Blooming Like The Lotus Flower in The Leadership & Philanthropy Program
By: Linda E. Alberty, M.A.
The lotus is an ancient symbol of fortune, and one of the few flowers that blooms in seemingly worthless, muddy water. In many ways, Beatriz likens the journey of a lotus flower to her own self discovery. “In the muddy water of my life, I was challenged to bloom and grow. It hasn’t always been easy, but when my life was at its lowest point, I raised myself up with the grace of God, and grew into the lotus I am today.”
Despite her dad’s disapproval to attend elementary school, Beatriz always knew she would continue her studies and one day even have her own business. At just six years old, Beatriz vividly recalls her early entrepreneurial days selling candy and guava from her front door. By age 15, this desire would take a deeper root in her heart and grow more firmly.
She started working and saving money for her education because she knew she would need it to have a better life. Facing many challenges, including coming to the United States with a language barrier, enduring a hard divorce and raising her son as a single mother at the age of 18, Beatriz remained determined.
“In the muddy water of my life, I was challenged to bloom and grow. It hasn’t always been easy, but when my life was at its lowest point, I raised myself up with the grace of God, and grew into the lotus I am today.”
To pay for her son’s daycare and cover living expenses, Beatriz took a waitressing job at a Mexican restaurant in her neighborhood. She saved tips from customers on the side. Eventually, she began to notice a common theme in the Latino community regarding the need for party equipment for quinceañeras, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and special events. Remembering the six-year-old entrepreneur inside of her, Beatriz purchased a few tables and chairs to rent to others. She never imagined she would grow to service over 100 clients. It was the exact thing Beatriz needed in her path to become the influential leader she is today.
In 2011, Beatriz launched Sweet 15 Magazine. In the process of growing to become one of the most largely distributed quinceañera magazines, Beatriz recognized the lotus in many of her client’s daughters. My heart went out to these girls who were ‘coming of age’ and who were dealing with many of the same issues I once had. I wanted to find a way to lift them up to the place they needed to be.”
To assist Latino youth, Beatriz launched Latino Youth Empowerment, a non-profit organization that offers a variety of workshops, field trips, mentor programs, and educational projects designed to help youth succeed in their desired vocational field. “The program offers a messages of inspiration and motivation to young Latinas to guide them towards a life of happiness, and personal and academic success.”
Looking back at her life, Beatriz realizes how seemingly unbelievable her journey has been yet, how rewarding each experience has molded her into who she is today. “I am grateful for the work I do with young Latinas, helping them become all they can be. The key is to believe in yourself and let yourself bloom. You’ll be amazed at how beautiful your life can become!”
Beatriz enrolled in The Latinas On The Plaza Leadership and Philanthropy Program because she knew it would be a great opportunity to become a better leader.
“The Leadership & Philanthropy Program has helped me to discover myself more. I firmly believe in my potential and I want to work hard to achieve my goals. I also am learning the importance of having a balanced life.”
Today, Beatriz is a regular guest on radio, television, and webcasts including Univision’s Vida Mujer & Despierta with Zoe, Telemundo’s Chicago Latino TV, Aqui TV New York, Somos and De La Mano de Mi Angel radio program. She also participated in 2016 as co-host of a weekly radio program, called Ladies Night on Radio Vive. Beatriz continues her media presence and hunger for guiding youth by founding an online radio show managed by local youth, called “Guess What,” which targets youth topics.
If you are a serious Latina professional that is ready to recognize the lotus in yourself or wish to help another Latina identify hers, we invite you to learn more about the Leadership & Philanthropy Program, click HERE to contact Luz Canino-Baker, Founder of The Latina Mastery Institute or submit an application (Located on the right side of this page)