient landscape
  • Soil: The foundation of all landscapes, and the life it contains
  • Planting: The who, what, where, when and why of planting and care of plants
  • Natives: Why these plants are important
  • Irrigation: How to irrigate efficiently, covering topics such as scheduling, troubleshooting, and how to make improvements
  • Sustainability: Creating a holistic, long-term landscape

The book was made possible by the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality, and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2006 (Proposition 84). The handbook can be picked up at Western’s office at 14205 Meridian Parkway in Riverside. For more information, or to request your own copy, please call 951.571.7100 or visit wmwd.com and search “SoCal Yard Guide”.

Latino Baseball Players Build Their Brand Through La Vida Baseball

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In Latino countries such as Mexico, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic, baseball is king.  Kids grow up playing it, and the chosen ones who live out a dream to play in the Major Leagues, become icons.

In America, those players play in a foreign country.  They face challenges such as language barriers and the hardship of playing far away from home.

Throughout history, Latino players have become iconic stars.  In the 1960’s it was Roberto Clemente. Recently, David “Big Papi” Ortiz has been an icon both in the U.S. and in their home countries.

La Vida Baseball is here to raise the profile of these Latin players, and grow their brand in the social media age.

“Baseball throughout the Caribbean region, throughout Venezuela, northern parts of Colombia, is something that connects Latinos across nations, even as we take great pride in the work of those players from our own homelands and countries,” said Adrian Burgos, editor in chief of La Vida Baseball. “There are these moments of transcendence. For example, seeing a Francisco Lindor, who leaves Puerto Rico as a teenager for Florida and when he returns and hits that Home Run, the roar of the crowd is a roar that was so much about connection across a generation. It is similar to those Cubans who see the success of the Gurriel brothers and of Puig and Cespedes. Whether they’re on the island or they’re in the U.S., they take pride, ‘That’s one of us.’”

La Vida Baseball is a website that runs features on Latin stars. The site also profiles future stars. They also do not shy away from issues of prejudice and any other stories that would pertain to a Latin player or be of interest to fans of said players.

“The goal of La Vida baseball is to serve what we believe is an underserved market and create a sense of community for the Latino baseball fan by celebrating baseball,” said Jay Sharman, creator, and CEO of La Vida Baseball. “Creating that nexus of baseball culture and identity. We just saw that there was just an unmet need there and it seemed logical to all of us that it wasn’t being served and that we could engage a critical mass of fans around subject matter that they cared deeply about. If you can do that, there’s usually business that follows.”

The website does run ads and is a business.  The question though, is how does La Vida Baseball properly measure success? If people love Jose Altuve of the Astros, does that mean the mission statement is working?

For us, we look at engagement,” said Sharman. “If you step back and look at the digital media publishing landscape right now, there’s still a lot of lip service given to the size of audience or size of followers and things like that. We are really about people engaging with the content consistently on a daily basis. Whether it’s Javier Baez or Jose Altuve, what we want to do is find an angle on what’s going on in the baseball world that isn’t being covered by the major sports media companies. That tends to be the human interest stories, at that intersection of culture and Latino baseball.”

La Vida Baseball is in partnership with the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Storytelling is what the Hall does best, and they can help with the production of content.

“There are multiple ways that we measure our success,” said Burgos. “We do look at our social media follows on Facebook and on Twitter and on Instagram and how our audience is growing that way. But another measure of success is, we look to see how the players themselves are engaging our content. Are teams sharing our content? We will always produce quality work, but do the players find it compelling?”

Burgos added, “ A few weeks back, we posted a graphic of Yadier Molina with the Puerto Rican flag as a backdrop. And Yadier re-posted that on his Instagram. All these other players were commenting on how beautiful it was. It’s like, one person is like, “Who did that?” And it’s like, it’s La Vida (Baseball). Part of how we measure our success is both by the audience and also knowing, that the players make time to share our work, to sit with us, to talk with us and help them tell their stories.

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

Rizos Curls’ Julissa Prado Shares How Her Latino Upbringing Taught Her Essential Entrepreneurial Skills

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With her enviable mane of bouncy, pink-hued curls, Julissa Prado serves as a walking advertisement for the effectiveness of her products. Roughly one year ago, she officially launched Rizos Curls, an all-natural product line for curly-textured hair. In that short span of time, Prado has amassed 52k+ followers on Instagram, received up to a thousand orders per month, and quit her job to pursue her business full time. But though it might look like overnight success from the outside, her growing business is the result of many years of hard work and hard-earned lessons.

As Prado tells it, she couldn’t have reached this point without the help and support of her family and her larger Latino community, who served as the inspiration for her brand. “I always thought when I made Rizos Curls that I’d make something that would work perfectly for textures as diverse as those of my family’s. In the Latino community we have so many kinds of hair textures – wavy, curly ringlets, coily textures. I have tías that fall under all of those categories. I wanted to make something that allowed us to fall in love with our natural hair,” she explains.

For Prado, Rizos Curls has been a family affair – from consulting with her brother on her business plan, to running her fledgling company out of her parents’ and uncle’s houses, to learning key lessons about how to budget & save from watching her own father run his restaurant business.

Below, she explains how her upbringing helped her develop her entrepreneurial spirit and the skills to build a DIY business.

Your company is directly inspired by the Latino community – can you talk about how the idea came about?

I grew up in very predominantly Latino communities and neighborhoods [in Los Angeles]. I have a huge family, and when we were very young we all lived in one apartment building. Almost every unit was a different family member, so that can give you an idea of the culture and the environment that I grew up in. Growing up, I always saw how so much of my community had textured hair – they had wavy, curly, coily hair, a variety of textures. But they went to great lengths to straighten it, and not embrace it. There was a lot of self-hate around their hair. There was always this notion of ‘your hair is not done until it’s not curly.’

I remember the exact moment where I realized “Oh no, I can’t do this my whole life.” I was going to a quinceañera and my older cousins straightened my hair. Back then, in the hood, we didn’t have flat irons yet, so what they did was put my head over an ironing board and use a clothes iron. My hair was burning! I remember being over that ironing board and thinking “We’ve got to do better than this, we’ve got to figure out a way to feel good about our natural hair.”

So that’s where the idea first started. Even at a young age, I was aware that so many of my insecurities were connected to my inability to embrace my natural hair and myself in my natural state. Once I learned to love my hair it allowed me to love myself, and I wanted to create that feeling in my community. Rizos Curls is not just about the products. We’re a trifecta of the Three Cs: curls, community & culture.

What pushed you to make the leap and turn this interest into a career?

I’m very close to my [older] brother, and he’s the one who helps me a lot with Rizos. We’re very opposite. I’ve always led with my heart and emotion, and he’s ruled by logic. So when I decided I really wanted to go forward with this Rizos idea, I went to my brother with my business plan. I was still pretty young, around 15, and I presented the whole plan to him. He did all this market research – which years later, in business school, I learned is very important when you’re starting something new. Understanding your market, understanding the size of the demographic you’re targeting. He did that research on his own and was blown away. He couldn’t believe a product like Rizos Curls didn’t exist already.

Time passed, I went to college and grad school, and everything I learned, all the business acumen I acquired, all reaffirmed that I had to take this leap. Everything pointed me to, “You’re lucky no one’s jumped on this opportunity yet.” But it took me four years to figure out my product formulas, and I beat myself up a lot for taking so long. I was juggling it with getting a masters, working a full-time job, and maybe I just needed to trust the process. There were many times in that four year process of testing formulas that I didn’t get the results I wanted, and felt like giving up.

Continue onto Remezcla to read the complete article.

Wilson Cruz: Advocating for LGBTQ+ Youth

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Wilson Cruz and fans

It hasn’t been an easy road to success for actor, activist, or self-proclaimed “actorvist” Wilson Cruz. It was scary to play Ricky Vazquez on My So-Called Life in 1994, one of the first LGBTQ+ characters on television. But Cruz, as he says, “had the benefit of the ignorance of youth” that allowed him to go for the roles where he could represent both of the communities he comes from.

“Every actor has something that they have to work against, and this just happens to be mine,” he said. A true trailblazer, he knew that what he was doing will eventually make it easier for someone else to pursue this career as well.

“There weren’t many openly gay actors of color that I could really look to at that time, and I loved the idea of being able to be that for someone else.” Knowing this helped him enter auditions with the thought that he had an army of people—who he hadn’t even met—rooting for him.

Cruz hasn’t settled with being a trailblazer only television, however. In 2012, he joined GLAAD, an organization dedicated to supporting representation and inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community in media. The work he did with GLAAD made him more practical and less idealistic, though no less passionate about activism. The day-to-day work the organization did was hard and took time but, in the end, a difference was being made. Though he no longer formally works for GLAAD, Cruz still has a role in many of their projects and loves to help when he is needed.

Currently, his activism goals include supporting all minorities and advocating for LGBTQ+ youth. Panel speaking at GLAADCruz feels that there needs to be more unified support across identities. The best way to protect the progress that has been made and continue to move forward is for minorities to stand in solidarity and support each other. He is also passionate about supporting queer youth and making sure they are safe and protected at school. He is on the board of directors for GLSEN, an organization dedicated to making sure K–12 students who are members of the LGBTQ+ community are safe and treated with respect.

Photo: BEVERLY HILLS, CA –  (L-R) GLAAD Director of Entertainment Research and Analysis, Megan Townsend, actors Stephanie Beatriz of ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ and Wilson Cruz of ’13 Reasons Why’ and ‘Star Trek: Discovery,’ creator/executive producer of ‘How to Get Away With Murder’ Peter Nowalk, Lena Waithe of ‘Masters of None,’ and executive producer of ”Wynonna Earp” Emily Andras . (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Cruz advises youth considering coming out to build a network of support first, to ensure that no young person faces the prospect of being homeless or forced to drop out of school. Before coming out to the people around you, it is important to have an adult you can trust for support because Cruz’s first concern is for the safety and mental health of the community. And, for those who are not aware, he also advises reaching out to the local LGBTQ+ support systems in your area. Many major cities have an LGBTQ+ community center with a youth program and can be found on LGBTCenters.org.

Cruz is also an advocate for Puerto Rico’s relief, particularly as we head into another hurricane season. For his last birthday, he utilized Facebook’s feature for donations and was able to raise $10,000 for the Hispanic Federation in support of Puerto Rico’s hurricane relief. He encourages everyone to consider supporting the efforts and cause.

As an actor, Cruz has made great strides, bringing the first openly gay character to life in the Star Trek series. Most of the time, roles are not written specifically for an LGBTQ+ Latino male, but Cruz considers it his job to convince the casting directors otherwise. He has to give them the option of choosing him and has to show them he is just as powerful, funny, and moving as the person they have in mind, and he enjoys that challenge. Cruz feels that has become the job of creative people of color “to change people’s idea of what’s powerful and what’s funny and what’s beautiful.” It’s not an easy task, but through his career, he has managed to do just that.

Photo: Premiere Of CBS’s “Star Trek: Discovery” – Red Carpet Angeles, California.  (Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images)

Moving forward, Cruz has many projects through which he will continue to represent the Latino and LGBTQ+ communities. The second season of 13 Reasons Why is now streaming on Netflix, season two of Star Trek: Discovery production is underway, and he is the co-executive producer of the upcoming documentary Out of the Box, which will explore the history of LGBTQ+ in television and how they have been represented, as well as how it has evolved and impacted culture and politics. With every project, role, and movement, Cruz continues to empower minorities and pave the way for more representation and equality.

Google Launches Be Internet Awesome en Español, Sé genial en Internet

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To make the most of the Internet, kids need to be prepared to make smart decisions. Google today announced the expansion of its free Be Internet Awesome program, now available en Español across the United States and Latin America, as Sé genial en Internet.

Research finds that among Latino households, Spanish-dominant families are nearly twice as likely as English-dominant families to recommend having conversations about online safety in the home (39 percent vs. 21 percent). Instead of leaving these safety discussions up to schools or other programs, Latino families want the resources to learn about Internet safety and the tools to help talk about these topics at home, according to a newly commissioned report by Google, which provides a look at Latino families and their online behavior and needs.

To help Latino families address the growing need for online safety information and help close the internet safety education gap, Google’s “Sé genial en Internet” program provides Spanish-language resources needed to talk to kids about digital safety and citizenship—both at home and in the classroom. The first-of-its kind program is free and includes Interland, a video game for kids, at-home resources for parents, and a curriculum for educators.

“Discussions around Internet safety should include the whole family,” says Jessica Covarrubias, Google’s Be Internet Awesome Lead. “By providing resources in Spanish, we encourage Latino parents and kids to talk about online safety together at home. We want all kids to have a high quality experience–plus, the program is so easy and fun to follow that even parents can join in on the learning.”

Families are facing challenges with online safety as kids continuously become tech savvier at younger ages. But with higher internet usage, Latino families are in a heightened state of need. The study found that while Latino parents in the US are actively talking to their kids about internet safety, only half feels in control or trusts that their kids will inform an adult if they find inappropriate content. Furthermore, 90 percent of Latino kids haven’t been taught how to address cyberbullying and one in four Latino parents feels they do not have resources to turn to if child is being cyberbullied.

In addition to the launch of Sé genial en Internet, Be Internet Awesome has made a number of updates, including:

  • Curriculum expansions with new activities and an educators guide
  • Updates to the Interland game, including new levels and quizzes
  • Interactive slide presentations, created in partnership with Pear Deck, for each of the program’s lessons to use in the classroom.

Be Internet Awesome is a free multifaceted program designed to teach kids how to be safe and confident explorers of the online world. Being Internet Awesome means 5 things:

  • Be Internet Smart: Share with care
    • (Being mindful of one’s online reputation)
  • Be Internet Alert: Don’t fall for fake
    • (Avoiding phishing and scams)
  • Be Internet Strong: Secure your secrets
    • (Privacy and Security)
  • Be Internet Kind: It’s cool to be kind
    • (Dealing with and avoiding online harassment)
  • Be Internet Brave: When in doubt, talk it out
    • (Reporting inappropriate content)

Interland is a free, web-based game designed to help kids learn five foundational lessons across four different mini-games, or ‘lands.’ Kids are invited to play their way to Internet Awesome in a quest to deny hackers, sink phishers, one-up cyberbullies, outsmart oversharers and become safe, confident explorers of the online world. We built Interland with help from experts in the digital safety space, and it is the recipient of the International Society for Technology in Education’s Seal of Alignment. The four lands and their key learning objectives are:

Reality River

Don’t Fall for Fake.  The river that runs through Interland flows with fact and fiction. But things are not always as they seem. To cross the rapids, use your best judgement and don’t fall for the antics of the phisher lurking in these waters. Learning objectives include:

  • Understand not everything is true online.
  • Recognize the signs of a scam.
  • Understand phishing and how to report it.

Mindful Mountain

Share with Care. The mountainous town center of Interland is a place where everyone mingles and crosses paths. But you must be very intentional about what you share and with whom…information travels at the speed of light and there’s an oversharer among the Internauts you know. Learning objectives include:

  • Be mindful of what is shared and with whom.
  • Understand consequences of sharing.
  • Understand some info is extra sensitive.

Kind Kingdom

It’s cool to be kind. Vibes of all kinds are contagious—for better or for worse. In the sunniest corner of town, cyberbullies are running amok, spreading negativity everywhere. Block and report bullies to stop their takeover and be kind to other Internauts to restore the peaceful nature of this land. Learning objectives include:

  • The web amplifies kindness and negativity.
  • Not tolerating bullying and speaking up.
  • Block and report mean spirited behavior.

Tower of Treasure

Secure your secrets. Mayday! The Tower is unlocked, leaving the Internaut’s valuables like personal info and passwords at high risk. Outrun the hacker and build an untouchable password every step of the way…to secure your secrets once and for all. Learning objectives include:

  • Take responsibility to protect your things.
  • How to make a strong password.
  • A good password should be memorable.

Sé genial en Internet URL: g.co/segenialeninternet

Sé genial en Internet Interland URL: g.co/sejaincrivelnainternet

Be Internet Awesome URL: g.co/BeInternetAwesome

Interland URL: g.co/Interland

 

A Latina Google Strategist’s Views On Authenticity, Embracing Your Identity And The Power Of Instagram

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Dannie Fountain is known as a builder, whether she’s rebuilding her own identity or building a brand, she has a reputation for how tightly she can weave a story that just feels right.

While the skill set was there during her teenage years it was her freshman year of college that challenged her ability to put them to the test.

“I was adopted at 16, changing my identity all over again, and removing my ability to access the historical information that had been shared, because I no longer had access to their source – my mother’s anecdotal nuggets,” explains Fountain. “My identity changed once again during my freshman year of college. Through some health-related decisions, tough conversations, and a DNA test, I discovered that the wholly-British descent I’d been raised to understand was actually pretty off.”

The unexpected medical tests led to Fountain discovering that she was Latinx and deciding to melt into an identity that had always belonged to her.

Now as a strategist at Google and as an independent marketing consultant, Fountain uses her storytelling skills to support brands and their larger missions.

Below she shares how she champions inclusivity in all the spaces she inhabits, what advice she has for other Latinxs, and how she balances both her corporate job and side hustles.

Vivian Nunez: What made you join the team at Google in addition to working for yourself? 

Dannie Fountain: Truthfully, I wasn’t looking for a job when the Google opportunity happened. I was surviving (nay, thriving) in the rollercoaster of “feast and famine” that is entrepreneurship and I truly was in love with my life. When the Google opportunity first cropped up in my inbox, my reaction was one of imposter syndrome – who am I to believe I’m important/talented/brave/strong/cool enough to pursue an opportunity like this? But Google has this kind of kinetic power, one that won’t let you say no. So I pursued it, and the more I pursued it, the more I fell in love. Now, nine months later, I can truly smile when I say Google is my corporate home and the first place I’ve ever worked where I’ve unapologetically brought my whole self to work every single day. 

Nunez: How have you navigated the transition to an in-house, full-time job? 

Fountain: I’ve always been a “side hustler” in some form of the word – whether it was running my marketing consulting firm while in college or running my second business while maintaining my first. But this transition from freelancing to working at Google was an interesting one. Before I came to Google, I was on the road nearly 24/7 for speaking engagements and work. Not only was I coming back into a space where I had a boss again, but I also was going to have an apartment of my own for the first time in nearly 2 years.

The transition was smoother than expected in some ways (i.e. I have fallen in love with having a commute again) and harder in others (I didn’t actually stop traveling as much and so I still feel like I’m on the road all the time). Having coworkers and the resources to do all the things I’ve dreamed of doing is incredible – I love the opportunity for casual collision that sparks these moments of innovation that profoundly change the way I think about marketing. I’m beyond grateful for the access and opportunity I’ve gotten in the nine months I’ve been at Google. But at the end of the day, I’m a Googler and still a freelancer, so really not much has changed.

Nunez: How important is it for you that others understand that you are proudly Latina?

Fountain: In some ways, I feel so much shame for identifying as Latina. My grasp on culture and history is limited. My grasp on language is weak. My appearance is that of a white woman. It took me taking an actual DNA test and seeing the results with my own eyes before I’d actually start checking the “hispanic or latino” box on things, let alone verbally speaking that identity aloud.

But I also recognize my privilege. I know that I have the power to walk into a room and be presumed white and there is so much responsibility in that presumption. There’s this profound sense of urgency to make it unequivocally clear that [Latinx] is who I am, all in, 100%

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

How This Latina Brought Her Dream For Quiero — A Latinx Talk Show — To Life

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The conversations on QUIERO the Show, a Latinx talk show web series, are centered on the Latinx experience. Priscilla Garcia Jacquier sits opposite her guests, the likes of Alexander Dinelaris, Emma Ramos, and Michelle Veintimilla, as she builds a conversation on their experiences pursuing their truest passions.

“The show is about tools for success, so I like to think through people’s lives and how their experience could help other people,” explains Garcia-Jacquier. “Sometimes that means that they’re at the top of the game, sometimes that means that they’re just starting out, but their hustle is on point.”

The series has a complete first season with 10 episodes currently available on YouTube with plans to film season 2 this summer in Los Angeles.

“It became clear that I wanted to build a platform that would both help people’s hearts and also give them the tools necessary for success — LatinX success,” shares Garcia-Jacquier. “LatinX hunger gets confused into a sort of ‘grateful immigrant’ narrative that I have really become tired of. No, we’re not here working away our gratitude every day and thanking the borders for letting us through in humble submission. We are here to build, to create, to empower, and honestly, to have an economic impact.”

Quiero’s first season is the result of hustle and pure determination — filmed in Garcia-Jacquier’s New York City bedroom with equipment her and her team already owned. Season 2 is a dream supported by a community of individuals who supported their Kickstarter campaign and understood the vision, and the need, for a series like Quiero.

“As an entrepreneur, I’ve learned it’s going to take time and that I have to make direct asks,” shares Garcia-Jacquier. “Somehow, I’ve approached a lot of exchanges surrendering my instinct and allowing others’ expertise to overpower my gut. I’m learning that I need to follow my instincts and be very direct in the asks that it requires. It’s the only way that people meet you halfway.”

Below Garcia-Jacquier shares the behind-the-scenes of building a web series, leaving behind her 9-to-5 for her own passion project, and the advice she has for Latinx.

Vivian Nunez: When did you know it was time to quit your job to focus on your passion projects? 

Priscila Garcia-Jacquier:I have been assisting at the highest levels of entertainment since I was 19. My mentors’ projects have always been the most important tasks for me and I took to their lives as if they were my own. That’s what you’re supposed to do, that’s what being a Hollywood assistant means— that’s how you learn and absorb. I have loved every step of the way. However, this year, it became increasingly difficult to leave my projects at home, even for the day. I felt a pull to prioritize them, to prioritize myself. I think some people do figure out a way to work and apprentice and still go home to their projects with their whole heart. I admire those people. That was not the case for me. If someone else’s project is in front of me, I will completely surrender into it. It’s easy to lose sight of the importance of your own script when the one at work stars a major celebrity. I’m 26 now and I wasn’t okay with that anymore. I realized that the only way to really create a boundary for myself was to start working for me.

Nunez: What inspired Quiero? 

Garcia-Jacquier: A year ago, I was feeling stuck and frustrated. I felt bogged down by the work I wasn’t creating and felt pressured to produce. I sat down with myself and I thought— what can I produce right now? What can I bring my team together to start making tomorrow? In the meantime, I was really thinking about the things that actually interested me and how I actually liked to spend my time. It turns out that I’ve always been a self-help junky and consume the medium relentlessly. Lewis Howes, Marie Forleo, Gabby Bernstein, Oprah, are all people whose content I invest in and whose lessons I apply. I allowed myself to start thinking about it— what if this isn’t just your hobby? What if part of your interest is that you want to… do that? I sat down with my EP and kind of whispered this crazy idea to her that I wanted to start my own talkshow. That my favorite part of any job is always the connection. Who will have a meaningful impact on my life next?

Nunez: Why do you think a show like Quiero is necessary? 

Garcia-Jacquier: I made Quiero because I needed Quiero. Quiero is my way to fight the harmful narratives about LatinX that have arisen from our current political climate. But Quiero is also my way of learning about the community— we’re very misunderstood, both inside and outside of the community. We all come from different countries, with different cultures, and very different Spanishes, and then we arrive here and are expected to be the same. Not to mention that my experience as an LatinX immigrant differs greatly from someone who is first, second, or third generation. We have to be open in saying that we are here and we are building a new culture. To be Latino American is a new and different thing. I’m curious about that thing, I want to partake in building what that means— but we have to be open about it, all while highlighting our success. That’s Quiero.

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

This Latina Built A Community To Encourage Other Latinas To Travel The World

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There was no way for Olga Maria Czarkowski to know that the condition that she was once bullied for would become the driving force behind her biggest passion project — Dreams in Heels — but she’s thankful it did.

“I was born with a leg condition whereby my Achilles tendon is shorter than average. I cannot walk with my feet flat on the ground; I can only walk on my tippy toes. Thus, heels are much more comfortable for me,” explains Czarkowski. “This experience made me stronger and taught me never to judge others based on their looks and inspired me to turn something negative (as being bullied) into something positive, my brand.”

Dreams in Heels is a lifestyle blog that Czarkowski started 5 years ago as a way to give a home both to her personal story and every day adventures. Since then she’s amassed a dedicated following that spans across her blog and her travel-centered community, Latinas Who Travel.

“Once I launched the group through word of mouth, people started to join and say how much they dreamed about finding a group like this, a community for them to connect with other Latinas who have the same passion for traveling the world, or wish to travel, and want to learn from others who are already doing it,” explains Czarkowski.

Through her brands, Czarkowski aims to connect Latinas with each other and with the possibility of exploring the world on their own terms.

Below she shares her entrepreneurial story, traveling advice, and how she’s overcome her most challenging moments.

Vivian Nunez: How would you describe your trajectory as an entrepreneur? 

Olga Maria Czarkowski: I think it all started when I realized how much I did not like working in a traditional office setting and not being myself. I really was craving freedom, openness to create and just do more. Then it all started by my exploring all of the areas of interest to me (like fashion/beauty, charity work, organizing events, social media marketing, traveling, writing, photography) and then finding something that combines all of the above.

I think that it is okay to explore, to evolve, and to transition into different careers or niches. When you cannot find what fuels your passion, oftentimes you need to be creative and reinvent yourself. I do feel proud of each of my steps and of everything I’ve learned along my journey. For me, it is all about the journey, even if I’m still a work in progress.

Nunez: What is one of your biggest lessons learned when it came to starting a brand based off of your own personal story? 

Czarkowski: I think for me, there are a few lessons that I’ve rolled into one: Learn how to say no, know your worth, charge for your time and separate your business from your personal life. I had to learn all of these the hard way.

Oftentimes, when you start a brand off your personal story, people try to mix personal with business; they ask for favors, they do not value your time and try to get things from you as a person rather than a business. As much as it is nice to help others, you do need to realize your worth and remember how hard you had to work to start a brand and maintain it.

Nunez: What advice do you have for other Latina storytellers and entrepreneurs who are looking to start a movement/brand based off their own stories? 

Czarkowski: My best advice would be that personal branding and social media are key to being successful. Throughout the years I’ve dedicated myself to building my personal brand/image and also my social media network. You always need to be aware of what you share online and offline. In addition, it is more important to convey who you are, where you are going and your mission to others. A strong personal brand can help you transition to different careers

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

Spanglish is here to stay — and it’s good exercise for your brain

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young people talking

At the Lower East Side Preparatory High School in New York, it’s not unusual to hear different languages flowing in the classroom — in one sentence.

Mira, mira guey, I don’t understand la tarea,” — “Look buddy, I don’t understand the homework,” says one young boy to his classmate.

“Are you tarado?” — Are you dumb?, his friend shoots back, laughing.

This has been a part of America’s dialogue since the nation’s start — the mixing of two languages in a conversation, whether it be Spanglish (Spanish and English), Chinglish (often Mandarin and English) or another combination.

The use of Spanglish or other language combinations has been seen by many as a sign of laziness or poor language skills. In recent years, however, scholars have found there is sophisticated brain work behind code-switching, or CS, the linguistic term for switching between two languages in one conversation.

“There is widespread agreement that CS is patterned, i.e., not random,” said Almeida Jacqueline Toribio, of the University of Texas at Austin, who has been studying bilingualism since the early 1990s.

In fact, Toribio’s research shows that even those who are not completely bilingual or proficient in both languages still follow logical, grammatical rules when they code-switch.

Arturo E. Hernandez, a professor of psychology at the University of Houston and author of “The Bilingual Brain,” has found that what English-Spanish code-switchers do when they speak is similar to what people do when they multitask — for example, driving and talking on a cellphone at the same time.

“Everyone is born with this task-switching gene,” he said.

Perhaps this will pave the way for a different view of this common practice, though scholars like Toribio acknowledge that’s not how many see it.

“CS remains a stigmatized bilingual behavior, viewed as a failure on the part of speakers to ‘control’ their languages,” Toribio said. Some see it as a lack of competence or even poor manners, she added.

Among the millions of Americans who are bilingual and bicultural, there is a lively debate about switching languages.

Continue onto NBC News to read the complete article.

New Research Reveals Community Involvement is Important to Hispanics’ Overall Well-Being

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass., — A new nationwide survey conducted by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) concludes that Hispanics who are involved in their communities find it personally gratifying and empowering. Interestingly, a majority (78 percent) agree that community involvement is important to their well-being and almost half (42 percent) consider themselves community leaders.

This new body of research — You Get What You Give: The MassMutual 2018 Financial Wellness and Community Involvement Study — examines the intersection of community participation and financial well-being and strongly demonstrates that community involvement strengthens confidence in financial security.

“Our research revealed that community involvement has financial and gratifying benefits,” said David Hufnagel, Latino market director, MassMutual. “Our company commitment is to help our communities secure their future and protect their loved ones.”

The study highlights how Hispanics feel confident about their current financial well-being and have supported other members of their communities during financial stress. In fact, more than half (57 percent) report that they have supported someone in their community in a time of financial stress and 36 percent have been supported by others in their community during a time of need.

Hispanics clearly are involved in a range of community activities. Most are involved in a community with their family (86 percent), friend group (70 percent), school related (66 percent) and children-related activities (62 percent).

Visit massmutual.com for tangible tips for those interested in becoming more involved in their community as well as educational materials and tools to explore ways to build financial security, including an option to connect with a financial advisor.

Methodology

PSB conducted the research online between September 7 through September 28, 2017, using a nationally representative sample of 10,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and above. 1,077 identified themselves as Hispanics.

About MassMutual

MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyowners. MassMutual offers a wide range of financial products and services, including life insurance, disability income insurance, long term care insurance, annuities, retirement plans and other employee benefits. For more information, visit massmutual.com.

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