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“Faith, Family and Friends”

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By Diana Bejarano

Earlier this year, I set out with a goal to inspire and empower Latinas to never give up, no matter how hard life gets, and I created the Latina Still Standing brand, blog and column.

 When I began writing my Latina Still Standing blog in March and the Latina Still Standing columns in May, I knew that I had a strong conviction to share more about what has made me and other Latinas so resilient.

I wanted to share my own stories and those of other Latinas about how they, too, have overcome tremendous obstacles. Along this journey, I have had the opportunity of hearing from hundreds of Latinas who say they can really relate to the Latina Still Standing motto of “Faith, Family and Friends.” Those are the three key ingredients that I credit with helping me overcome obstacles.  

Through numerous e-mails, Facebook interactions and one-on-one conversations at a recent Empowering Women’s Expo, I had the opportunity to meet and speak with numerous Latina women who are still standing. Each one shared a little bit about their trials and tribulations, and how they can relate to the spirit of the Latina Still Standing brand.

 Some of the women shared how they are proudly still standing after walking away from abusive relationships. Others told how, as single moms, they are still standing because of their strong faith, family support and good friends. I listened to stories about loss and how the blogs and the columns inspire them to keep standing. One Latina said she had lost her husband, a doctor, in a plane crash, while flying to Mexico to donate his medical services, and how she wrote the words, “I am a Latina Still Standing,” at the top of her notes to help her get through delivering the eulogy. I even heard from younger Latinas who consider themselves to be “Latinas Still Standing” because they survived being bullied at their high schools, in person and online.

I’m very excited about the mission of Latina Still Standing and it brings me great joy to celebrate and inspire women, especially Latinas. I have seen their excitement and felt their enthusiasm, most recently when I began distributing the “Latina Still Standing” T-shirts. It gives me great pride to know that other Latinas believe in encouraging and supporting one another. It brings me great happiness to know they are proud to be a part of Latinas Still Standing and proud to wear the Latina Still Standing brand.

Thank you to those who support this cause and a special “thank you” to those Latinas who are Still Standing. You continue to inspire me and together we can inspire each other!

Diana Bejarano is an Arizona native and a graduate of Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Reach her at latinastillstanding@yahoo.com or latinastillstanding.blogspot.com

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