Aug 03, 2015


Opportunity: Words of Wisdom from an Award-Winning Latina Journalist

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The New Latina Guide to a Fabulous 2011 Year! is a collection of insights and tips from a group of talented Latinas (and one Latino) on how to live life to the fullest.  Today, we featureMarisa Treviño’spiece on opportunity.  To download the free New Latina Guide, click here.

In these times when the unemployment rate hovers around 10 percent and the prognosis isn’t good for a lot of those lost jobs to come back, I’m reminded of the old adage: We are the masters of our own destiny.

Though the statement is true, it’s also true that sometimes we unconsciously impose limitations on ourselves. Sometimes we realize it; sometimes we don’t.

I was lucky that I realized it when it happened to me.

Whenever familia would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always gave the same three answers: a secretary, a teacher or a nurse. Funny how motherhood was just an assumption and never an option back then.

I chose those particular careers because the women in my life each worked in one of those professions. So, given my limited role models, I always thought those were my only options.

Well, after lasting only 24 hours in secretarial school and getting dizzy at the smell of an alcohol soaked cotton ball, I was leaning seriously towards teaching — until I discovered journalism.

Being a writer opened my world in ways that I never imagined. I not only got to meet interesting people; I got to retell their amazing stories. In the process, I learned just how much we limit ourselves when it comes to creating our own destiny in life.

Every entrepreneur I ever interviewed spoke not only about the thrill of creating their own business but was prouder of creating their own options in life.

Some had the professional expertise and training in a particular field and wanted to strike out on their own.

Others had a hobby that they wanted to do full-time to see if they could create their dream job, and then there were the ones who didn’t have a specific expertise or indulge in hobbies. Instead, they had the vision to scan the proverbial landscape, see where opportunities existed and figured out a way to make those opportunities their own.

These types of entrepreneurs didn’t experience failure anymore than the other types of entrepreneurs nor did they want success any less than their peers, but they did exemplify a different type of human spirit.

It’s a spirit that dares to break stereotypes, perceived qualifications and a fundamental understanding that life has a lot of options — only waiting to be discovered.


Marisa Treviño is an award-winning journalist who in 2004 launched the blog Latina Lista. Seeing an underrepresentation of the Latina voice and the Latino experience in mainstream media, Treviño created the site to fill that void.  Latina Lista is the culmination of a 16-year journalism career that has encompassed being a public radio commentator and writing magazine features, newspaper stories and opinion columns about Latino issues for media outlets like Women’s Enews, USA Today, and Hispanic Link News Service. Her work has been syndicated across the country in both Spanish and English in newspapers of all sizes.

In addition to her journalistic accomplishments, Treviño is an award-winning playwright. When not glued to a keyboard these days, Marisa enjoys spending time with her two grown children and her husband in the Dallas, Texas area.  Yet no matter what she’s doing, Treviño enjoys mentoring and encouraging Latinas of all ages to pursue their dreams and make them come true.

Photo 1: Xerones;  Photo 2 by Adnan Yayha

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Angélica Pérez-Litwin

Angélica Pérez-Litwin

Dr. Perez-Litwin is the Founder & CEO of ELLA Leadership Institute, a multi-platform professional development organization designed to advance the careers and leadership of women. She's the creative force behind the LATINAS THINK BIG™ national tour, sponsored and live-streamed by Google.

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