Where do I even start... I was inspired, I was mentored, I feel Blessed!
Being selected as one of the Top Blogueras for the FIRST official LATISM retreat was almost the afirmation i was looking for after working so hard. It was equivalent to the success I felt when I was selected for my first full-time position way back when. At last I thought, I have been shed some light. It wasn't that I needed this validation but the glory of being chosen felt amazing!
The trip started with a car ride from Philly to DC. The hubs was nice enough to drive Sisy, my Philly Chapter Director and blogger friend at MamaLatinaEnPhilly.
When we arrived Sunday it was perfect timing to be greeted by some of the other Blogueras including the ever so sweet Elianne goddess of LATISM Twitter parties!
The reception soon started. With all the excitement of seeing fellow amigas, I forgot to take pictures of all of us.
The welcoming reception started and there we learned all the amazing ladies behind the hard work of putting this retreat together.
AnaRC, Elianne, Elma, Jennifer and Cheryl of the D.C. LATISM chapter and the amazing selection committe: Ana Flores of Latina Bloggers Connect, Jeannete Kaplun of Todo Bebe, and Yoly Mason of Las Blogueras.
Monday it was all about business! With anticipation we all sat and heard AnaRC announce what we would be doing that day aside from our trip to the WHITE HOUSE!!!!
Our Keynote speaker was the fabulous Sarah Colamarino from Johnson & Johnson. She taught us about Johnson's Credo and how they use it to make all decisions for their business. She had us create our own credo and It all made sense. The reasons for starting GUB all were my passion and drive. I will be sharing my CREDO soon and will be making it public!
We also met the dedicated MENTORS who came out to support us. One of which was Olga Romero of Southwest Airlines. I had the privileged of sitting with her one-on-one to discuss the next step for GUB. Her confidence and determination to creating a successful business was inspiring and motivating. I took notes as she spoke and I couldn't write fast enough. I look forward to working with her in the future! I'll be sharing a petition soon regarding Southwest Airlines efforts for international low fare flights in the future!!!!
Later that morning the WHITE HOUSE trip was in order but not even a little rain could wash away our excitement!
I was so excited to be at the White House. We attended an exclusive briefing to discuss education, employment, and health efforts to improve our community.
Julie Rodriguez, Associate Director of the Public Engagement for the White House was our host. Big Thanks to Julie for making this happen for us!
Cecilia Muñoz, Assitant to the President and Director of Domestic Policy, Shared efforts being created for the Dream Act as well as Health policies.
On the panel were:
Alejandra Ceja, of the Department of Education, who shared changes coming to FAFSA forms as well as subsidized loans. This was all information that really made my heart skip. Coming from a background of working with community college students and also being an undergrad student. I knew my passion in education was still very well lit.
Lisa Pino of the Department of Agriculture spoke about the efforts in healthier living, doing away with the food pyramid and using the My Plate as well as introducing healthier options in schools for kids like the salad bars.
Marissa Duswal, representative for the Let's Move Initiative, talked about making sports accessible this summer for our kids and partnering up with the U.S. Olympics to do so nationwide!!!
After the briefing, we took all the photo ops we could! The excitement was still in the air!
I take away so much from this is experience. I have gained more confidence in what I have worked so hard for in creating something out of GUB. It started as just a little diary and bloomed into something magical that I could have never imagined.
Along with knowledge and determination I take away blooming friendships.
I had met a few of the ladies already and instantly became friends but meeting a few others that live near is too cool!
Amigas that I know I can call on for that push or a helping hand.
Lisa of Autism Wonderland and Rachel of The Digital Latina thank you for that listening ear!!! I look forward to moving mountains!!!
Big thank you to LATISM for including me in this amazing opportunity and for believing in me! Thank you to all our sponsors for being a part of this! I am forever grateful!
Disclosure: I was invited to participate in the Top Bloguera Retreat. I was not compensated but my traveling and lodging arrangements were provided.