Stories of a Fearless Trailblazer
The lived experience of first-generation women is full of enormous amounts of pressure, stress, and trauma,
but not without resiliency, courage, and triumph.
The pressure to learn, navigate and teach, fulfill the dreams of our loved ones, or
maintain certain cultural traditions and expectations, we experience it all.
We would like to share your story and empower other first-generation women.
As a first-generation Latina, I have had the privilege of navigating higher education and professionalism through resilience. My journey started in community college, where I discovered the opportunities that education could provide for upward mobility. Today I am proud to share that I have used my experiences to help other first-gen students succeed through their own journies of being first. I have worked in the nonprofit sector in career readiness roles for four years and led recruitment efforts in the last two years. In my roles I started with adults reentering the workforce, then high school students, and now college students, all with the goal of supporting others' support to access opportunities for their own economic mobility.
Hi! I am Juliana Londoño (she/her/ella) and I am a proud Latina, bilingual & licensed mental health therapist! I recognize I am in a field dominated by white, cis-gender females and with theories developed by white, cis-gender males. I wanted to become a therapist to be the person I did not have growing up. Representation matters, especially in the mental health field. Only about 10% of all mental health professionals across the country even speak Spanish, yet Latinos are the largest minority in the US. I started my own business to bridge the gap between mental health and the Latino/BIPOC communities. Through education, awareness, and resources, I hope to help start and/or shift the conversations about mental health. I heard this quote during my undergraduate experience: "I may be the first, but I will not be the last." Being fearless oftentimes represents being the first, but I will make sure to uplift my community and give them a seat at my table.
Rosa Zaremba is a trailblazing first-generation Latina with a passion for education and community empowerment. Raised in a vibrant neighborhood, Rosa witnessed the transformative impact education could have on individuals and their families. This exposure ignited a deep desire to create positive change in her community, laying the foundation for her remarkable journey.
After completing her education at Kean University, she became the first person in her family to attend college. Throughout her academic journey, she encountered numerous challenges, but her determination and resilience served as driving forces to overcome them.
Upon graduating, Rosa's commitment to making education accessible to all led her to found an educational nonprofit organization named "Inspira NJ." The organization's mission is to be a catalyst for positive change by providing educational services that work to empower and support social-economic upward mobility through the power of higher education by offering services to underserved New Jersey students, as well as the community at large. Rosa's visionary leadership and ability to connect with stakeholders earned Inspira widespread recognition and support from the Russ Berrie Unsought Hero Award, PBS, and StoryCorps.
In parallel to her nonprofit work, Rosa also dedicated herself to the public and nonprofit sectors, gaining invaluable experience over nine years. She worked closely with local government agencies and collaborated with other nonprofit organizations to advocate for change, equality, and equity.
Rosa's journey as a first-generation Latina, nonprofit founder, and public service advocate has been nothing short of inspiring. Her unwavering commitment to improving educational opportunities for underserved communities has left an indelible mark, and her work continues to be a beacon of hope and empowerment for countless individuals striving for a brighter future.