September Birthdays

BY STEPHANIE DE LA CRUZ

Did you know that out of twenty-one Con Mi MADRE employees, a third of them have birthdays in September? Here’s a look at some of the characteristics that make up the Virgos and Libras in our chapters!

Virgos  (August 23-September 23)

Strengths: Loyal, analytical, kind, hardworking, and practical

Virgos are known for their deep sense of humanity, being hard workers, and having a kind nature. Being able to work alongside these diligent Virgo’s in our Con Mi MADRE familia is great! Their sense of humanity has helped Con Mi MADRE emphasize the mission to empower not only young Latinas but our employees as well. Due to their kind nature, the Virgos in our chapters consistently create safe spaces for our participants and employees and because of them, we have been able to expand our reach to change the lives of many young Latinas!

CMM Virgos: Iliana, Alejandra, Cynthia G., Avi, Lorena, Miriam

Libras (September 23-October 23)

Strengths: Cooperative, diplomatic, gracious, fair-minded, and social 

Libras are known for being social, believing in equality, and their strong sense of partnership. Having a couple of social Libra’s in our Con Mi MADRE family is a plus! We rely on these women to help spread the word about who we are, what we stand for, and how we can help! These women have helped Con Mi MADRE reinforce the creation of equal opportunities for all our participants trying to gain a higher education. Their strong sense of partnership has lead to unbreakable connections between participants as well as employees within the Con Mi MADRE family. 

CMM Libras: Johanna, Jessenia

So what attracts so many Virgos and Libras to CMM?
Read what they had to say below!


Lorena Sierra, BSW
Program Coordinator, Central Texas Chapter
Birthday: September 2nd 

Lorena

“When I learned what Con Mi MADRE stood for, I immediately felt a wave of nostalgia come over me. My family and I were fortunate to have been empowered and supported to reach my dream of higher education throughout my middle and high school years due to the incredible work my counselors did. I know that is not the same situation that many students and parents experience. I know how important the work we do is because someone similar impacted my family’s life. To empower, to encourage, and to support our families gives them the confidence to fully believe in themselves! To me, there’s nothing better than doing just that for my life’s work.”

 

Cynthia Gutierrez, LMSW
Program Coordinator, El Paso Chapter
Birthday: September 5th 

Cynthia

“I joined Con Mi MADRE to serve an underserved  population in my hometown. I needed Con Mi MADRE when I was growing up, the least I can do is serve others like me.”

 

 

 


Avi Villegas
Program Coordinator, Central Texas Chapter
Birthday: September 7th 

Avi

“As a first-generation Latina, growing up in rural Colorado I did not grow up in a community with resources or services that catered to individuals like me. When I moved to Austin, I was exposed to many different organizations whose goal was to be an additional support system for individuals through services such as college preparedness. In August 2018, I started my Social Work internship at Con Mi MADRE. I not only saw myself in the students, but I also saw my mom in the parents. Working with the Con Mi MADRE community gave me the opportunity to give back to my community in a way that I knew would be positive. Growing up I wish I had a program like CMM. Seeing all that we are teaching and experiencing with and alongside our families makes me want to come to work every day and grateful that I moved to a full-time position in February 2019.” 

 

Alejandra Gaytan, M. ED.
Program Director, El Paso Chapter
Birthday: September 15th 

Ale

“I joined Con Mi MADRE because I believe in the mission. I really like that Con Mi MADRE highlights the mother-daughter bond because my mom and I have a very strong bond. I understand the importance of having a supportive figure while working towards a post-secondary degree.”

 

 


Miriam Gutierrez, MSW

Parent Support Coordinator, Central Texas Chapter
Birthday: September 19th 

Miriam

“What caught my eye the most about the job was the fact that the work was with parents. A huge part of student success is parent engagement and participation in their child’s education. I’ve always been passionate about working with parents because that is where it all starts. Prior to grad school I had been working with parents for about 4 years at different capacities. The job with CMM was the perfect combination of how I wanted to continue my work with parents. Not only is there an empowering component but also a social emotional aspect to the work CMM does with parents. I wanted to help parents like mine empower themselves and their families. Walking alongside parents through the college process makes going to college more tangible for not only the  parent but their daughters too. I know that both my mom and I would have been more understanding of one another during my adolescent years had we had a program like CMM so I want to be able to provide that for others. Fast forward to today, I am currently working to create support groups that meet the needs of our CMM families. Our discussions are around topics of academics, communication, positive relationships, goal setting, and college planning. It is important to me that the parents we serve continue to learn about topics that impact their daughters and families so that together they can prosper.”

 

Jessenia Balderas, BSW
Program Coordinator, Central Texas Chapter
Birthday: September 29th

Jessenia

“The first time I heard about Con Mi MADRE was in the Fall of 2012; my first semester at The University of Texas at Austin. I was searching for a work-study job that semester and I met Mrs. Cindy Maciel-Reyes at a Work-Study Job Fair. We instantly connected because we were both from Dallas, TX. I requested more information on the position and was hired within weeks. At that time, I joined Con Mi MADRE because it was housed on campus on the 3rd floor of the Steve Hicks School of Social Work building. It was a small but mighty space. Because I was introduced to a team of women who were first-generation, it was empowering to be in that small space and have conversations with them because at that time I was struggling with homesickness. Con Mi MADRE, became my home away from home! I slowly started getting more involved with the organization by attending conferences and events throughout the years, and once my work-study was over, I became a volunteer. Also, Con Mi MADRE not only gave me a sense of home but it helped me solidify my choice of becoming a Social Worker. I love being a part of the Con Mi MADRE familia! I re-joined Con Mi MADRE the Summer of 2017 as a staff member in hopes to continue supporting our families achieve their goal of a post-secondary education.”

Interested in working alongside these incredible women? Check out what current job openings we have or ways to get involved!

 

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