After speaking at the 5th national Latino(a)s in Tech Innovation and Social Media (LATISM) conference, I was delighted to be invited to participate in a blog carnival with MomsRising, a great national advocacy organization. I hope to become more vocal online and do more public speaking. I get so fired up talking about health- it’s a lot of fun! Hope you enjoy the blog and I promise to start posting more frequently now 🙂
“When I was a teacher at an elementary school in the Bronx, I noticed that my students had poor diets. They started off their day with candy from the bodega and walked into class with blue tongues. For lunch, some students would eat the school lunch but many would eat their own lunch- usually some bags of chips and sugary drinks. I became very concerned about the impact of their diet on their moods and their ability to learn. I created a healthy food policy in my classroom and educated my students about nutrition. But one person can only have a limited impact. Now change can happen faster for our kids because of the USDA Nutritional Standards for School Meals and Snacks. This exciting piece of legislation raises the bar of the foods our kids will eat and also provides support for schools in implementing the changes. Hopefully we will see a reduction in childhood obesity due to these new guidelines.”
Read more: http://www.momsrising.org/blog/food-is-fuel-for-our-students/#ixzz2g7SJQUEI
I’m speaking at the #LATISM national conference for the second year in a row- very excited about this opportunity. LATISM stands for Latinos in Social Media and it’s a wonderful group of people who are engaged in supporting each other and having an impact. I’ll be speaking on a panel about Latinos and obesity that will focus on the generation of solutions. Our families and children need healthier outcomes, and they need them NOW. I really hope that many people will attend both the conference and this panel. Register here and get 15% off with EARLYBIRD code until August 1st. Yay!
Now on to my other question! Should I bring my cane? Conferences are huge and confusing and you’re constantly navigating in unfamiliar spaces. Since I have been embracing being open about Usher Syndrome, it might be a good personal challenge for me to bring my cane with me. It would open some dialogue and connections with others in a new way. This will be my third time attending the conference, so there will be that awkward moment of “hey, you’ve seen me before but without a blind cane.” There are many repeat attendees who I already know.
One young woman is very inspirational in being open about her disability. Her name is Laurita Tellado and she has spina bifida. She’s an advocate for awareness and has a great blog. Sometimes, she’ll attend an event in a wheelchair and sometimes she won’t. Everyone loves her and interacts with her comfortably, no matter what. It’s a great example to see.
I wonder what it would be like to attend with a cane. It would be easier to navigate the space and the crowds. I don’t have enough experience with it at the moment to feel confident using it, but I am due for more training this summer. I think it takes courage to use the cane as well, since you will appear different and not everyone understands that there are degrees of vision loss other than complete blindness. I will definitely continue to think about this.
What do you think I should do?
It’s getting late but I wanted to make sure I posted today. I’ve made a commitment to do a #30DayChallenge where I post every day. I’ve been talking about writing a blog for so long that it’s time to get some real momentum going! I’m a firm believer in making your goals public and creating accountability in that way.
So now I really want to talk about this amazing article I read this week. If I could make everyone I know read it, I would. It’s called “Does Trying to be Happy Make Us Unhappy?” It resonated with me very strongly. It couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. Recently, I have lost touch with some of the things I enjoy to do and I have not felt as happy as before. The article mentions pursuing a state of flow, in which you’re totally immersed and lost in an experience. Then later, you might think about it and realize that that was a “happy” experience. When do I feel in a state of flow? I can name some things. I LOVED doing karate. It made me very happy. I’m lucky that at work we have a karate instructor and there is an opportunity to continue my studies after 10 years of not practicing. I love salsa dancing, especially with a live band and a positive atmosphere. I went dancing a couple of days ago and was reminded of how much fun it is and how much I miss it. I love spending quality time with friends, especially time with girlfriends. I also really enjoy networking and being part of a community of people who are driven to contribute to the world and pursue their passions. That’s what I find with the Latinos in Social Media (#LATISM) community, as well as United Latino Professionals (@ULP_National), and the @ELLAInstitute community. The online world and in-person worlds flow seamlessly, and I feel like I’ve only just hit the tip of iceberg and there’s so much more to discover. I believe I’ll be happier if I create more experiences of flow in my life and pay attention to the things that nourish me.
You’ll be seeing a lot more of me on Twitter and on this blog. Looking forward to talking to you!
One final note: Thanks to everyone who has given me positive feedback and support since I went public with this blog and having Usher Syndrome. It means the world.
Very exited about supporting the @EllaInstitute with their launch event this Thursday at Barnard College! Dr. Angelica Perez-Litwin is one of the women in the public eye that I truly admire. She dedicates her time to uplifting other women and utilizing social media as a positive tool. She founded New Latina, the Latina Leadership Network Facebook group, and now the ELLA Institute. All while working as a psychotherapist and having a family as well. Entrepreneurship, in particular social entrepreneurship, really calls me. I hope that one day I’ll have the opportunity to work for myself while making a meaningful impact on the world. It will be people like Angelica that I will look to for mentorship and guidance.
At Thursday’s launch event, I’ll be attending with a wonderful group of members of United Latino Professionals, a social networking organization for Latinos. I’ve been a member since 2009 and it has been an amazing way to make friends and be active in the city. You can join us on Meetup or Facebook, and we are launching a comprehensive website soon.
The event is sold out. But if you still want to join us, you actually can! It will be livestreamed by Google+.
I’ll be tweeting from @CatarinaRivera. Looking forward to it! It’s always really inspiring to be around women who are go-getters. I’m sure the room will be alive with energy, passion, and new ideas.