Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month
September 15 to October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the many contributions and accomplishments of the Hispanic and Latino/a/e/x community. Jenny Oliveros Reyes works in External Affairs on the Policy and Government Affairs (PGA) team at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC). She talked about the importance of celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and how the Latino/a/e/x community is stronger when they come together as one.
Question: What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
Answer: Hispanic Heritage Month is a time for celebration, self-reflection, and appreciation for the people who came before me and how their sacrifices and triumphs created a path for me to advance and excel in this country and city. Hispanic Heritage Month means looking inward and recognizing the historic challenges the Latino/a/e/x community has faced and the groundbreaking milestones it has accomplished.
Question: What are you most proud of about your culture?
Answer: I am the proudest of the go-getter mindset and adventurous thinking embedded within my culture. Both my parents immigrated from their origin countries, Mexico and Cuba to the United States; and they have always supported my curious and explorative nature. I think it has to do with wanting your kids to experience and explore everything they can because this wasn’t realistic for our immigrant parents when they were younger.
Question: How is the Latino/a/e/x community stronger together?
Answer: In times of political polarization and bigotry, the Latino/a/e/x community, with its younger and older generations, demonstrated to the world that community is the stepping stone to advocacy and stability. We are stronger together because that means we can face hardship and difficulty together, with a shoulder to lean on and a hand to hold.
Question: What advice would you give to young Latino/a/e/x students looking to start a career in the utilities industry?
Answer: My advice would be to keep an open mind. No one really knows what a utility agency even means and after working for the SFPUC for almost two years, I am learning something new every day about our Enterprises and Bureaus. Be open to not knowing and receive information and experience with grace.