For as long as she can remember her father's persistence of helping out with his business encouraged her to be a business owner. Mayra is a hardworking woman who has always put everyone else's needs before her own. Everyone in her family has leaned on her and expected her to be the backbone of the family. Although she had the desire to attend college after graduating high school, her father's accident which left him unemployed played a role in her going directly into the workforce. Despite her desire to continue her education, she did not want to burden her family with another bill or loan.
As I sat in the interview I realized there were so many similarities in our stories and I am certain many can relate to her. For a long time, I have had to be strong for everyone else that I either never had the time to process my own emotions or thought it was not okay to process them. So many people depended on my strength that I almost felt like I did not have the luxury of having a “meltdown”. I believe that is what kept me from speaking up about my dysfunctional marriage for so long because I felt I had to keep the image of being strong alive. But in reality, showing your emotions is a sign of strength.
We’re often taught that being strong means we stay silent about our emotions but we have to give ourselves permission to feel. As women, we have to understand and stop feeding into the idea that crying is a form of weakness. I honor Mayra for her honesty in admitting crying was her biggest form of therapy. Throughout life, we will continue to encounter many roadblocks and in order to heal, we must feel. Avoidance is not a form of strength, it actually is a form of weakness that will keep us stagnant. Along with crying, Mayra acknowledges that praying and belief in self-has been what has gotten her through her darkest moments. Through hard work, dedication, and perseverance Mayra has been able to accomplish so much at such a young age.
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It’s amazing how much you learn from someone when you truly take the time to connect with them. I met Mayra a couple years ago through a childhood friend who she is business partners with her but I did not really know her on a deeper level. It wasn't until I sat down with her to talk about her life story for the campaign that I realized what a badass she is. At the age of 25 with no degree, prior business experience, financial assets, or even experience in the industry she's in, she became a franchise co-owner of a staffing agency. Mayra has accomplished to create a path of success despite the odds being against her.