Genesis is a certified and licensed speech-language pathologist who specializes with pediatric populations - specifically those who come from bilingual Spanish-English homes. She is also a doctoral candidate at the University of Arizona.
Her research involves learning about the best ways to assess children from bilingual backgrounds, and how that can inform how we best provide intervention to children who have developmental language disorders. Her ultimate goal is to continue this line of clinical research at a university setting and to train future professionals to competently work with special needs populations who come from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
What makes you proud of being a woman but also a Latina?
I’m proud to be a woman for so many reasons. First and foremost, we are some of the most powerful creatures on Earth. We bring human life to this planet. We are the ones that bring up future generations and have the capacity to influence change in the world. Though there have been so many restrictions on women, it's so encouraging to finally see the change in society toward respecting women and to be treated as equals. I am especially proud to be a Latina woman - bringing forth my culture and beliefs growing up as a Mexican-American woman. These traditions and cultures are so rich and beautiful, coming from people who are known as some of the hardest working people on this planet. I am so proud of my culture and heritage that I strive to bring this forth in my career and in my personal life.
Is there someone you look up to?
There are a few people in mind that I can say that I look up to. But I can say wholeheartedly that the people that inspire me and push me to keep going are those that have themselves pushed through the odds to better their life for the better - in any area of their life. Life is hard to get through - so I admire everyone who keeps pushing when things are tough because they know deep down that it'll be worth it in the end. That being said, I have to say that I look up to my mother and grandmother -- who worked so hard to create a better life for their children despite so many obstacles being thrown their way. They are what molded my character and my persistence to keep pushing through in life.
Do you feel Latino culture has had a big impact on who you are?
Latino culture has absolutely impacted who I am. It literally is what I am and embody. Growing up on the border, I never really realized how much of it really influenced me until I went to college in a different city. I realized that being bilingual and bi-cultural is truly not the norm out in the world -- and there are so many gifts that we bring as Latinos to society.
Do you have any current projects you are working on and accomplishments that you would like to talk about?
There are so many projects i'm currently working on. I'm a certified and licensed speech-language pathologist working with children with speech and language disorders. I currently primarily serve bilingual children - as there is such a great need for qualified service providers. I'm also currently about to finish up my doctoral program at the end of this year - something that has taken so much blood, sweat, and tears to push through to this point. I'm proud that I haven't given up on this - academia can be a very difficult arena to get by in - especially as a woman, who is Latina, in the sciences. I know that my hard work will be worth it in the end and hope that my pursuits inspire future latinas to know that they can go really far in life without being discouraged. I'm very proud that within the next couple of months my first first-author publication will be published (I have 5 other published works). Life has a nice way of rewarding you for the work you put in.
Do you have any words of advice and encouragement to future generations of all women?
I think piece of advice I’d give is to not give up on yourself. You are perfectly capable of achieving your dreams despite the obstacles that life throws your way. Learn to take in your achievements (however big or small they may be) and know that those achievements are a result of the work you put in. Find a good support system in your life to help you keep pushing through the difficult times (because there will be). I know I wouldn't have made it this far without the special people in my life.