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“We tell ourselves stories in order to live.”

—Joan Didion, The White Album

As a child growing up in Omaha, Nebraska, I was always driven to make a difference. Call it Midwestern values or the side effects of growing up in a family of immigrants. Whatever the cause, I felt and still feel a strong sense of responsibility to positively impact others. At first, I thought I would pursue more practical career paths. I would imagine myself as a surgeon or a politician. While I had always loved writing, I underestimated the power of words and how their impact can perhaps be greater than the slice of a scalpel or the thump of the gavel at certain times.

It took me taking a journalism introductory course in high school for me to reacquaint myself with my passion for writing. After finishing that class I knew that I would always be happy if I had a pen in my grasp or my hands on the keyboard. I've always wanted to create space for others and have learned firsthand the danger of assuming you can "speak for others" instead of giving underrepresented voices a platform. Creating space is a more positive and proactive alternative. As a Cuban American woman, journalism has been my way to shine a light on issues in my communities. I am constantly striving to create space and empower others through my creation.

Enjoy exploring my work.

Isa

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