Co-Founder of Hacker Lab and Co-Founder of Code For Hood
Tell us a little about yourself
I am originally from Los Angeles but have spent most of my life in South Sacramento. I am a wife, mother of 6 and have 9 grandchildren. My fur children consist of two cats and a dog. I am the CEO and Co-Owner at Hacker Lab. My other social entrepreneurial endeavor is being a Co-Founder of Code For Hood, a nonprofit to introduce and teach our opportunity youth in underserved areas STEM. I'm also a Norcal SBDC Finance Advisor. My volunteer work is serving as Metro Chamber Board Member and serving as a Commissioner for the City Of Sacramento on the Measure U Advisory Committee representing D6 under Vice Mayor Guerra.
I sit on many other boards and regional committees as well.
How are you making a difference in your community?
I am very passionate about supporting our local community by offering access to opportunities that could lead to prosperity and a better life for those who are in most need. I love to empower people through the work that I do, providing resources and access to much-needed resources.
What inspires your community efforts?
I left home at 14 years of age and had 5 children by the age of 22. In total, I had six children. I have very little education and the road was hard. I have been surrounded by people helping me along the way, my community of family and friends. What inspires me is the power of people and community. There is a powerful thing that happens when people come together to create positive change for the betterment of the world around them.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my children. I raised good human beings with great hearts.
As far as my career, I am most proud of the people within my community that I get to work alongside and watch grow. What better inspiration than other human beings doing amazing things?
What have you struggled most within your life?
I have deeply struggled with acceptance of myself and not fitting into the status quo.
Not having a formal education or traditional upbringing compared to my peers and what is the norm in the world around me, has been hard for me at times. It took me a very long time to be comfortable with not being as accomplished, well-spoken, or even as well dressed as those in my professional circle. I struggled with being unauthentic and awkward in the beginning trying to fit in. I had so many social disasters and embarrassing moments by just not being myself. I have come a long way with this by just being myself and having self-acceptance. However, I am still a terrible speaker because of this.
What kind of lessons do you think are important to instill in future generations?
The best lessons I have learned is to never give up, your past does not define your future, and what people think of you is not who you are. We truly can make something out of nothing and no one can define us. We have the power of change and every day is another chance to make that happen.
If there is one problem in our community that you wish you could fix, what would it be?
A problem I wish I could fix is the lack of genuine conversation. We need to find ways to have more conversations and open dialogues within our communities. That is not done from up high. That is done on the ground. My father used to get down on his knees for us to see eye to eye. We need to find ways to see eye to eye. Connection not dictation.
How do you decompress?
I decompress in nature. I love to be in the forest hiking and going for long drives.
It is in nature that I find God.