Can You Hear Me Now? An Entrepreneur’s Path to Success

Dr Cuero

When you look into the eyes of Dr. Sonia Cuero, Au.D., Doctor of Audiology and owner of Audiology of Central Texas you see pride, accomplishment and drive. Born in Mexico and raised in Carrizo Springs, Texas, Cuero struggled in elementary school and was teased by classmates because she didn’t speak English. Two years of work in the school’s reading lab turned Sonia’s challenges into success in the classroom. For this Con Mi MADRE mom and entrepreneur, every obstacle and accomplishment has been a stepping stone on her path to finding and realizing her dreams.

Cuero can speak passionately about the impact Con Mi MADRE has had on her and her daughter Briana. “We’ve been a part of of the program since Briana was in the 6th grade at Hernandez Middle School. Now she’s a sophomore at Stony Point High School and is interested in studying computer engineering and maybe one day going to Mars. “Con Mi MADRE showed us how you can move forward and succeed. We heard speakers at conferences like the Leadership Summit who were wonderful examples for the girls, but I was listening too.” This was especially true when she heard Rosie Castro, mother of U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (Texas 20th District) and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Julián Castro.

I loved hearing about her experiences and struggles – struggles that could have gotten in her way, but she didn’t let them.

Cuero was very good at math and entered the University of Texas at Austin (UT) to study business; however, Cuero’s love of language became a turning point when she learned about speech language pathology from another student. One of the required courses for speech language pathology is audiology – a branch of science that studies hearing, balance, and related disorders. “Once I took that first audiology course, it all clicked for me.” Armed with significant Spanish language credit from passing the CLEP test (College-Level Exam Program) and a curriculum that was the same for undergraduates, Cuero was on her way.

The art of networking and recognizing opportunities are key entrepreneurial skills Cuero learned on her journey.
One day at work she received a call from a UT connection letting her know about a paid Masters Fellowship program for which she was perfect because it required someone able to speak with bilingual clients. The only caveat was the deadline to apply was that day. She was faxed the application where she filled it out immediately by hand and faxed it back in time. Cuero was selected for the program and in 1997 she not only earned her Master’s in Audiology — she had practical skills from her direct work with clients.

After working for an ear, nose and throat (ENT) practice for a few years, Cuero contemplated earning her doctorate. She found a unique online program with the University of Florida in degreescollaboration with the University of Texas at Dallas. It allowed her to do much of the curriculum from home, going to Dallas on weekends to do presentations. Even having a baby, her son Etienne, in the midst of the program didn’t deter her from her goals. “By 2002, I graduated with my doctorate and became only the second audiologist in the Austin area to get my Doctor of Audiology degree.”

She continued working with the ENT group for a while then decided it was time for a change and decided to grow her own clientele starting with contract work for the Veteran’s Administration, the military and more, which led her to open her own office.

Cuero and sister
Dr. Sonia Cuero (left) with her sister Debra Mendiaz, Certified Occupational Hearing Conservationist.

If you walk into Audiology of Central Texas you’ll be greeted by her sister Debra who began as the Office Manager and is now a Licensed Fitter and Dispenser of Hearing Aids as well as a Certified Occupational Hearing Conservationist (CAOHC). Dr. Cuero’s husband, Fabian, also uses his CAOHC certification to help administer onsite hearing conservation tests. Did we mention her business is completely debt-free? It is. “I didn’t want to acquire any debt so I opened my business slowly.”

What is Dr. Cuero’s advice to future entrepreneurs? She believes there is no one formula to success.

“You can do it your own way. You know your own worth more than anyone else. Don’t settle. If you’re not happy with where you are, do something about it. Don’t let anyone get it your way. Show them what you can do. Once you believe you can do it. Then, anything is possible.”

Reg SUSL buttonIf you’re a Con Mi MADRE participant and ready to steer your own course to success, register now for the Soy Unica, Soy Latina Conference on April 23rd.

Meet your future now.

 

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