My life journey, cultural upbringing, values and moving overseas to Lima, Peru for over five years was an impactful event in my life and a period of personal growth. It illuminated my vision of the world, reset my purpose and cemented my goal to pursue a career in the United States Coast Guard. I was raised in a multicultural household as a second generation Hispanic, with strong family roots, unwavering work ethic and a love of God and country. I was taught to be inquisitive and tolerant of other people’s cultures and beliefs.
During my upbringing, I was always close to my culture and my family traditions. One of the several reasons that I love the Academy is due to the multiple affinity councils and the ability to embrace your culture, celebrations and traditions with other people. The councils allow the opportunity to stay connected for important holidays and traditions, they help facilitate speaking different languages, and they provide a sense of community and familiarity.
Being able to immerse myself in my culture and be around others with similar upbringings not only provides a sense of belonging, but it also makes the Academy feel more like home. The affinity councils establish connections among the Corps of Cadets, help 4/c members of the Corps meet new people, develop meaningful relationships, as well as allow for relaxation and friendships. The Coast Guard Academy does an amazing job of uniting Cadets, teaching how to work together, develop bonds that can be used in the fleet as an Officer, and finally how to bring a sense of culture and inclusion to where a Cadet could possibly be stationed in the future.