I was born in Barranquilla, Colombia, a vibrant coastal city known for its annual Carnaval and for being Shakira’s birthplace. I remember days filled with the elongated notes from an accordion in a vallenato song and family gatherings over a warm sancocho. Unfortunately, that magic was destroyed by the violence of the ‘80s and ‘90s.
When my father’s longtime friend and business partner was murdered, my family moved to Venezuela. By age 20, I grew tired of the discrimination we faced there; Colombians often worked in service jobs at that time, and my classmates would make comments like “you talk how my maid talks.” I decided to move to a country where I knew opportunities abound: The United States.
I didn’t speak English or know a soul when I arrived in South Florida in 2004, but I knew life here would be better than what was happening in my country at the time. I enrolled at Palm Beach Community College. Learning a new language and how to navigate the American education system felt foreign and scary. I worked two jobs to keep myself afloat. But even though I was on my own—a terrifying reality when riding out your first hurricane—I was fortunate enough to make new friends and create a strong Latinx community who helped me along the way.
Eventually, I transferred to Florida Atlantic University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism. But my career quickly took a different direction and by chance I found myself falling in love with recruiting.
Since 2018, I’ve been a university recruiter at Twitter, primarily working with Latinx students. Through my work, I’ve learned Latinxs tend to be so self-sufficient they are hesitant to ask for help. Because we come from similar backgrounds, I understand those challenges and also know how difficult it is to break into the tech industry. I am passionate about being a resource for diverse talent, while helping Twitter find the best minds from campuses across the country.
I’ve worked at several tech companies throughout my career, but I’ve never felt as valued and purposeful as I do at Twitter. It feels like I’ve come full circle, as I aim to help other immigrants and minorities make their own American dreams come true.