Jul 23, 2014

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New Latina Spotlight: Andrea M. Gutierrez, “Knowledge is Power”

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Degree(s) :: College/University: B.A. in Visual Arts :: University of The Pacific.

Current Job/Professional Title: I am currently an Education Specialist at Micke Grove Zoo in Lodi, CA. I develop educational programming and curriculum for school groups, assist in animal care, coordinate major events.

I also coordinate our private and public summer, fall and spring zoo camps for kids ages 4 to 12 years old. I work with a retired school teacher to help bring 100 students who come from Title One schools to one week of day camp on a special scholarship. The scholarship provides a great learning experience and opportunity for kids to reconnect with nature and to learn about the impotance of wildlife and consrvation.

Country of Origin or Family Heritage :  I was born and raised in Stockton, CA.

What city do you live in? What do you love about it? I live in Stockton, CA and what I love most about Stockton is it’s rich cultural diversity and history. I come from a diverse background being half Mexican and half African-American, so I have the best of both worlds and Stockton is a reflection of who I am as a Latina/AfroAmericana woman.

Professional/Social Achievements: I currently sit on the Board of Directors for the Mexican Heritage Center in Stockton, CA, as the Corresponding Secretary and it has been a great learning experience working with professionals who are well seasoned in the field of arts, education and community advocacy. They have so much experience and knowledge to share with me and I am extremely grateful to be a part of such a dymnamic setting.

I am also a local artist with the artist group known as the “Artistas del Valle” and I have been fortunate to show my work at various artshows including the State Capital in Sacramento, the Bob Hope Theatre in Stockton, KVIE Public Art Auction were my work was sold on public television and other local art galleries within San Joaquin County. Last year, I donated my artwork for auction to MALDEF for their 2010 Awards Galla in Los Angeles.

This year, I was featured in the San Joaquin County KIDS Magazine were I talked about my position as an educator at Micke Grove Zoo. I am also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sororiety Incorporated and I was an Arts Commissioner for the City of Stockton Arts Commission in 2006-2008.

Who Has Inspired You to Be Your Best?: : My mother has been an inspiration to me. I watched my mother raise all six of my siblings as a single parent and her faith, strength and courage have always given me the drive and determination to reach my goals and to hold on to my faith. I have learned alot from my mom and she has always encouraged me to be the very best in life and to never give up hope for a better future. My mom is my hero and my friend. I love you mom.

25 Million Latinas and Counting! Your thoughts?…: WOW! It is amazing when I think about how so many Latina women are changing the world today as CEO’s, mothers, artist, educators, Dr.’s, lawyers, actors, musicians, politicians etc…I am honestly very proud and deeply humbled to be a part of history. These were the dreams of my granmother and her mother before her and now these dreams are a reality. Salud!

Countries You Have Visited and Your Favorite One: Unfortunately, I have not visited any countries yet, but the first one on my list would be Panama in Central America!

Describe a Perfect Day Off From Work: A perfect day off from work would definitely be a day spent with my new fiancee and our two beautiful sons at a national park having a picnic, exploring nature and enjoying life.

What Has Been Your Biggest Challenge in Life?: The biggest challenge in my life was to overcome an environment that I witnessed destroying families and friends. It was definitely an environment of drugs, gangs, violence and poverty. I decided at a very young age that I had two choices, I was either going to let my environment rule my world, my choices and my life as it did so many of the people that I knew or I was going to fight and win my life, my world and my choices because I realized they were worth fighting for because they belonged to me and not my environment. So I fought by getting an education and helping others in my community and It was one of the best decisions I could have ever made. Knowledge is POWER.

What is Your Next Big Dream?: My next big dream is to own my own non-profit community art gallery in Los Angeles for youth to showcase their artwork, learn various art mediums and techniques from guest artists and to have a positive, safe, learining environment.

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Comments

  1. J. Andrade says:

    This is the woman I’m going to marry?!?! WOW!

  2. Catherine Lewis says:

    Andrew is a beautiful representative of a Godly woman. She works hard to be a role model to her children,siblings, and community. She’s an inspiration to me and others. I hold her in high regards…Love you Sands and congrats on being featured in Latina…

  3. I’m so happy for to see Andrea featured in such a positive way! She’s one of the rare women who are beautiful-beautiful…beautiful on the inside and out. Always full of grace and sweet-natured (while keeping it real), kudos to New Latina for knowing a jewel when it sees one and sharing her with all of us. Congrats Andrea!!

  4. Niki Smith says:

    I had the opportunity to work with Andrea at the Mexican Heritage Center and Gallery last year. She did a children’s workshop for our Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) exhibit. She did an amazing job. So glad she’s being recognized. Congratulations Andrea. You’re awesome!

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