Tell us a little bit about yourself? How do you identify as a Latino/a/x and what does that mean to you?
My name is Giney Rojas, the daughter of two proud immigrant Mexican parents and sister to three younger brothers. I was raised between two worlds throughout my youth which marked my views of the world and the love I hold for cold winters in Wisconsin and warm summer breaks in Mexico. I identify as a proud Latina who carries on the legacy work of her ancestors by working hard and pursuing the opportunities that they did not have. Being part of the Latinx community to me means I am proud of my home country and all the greatness Latin America offers to the world. Being Latina means being aware of the hurdles and hardships my family overcame through generations. It means taking up space and sharing my experiences and perspectives with others, instead of minimizing myself to make others more comfortable. It means challenging others to redefine their idea of Latinx culture.
What inspired you to the work that you do (current work higher education and Latinas)?
I started my career in higher education the day I stepped foot on the beautiful campus of the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire (UWEC). Their Student Affairs department amongst others, had amazing formal and informal mentors who guided my educational journey to success. This led me to pursue a Master of Science in Student Affairs in Higher Education at Colorado State University (CSU). I currently work as an Operations Analyst at Strategic Education Incorporated and love that I get to make an impact through the software systems being leveraged day in and out by our students, faculty, and staff.I am inspired every day to do what I do by the simple fact that I am one of the few Latina women in the technology sector. I hope to see the day where more Latina women like me are able to make an impact on this corporate world and I want to do my part to make that happen.
Why did you want to serve on the board? Why would you encourage others to serve on the board?
I have been on LatinoLEADs board since December of 2019 and proud of the work we get to do for the Latinx community of Minnesota. I first joined the board out of curiosity and the fact I had recently moved to Minnesota and wanted to make connections with the Latinx community. Now that I have been on the board for a few years I am extremely content to have been part of LatinoLEADs mission especially during COVID-19 times. LatinoLEAD stayed strong and continued to serve our community with knowledge and a safe space to connect as the world was changing in front of our eyes. If you want to bring Latinx communities together across all sectors, create innovative strategies to define policies and perceptions to advance Latino collective influence and success, consider joining LatinoLEAD’s board in order to make all of that possible. Why do you think the work of LatinoLEAD is important for our community now? The work LatinoLEAD has done, is doing, and has planned for the Latinx communities across Minnesota is priceless and will have many rewards to come. LatinoLEAD is a connector between resources, information, and tools to push forward our community. This is important because we must stay united, be good listeners of the needs of our community, and be prepared to show up in those sections where our voices are needed.