International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity and focuses on unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy, and action. Carolyn S., a program manager in our International division currently located in Tokyo, shares her Vanguard journey, and why she chooses to stay for the long term.
Vanguard was my first “real” job after college – I started in the Scottsdale office serving Retail clients. After interning at other financial firms, I realized Vanguard was a very different kind of employer, one who offered something unique to crew and was a place where women could succeed. I’ve held a variety of roles during the past nine years, and most of my bosses have been women. Having several senior level women to look up to made it easy for me to imagine possibilities for my own career.
This International Women’s Day feels like a good time to reflect on my experiences and how the values of this unofficial holiday coincide with many values held by Vanguard. It is also an important day to me as I have been a part of WILS (Women’s Initiative for Leadership Success) for many years. I’ve been inspired by Vanguard’s commitment to WILS and its mission: WILS is committed to inspiring and preparing women for leadership positions at Vanguard. To achieve this, Vanguard seeks to create a culture that supports and encourages women’s professional growth. While IWD focuses on ten values to guide the direction of this globally-recognized day, I want to share three that stand out for me:
Simply put, collaboration is a must at Vanguard. Of course, there are tasks and small projects you can complete on your own, but overall we are structured to work together. Here’s an example: in school and during internships, I would almost finish an entire project before sharing results with key stakeholders. Occasionally, I would discover new information and have to redo my work. While working in Vanguard’s Corporate Strategy department, however, I learned a refreshing style: I tackled only about 40% of a project, usually in partnership with my peers, then reviewed the approach with leaders, teammates, and internal partners. This allowed for much more timely feedback and ensured we were on the right track. It’s not about micromanaging, it’s about working together to deliver amazing results. In addition, it offers multiple opportunities to be coached and stay informed.
Throughout my time at Vanguard, my leaders have consistently expressed their appreciation for my work – whether it’s a quick email, stopping by my desk, an IM after a meeting, or during an annual performance review. And sometimes the gratitude isn’t explicit – I know Vanguard highly regards my work because they trust me with significant responsibilities. For example, in 2017 I was on a small team charged with planning an IT Leadership Conference session – a demanding project that was outside of my typical responsibilities. While being asked to support this event was appreciation in and of itself, it didn’t stop there. After the event, the executive who sponsored the team gave me a handwritten note of thanks detailing why she appreciated my efforts. That really made me feel valued.
From the beginning, it was clear that there’s a basic level of respect at Vanguard no matter your position. I can vividly recall attending a meeting with the head of our department early on in my career. During the meeting, I decided to take a risk and offer my opinion on a decision the team had made. This leader paused, acknowledged my comment, and asked me questions. That moment may have felt small to others, but for me it was hugely impactful. To have someone so tenured respect my opinion and even ask me for further thoughts meant a lot as a newer crew member. Now that I’m in a leadership role, I make it a priority to do the same for others. In fact, as a leader at Vanguard I am expected to engage and advocate for my co-workers and ensure they feel included and can tell their ideas are respected.
A truly international IWD this year
I recently moved to a position in our Tokyo office – a huge transition both personally and professionally. I feel very grateful that Vanguard trusted me with this opportunity and responsibility. Consistent with the themes I mentioned, I felt supported and valued by my new leadership team and teammates during the transition. It’s yet another testament to the variety of things you can do at this company when you work hard and commit to personal growth.
I could go on about the many ways Vanguard exemplifies the other seven IWD themes, but, that would be a very long blog post…
One of the best parts of working at Vanguard is our fervent passion to give back to the communities where we live and work. But for one very special event, it was a community across the globe that needed our support – the children of the Philippines. Recently, crew members from Human Resources and the Vanguard Black Professional Network (VBPN) partnered together for a volunteer event for Feed My Starving Children, a non-profit that provides malnourished children with nutritionally complete meals.
Giving back and having fun
Over 41 crew members arrived to pack boxes of MannaPack Rice – a product that provides a single nutritious meal for children all over the world. In the spirit of friendly competition, the entire group moved as fast as possible to pack the food. Laughter and joy filled the room as crew shouted out the next cheer “table 7, box 10!”– both to alert volunteer movers where to pick up the next box and so the entire room would know who was taking the lead in packing the meals. Cups of rice, veggies, and soy whizzed down the assembly lines, bags of rice piled high at the end of the tables, and the packers scrambled to keep up with how fast everything moved.
Anthony D. recalls, “The camaraderie and free spirited fun were on full display as crew raced against one another to hold the title (bragging rights) of most meals made.”
As crew worked, you could feel the Vanguard culture in the room – it truly extends past the buildings we work in. The positive atmosphere was contagious, whether it was the vocal encouragement from the team, the networking with crew we don’t get to see often, or the funny chants we yelled to energize each other. Another crew member shared, “This was a nice change of pace, as most events are a little more formal in setting. It was great to be more hands on.”
The final tally
In just a little over an hour, 240 boxes were packed. This means that 51,840 meals were prepared and packed that will feed 142 children for a single year. Vanguard’s volunteers pushed out $11,404.80 of meals for children in need.
Best of all, we’re contributing to the efforts to feed those in poverty-stricken areas and helping these communities heal and rebuild. There’s something about stepping outside your own neighborhood to focus on the needs of others that inspires you to help again and again.
It’s not just about rice
At the end of the day, we had the opportunity to learn about the recipients of our volunteer efforts. We saw a picture of Anna, who at one year old weighed just nine pounds, and had sunken eyes, a distended belly, and swollen cheeks. After seven months on a nutritional program of MannaPack rice, she had gained 36 pounds. The updated photo of this little girl, now healthy and vibrant, is something we will never forget.
In my last blog, I discussed Vanguard’s high score on The HRC Corporate Equality Index survey. This score reflects our dedication to creating a welcoming and supportive environment for LGBTQ+ individuals and their allies. But these endeavors extend beyond just creating an inclusive workplace – they can alleviate challenges in our personal lives as well.
“I specifically asked whether Vanguard provided same-sex domestic partner benefits before I joined in November 2011. My partner, Julie, and I had just gotten married in August and I had covered Julie under my benefits plan at my previous employer. At the time, I knew that Pennsylvania and the Federal government would not recognize our marriage. However, because I could cover Julie under the Vanguard health and welfare plans, I knew we would be okay.” – Kathleen R.
“When I came out to my parents, one of the things they were concerned with was the possibility of losing my job because I am gay. A few months later when I joined Vanguard, I could point to Vanguard’s non-discrimination policy to reassure them that members of the LGBT community were valued here. Years later, there was a time when my husband’s company was going through bankruptcy. We weren’t sure the company would survive and he could have been out of work. It was a comfort to know Vanguard offered domestic partner benefits, which we could take advantage of if necessary. Luckily, things worked out fine and it wasn’t necessary, but it was good to know we had it if we needed it.” – Mark O.
“I am extremely thankful for the ability to enroll my partner Jon in Vanguard’s medical plan coverage. In fact, he works for a health insurance company, and our plan is more comprehensive than the one his employer offers!” – Brian F.
As for me, I began my Vanguard career in the fall of 1999, and I had not come out to anyone during the recruiting stage or onboarding process. This was a purposeful decision. I wanted time to acclimate to my new job, and to learn more about Vanguard’s culture. After six months, I felt very comfortable with my team, and completely aligned to Vanguard’s mission. So I made the decision to come out to my leader and colleagues at work in early 2000. My manager and leadership team were fully supportive, and they treated me with the same level of respect, encouragement, and inclusiveness as everyone else. The way they treated me was a welcomed change, as my experience with leadership at another employer was hesitant and timid, at best.
I’m now in my 19th year at Vanguard, and in many respects, this is home for me. My experiences and professional connections at Vanguard have been similar to my personal relationships with my family – welcoming, nurturing, and supportive. At Vanguard I am empowered to focus on meaningful work and career development without the burdens of guardedness and discretion that many in the LGBTQ+ community often confront. For this I feel most blessed, and so very grateful, and I am inspired to help ensure that all crew members feel just as welcomed.
Consider learning more about the 2018 Corporate Equality Index – the report is free and available to anyone. (Vanguard is mentioned on pages 54, 89, and 98 of the report.)
If you’re looking for a role where you can be empowered to learn, grow, and make a difference, check out our opportunities at www.vanguardjobs.com.
Companies that attain the maximum 100 total points earn the coveted title, “Best Place To Work For LGBTQ Equality”.
The survey criteria is both robust and challenging, and HRC has continued to raise the bar for companies striving to attain the “Best Place…” accolade. Vanguard has participated in the survey for 5 consecutive years, and will continue to engage because it is the global standard for LGBTQ+ awareness and inclusion in the workplace. The survey is just one of the avenues Vanguard uses to benchmark our practices for continued improvement. We also participate in the survey because of you! When any potential crew member (Vanguard employee) learns about our score, they get a glimpse of what it’s like to be a crew member.
Recognition of workplace achievements always feels great, however the awards don’t provide insight into how we are personally impacted. So as I prepared to write this blog, I decided to pulse a few of my LGBTQ+ friends to share what was most relevant to each of them. I am humbled to admit that I did not foresee the large number of examples in their responses! So much so, that my blog evolved into blogs…with a Part I and a Part II. Here are a few of their thoughts:
“Part of the reason I joined Vanguard back in 1998 is that Vanguard had explicit protections for LGBT crew spelled out in their diversity statement even way back then. I was only out to few people at the bank I worked at previously, and there was no mention of LGBTQ+ in their diversity statement. That made me nervous about prospects for advancement if I came out, and that explicit statement was one of the reasons I chose to leave the bank and join Vanguard. Even so, coming out at work was a slow and deliberate process. But, once I got to know Vanguard and saw firsthand how “out” leaders were just as respected and successful, I became more comfortable being my true self.” – Mark O.
“There is so much that has made an impact on me regarding LGBTQ+ inclusion at Vanguard. For example, as an OPEN (Out Professional Engagement Network) Ally Workshop facilitator, I get to share my personal experience as an LGBT crew member with supportive allies. After each session I’m newly energized by the caliber of people that we call crew members. I always make several new connections through these workshops that have proven to be lasting and valuable! Speakers such as Ash Beckham, Amita Gupta, and JoDee Winterhoff have made a lasting impact by bringing LGBTQ+ issues outside the walls of Vanguard to life, and help crew members connect and relate to each other. Finally, the support from Senior Leadership – seeing our former CEO sign a letter voicing opposition to exclusive legislation and “walking the talk” when it comes to inclusion and support was comforting in a challenging time for the community.” – Laura T.
“Two events that I found particularly inspiring (albeit for different reasons) at Vanguard over the past couple of years were when Matthew Shepard’s mother was brought in for OPEN’s guest speaker event, and a Vanguard Day Of Caring community volunteer event that I attended in Philadelphia. I was impressed that Vanguard took the time to bring in such an impactful speaker and by the level of participation at the event – both by LGBT and ally crew. I found her presentation to be moving and inspiring. As a Philly resident, I had never been to the William Way Center, the LGBT community organization that provides service, recreational, educational, and cultural programming. The Day Of Caring event allowed me to understand their mission and feel as though I was making a contribution to the community. As with other volunteer events, I was really impressed by the numbers of both LGBT and ally crew that donated their time.” – Chris D.
As for me, one thing I think is really impressive is our Transgender Guide, which serves as an internal resource for open dialogue and further understanding of transgender issues in the workplace. The intended audience is a broad range of crew, including transgender crew members, their leaders and peers, Human Resources specialists, and client-facing crew. Topics include common terminology, overviews of gender identity and sexual orientation, guidance and tips for managers and allies, and thoughtful considerations for transgender crew members. How cool is that?
(Pictured are members of Vanguard’s 2017 OPEN Crew Resource Group Leadership team)
Meet a leader, be a leader: Inspiring and empowering the next generation
A common bond that many Vanguard crewmembers share is the desire to connect and interact within our local communities. Vanguard encourages its crew to prioritize community outreach through charity work and inspiring the next generation of talent. Susan M., a graphic design manager in International Marketing Services, saw an opportunity to do just this through her daughter’s Girl Scouts troop. “After comparing the Girl Scout organization’s core values with Vanguard’s, I noticed many similarities. I realized that there was an opportunity to help young women take their first step in their journey as a leader by leveraging my talented colleagues.” said Susan.
Sharing our journey
Susan worked closely with the Girl Scouts organization to create the “Meet a Leader, Be a Leader” event. The girls were treated to a panel of talented women from various Vanguard departments, who shared their leadership journeys. The panel included leaders from Investment Management, Marketing & Communications, and International Marketing. In addition, the audience received a step-by-step how-to guide, and, of course, a custom Girl Scouts patch.
During the panel discussion, each leader explained their unique career path and what steps they took to become the leader they are today. This helped to get the girls to think deeper about what qualities they possess. The panel members were sure to highlight some of the less obvious leadership qualities like observation and listening skills. The discussion was interactive, complete with time dedicated to Q&A.
Envisioning their future
Following the panel discussion, the girls were broken into small groups and asked to create a “dream board”. This helped the girls conceptualize and express their dreams and aspirations through images and words—emphasizing the important lesson to the girls that their goals are attainable. Along with creating the boards, the girls were also tasked with looking at their dream jobs at a 360 degree angle: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Throughout the activity, the leaders circulated around the room and asked questions to help the girls envision a logical path towards their goals. One of the women on the panel, Stephanie G., said, “The dream board activity was an amazing way to get the girls thinking about how they could be a leader in the future. There was one girl who aspires to be an author. Another girl talked about being a scientist. And another about photography and traveling the world. I think everyone was smiling by the end of the night.”
A passion for development
When I asked the panel to reflect on the event, their responses spoke volumes about how passionate they are about developing talent and sharing their knowledge and experience. The members of the panel seemed to benefit from the event just as much as the attendees.
Rachel C. also shared her positive thoughts about the event. “Meet a Leader, Be a Leader was an event that I enjoyed both personally and professionally. I was able to stand beside some of my favorite peers and represent female leadership at Vanguard. An event like this one shows that Vanguard cares about the development of young women.”
A surprising career switch inspired me to give back
When I started working at Vanguard, I never dreamed that I would spend my entire career here. Over the last 35 years, my career opportunities expanded as Vanguard grew, and each of my jobs built upon my previous experiences while still allowing me to learn new things. Along my career path, a mentor inspired me to consider a career change within Vanguard’s Information Technology (IT) division – which has then motivated me to encourage others to consider roles within IT, too.
My career in IT
It was six years ago that my mentor suggested that I transition into an IT role. It was a little scary switching to a new division and supporting a whole new type of client. Luckily, this role utilized my business knowledge while allowing my technical skills to grow. I was given a ton of support and it was exciting to learn something new every day! A few years later, I moved into a Data Governance role. Now, I help IT project teams define new data they are building so we can ensure the proper controls are in place to protect our shareholder’s information. I also became the training lead and have taught hundreds of crew members how to use our applications.
How I give back
Since my mentor had helped me discover a role that I had found to be so fulfilling, I wanted to do the same for someone else. I became an active member of one of Vanguard’s Crew Resource Groups, Women’s Initiative for Leadership Success (WILS). I help plan monthly IT events focused on professional development and organize groups of crew members to attend local conferences and external networking events.
For the past two years, I’ve been the Community Outreach Coordinator for IT WILS and have helped organize multiple events that encouraged over 3,000 middle school, high school, and college students to pursue jobs in technology. One example is Girls Exploring Tomorrow’s Technology (GETT), of which Vanguard has been a corporate sponsor for 10 years. It is an amazing event that promotes STEM careers to over 800 middle school and high school girls. We provide hands-on activities to show the girls the skills and knowledge necessary to obtain a career in IT. I’ve also volunteered at my local middle school’s STEM Career Day and supported Techies Days–an event where high school students come to Vanguard to learn about IT careers.
Why it matters
Technology is one of the fastest growing and highest paying careers, but there won’t be enough students graduating from college with Computer Science related degrees to fill all the open jobs. These events enable students to interact with successful women in IT so we can build a pipeline and hopefully help close the gender gap in technology. I love being a role model for students and encouraging them to follow their dreams.
The best part about being a member of WILS is that I get to learn from people all across Vanguard and other companies while giving back to our local communities. It’s been very rewarding to realize that we’re making a difference in the lives of so many children. And we get to have at least as much fun as the kids!
If you’re seeking an environment where you can make a difference and develop professionally, check out our career opportunities at www.vanguardjobs.com.
How my time in the Marines shaped my civilian career
Vanguard strives to ensure veterans joining our crew have tools and support to develop new skills and thrive in their careers. As part of National Career Development Month, crew member Amy M. shares her story of moving from military service to a civilian career.
Like most people who served in the United States armed forces, I take a great deal of pride in my military background. I’m always excited to share my experiences as a United States Marine and answer the wide range of questions that tend to surface. I find that many people are interested in learning about my transition from the military to the civilian workforce or the most valuable advice I received. Perhaps my favorite question has become “How has your military experience influenced your civilian career?” because it is – without question – an experience I harken back to every single day as a Vanguard leader.
For me, my military experience has been a critical success factor (both personally and professionally) and over time, I’ve come to realize just how much it has enriched and influenced my leadership journey. The experience has enabled me to espouse the strong virtues of both military and Vanguard leadership philosophies: valuing core purpose and shared vision, exhibiting moral courage, understanding the true concept of “team”, and demonstrating the strategic agility to achieve results.
Leadership development is a vital component of military training. A fabric of the culture and core to service men and women alike, 14 distinct leadership traits are instilled into Marines and translated into the lives we lead as citizens. I believe they parallel Vanguard’s core leadership values and I continue to hold these principles in high regard and seek to practice them daily in my leadership journey. Below are just a few of the leadership traits that have become part of my DNA as a Vanguard leader.
Dependability: Counted on always.
Whether in battle or in our communities, Marines develop solutions – not excuses. As warriors and as citizens, Marines can always be counted on.
Integrity: The cornerstone of character.
Nothing you can learn about leadership is as important as earning the trust of your Marines. To lead Marines is to follow principles, acting with honor when all eyes are on you, or when no one is watching. Great leaders must first be great men and women, accountable to the mission and those who follow.
Initiative: Every Marine is a leader.
When there’s a job to do, no Marine waits to be told what to do. Whether on the front lines or the home front, Marines look for ways to improve the situation at hand.
Unselfishness: Team before self. There are few endeavors as selfless as becoming a United States Marine. This team-first mentality becomes part of every Marine’s DNA, from the battlefield they serve on, to the communities they serve in.
Knowledge: Know more today than yesterday.
Without knowledge, judgment is reduced to intuition; decision-making becomes nothing more than a guess. On the battlefield or in the business world, those who are constantly learning and seeking self-improvement find the most success.
Enthusiasm: Motivation is contagious.
There’s no such thing as an ordinary mission for Marines – anything worth doing is worth giving it your all. To carry out a task in the Marine Corps is to motivate everyone to believe in it, thereby increasing the likelihood of mission success.
What life experiences have influenced your career? As we approach the end of the year, what will you reflect upon and how will you align your personal values with your talents and career interests as you think about the year ahead?
Our internal networking group, VetsConnect, strives to create a sense of community for active duty, veteran, and civilian crew members. If you’re seeking an environment where you can make a difference and develop professionally, check out our career opportunities at www.vanguardjobs.com.
Achieving success at Vanguard, regardless of obstacles
From as far back as I can remember, I was warned about growing up and facing the “real world.” As if it were a scary mythical place one could never be fully prepared for. The two things I did know about this so-called “real world” was I needed to earn an income and create a life for myself. Now, let me tell you my Vanguard story.
So, there I was, a recent college graduate, with a degree, ready to take the leap into a career…
This same exact scenario plays out for thousands of graduates each year but, here comes the plot twist. Unlike a lot of other graduates trying to enter the workplace for the first time, I am differently abled. I have Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy to be exact, which forced me into a wheelchair after eighth grade.
I always held the belief that if I believed in myself, worked hard and displayed my strengths that eventually others would believe in me. After graduation it was time to make some believers. The first opportunity I received was as a contracted processor at Vanguard. I worked very hard which, eventually led to full-time employment at Vanguard.
This year marks my 9th year as a Vanguard crew member. Since starting at Vanguard I have been promoted from processing to Quality Assurance. I have enjoyed much success at work and in my personal life thanks to the support provided by Vanguard.
Their willingness to provide me accommodations has allowed me to focus on my work, without spending energy worrying about my personal needs.
Their efforts to create a healthy work/life balance means I am not concerned about having time for important doctor’s visits. Vanguard even supports my interest in promoting diversity within the workplace. Recently, with the assistance of our Diversity Advancement Committee and the Culture & Inclusion groups, I helped coordinate a diversity panel discussion around the workplace and the differently abled. Vanguard only sees my abilities.
If you ever lived differently abled or know someone that has, you will find out that there are some inherent advantages. Many differently abled workers are already masters at coordinating schedules, whether it be with care providers, transportation, or doctors’ appointments. We’re used to experiencing challenges that require problem-solving and adapting. We have been doing so our whole lives. Differently abled workers provide perspectives that promote empathy and a greater sense of inclusion among their peers. Masters at coordination, skilled problems solvers, the ability to promote inclusion in a team setting, and commitment; sounds like a crew member to me.
If you’re seeking an environment where you can make a difference and develop professionally, check out our career opportunities at www.vanguardjobs.com.
Vanguard is always looking for people who are bright, collaborative, and, of course, focused on our clients. But recruiting new crew can be a challenge – there are so many available jobs in our industry and we always want someone who fits into our culture. Sometimes we have to think outside the box to find those who believe in our mission.
Recently, we found many of these like-minded individuals while volunteering in our community. Since charitable work is a big part of our culture, it made sense that we would find others there who share our values of client-first, teamwork, inclusion, and integrity. We also discovered that these events gave us an opportunity to answer questions about life at Vanguard and how to join our crew, while still making a difference. Thus, the College Community Outreach (CCO) program was born.
The program is a recruiting initiative, a volunteer program, a networking opportunity, and a coaching session all rolled into one. Vanguard’s University Relations team, in partnership with VetsConnect (our internal military network), invite motivated college students to join us at community service events with a goal of improving our community and learning more about Vanguard. While volunteering, students are able to discuss our culture and career options, and speak directly with hiring managers and HR professionals. And the program isn’t just for potential crew, it also allows current crew to develop leadership, project management, and relationship skills.
Robert G., an Operations Associate in our Retail Investor Group, shares how the program helped him secure a position at Vanguard. “The many volunteer projects afforded me the opportunity to meet with some of Vanguard’s crew. I was able to talk with them and get to know them on a personal level, hearing their stories as they reflected on their time at Vanguard.”
Another benefit is those seeking employment with Vanguard not only learn about our culture, but can also better prepare for an interview. Due to his service in the navy, Robert is passionate about veteran’s programs and was able to meet Vanguard crew volunteering at the Veterans Multi Service Center (VMSC) in Philadelphia. Robert explains, “In my previous career in the Navy, volunteering for projects was a frequent undertaking. After hearing about crew experiences, I was able to reflect upon my time in the Navy and figure out a way to apply my experiences and talents during my interviews.” After being hired fulltime, Robert will be supported in his continuing efforts with VMSC and other organizations by his leaders, peers, and VetsConnect. And maybe one day he’ll be the one sharing his experiences while searching for the next new crew member.
Recently, Vanguard crew sat down to discuss the Latino experience and what it means to be Latino in America. What they discovered is that the question can’t be answered – but it should be explored.
Latinos have similarities, but are not one in the same. Our various countries of origin, religions, cultures, and socio-economic statuses all make it impossible to come up with one typical Latino experience. Vanguard crew discussed this very topic during an event hosted by our Hispanic/Latino Organization for Leadership and Advancement (HOLA). This event, titled Voces (Spanish for ‘Voices’), is a crew led dialogue program that promotes conversation regarding the Hispanic/Latino community in an inclusive environment where crew members are encouraged to share their stories and experiences. At the first event, crew watched a TED Talk about the Latino experience in America and then discussed their reactions to the presentation. It really enabled crew to open up about perceptions and misconceptions, and educate our fellow crew members on how to embrace our differences. This was all while realizing, as discussed in the TED Talk, that what bonded us together was the fact that we are perceived as being one homogenous group.
During other Voces gatherings, crew members shared their personal experiences on immigration: immigrating from an early age, immigrating from a later age, their reasons for immigrating, their experiences adapting to a new country, culture and language, and what it felt like being undocumented. We also discussed the Mother Tongue, which many assume to be Spanish, but is not always the case. Several crew members discussed how not learning Spanish impacted their feelings of belonging, and shared reasons why their parents did not teach them the language.
While conversations such as these are beneficial, HOLA hosts some lighter activities. One example was Sweet Memories, a gathering where crew brought in their favorite dessert, then shared the country of origin, the recipe, and the story behind it. We had tons of desserts – tembleque, Mexican wedding cookies, pastelillos de guayaba y queso. We learned about the typical desserts from places such as: Puerto Rico, Colombia, Mexico, Bolivia, and Venezuela, just to name a few. As crew learned about the dessert from everyone’s country of origin, they discovered a little more about each other, as well.
Perhaps these events answer one question about being Latino in America. Wherever you come from, whatever your experience, whatever you bring, it is something to celebrate.