All about my loving family:
There's nothing in the world that makes me happier than spending time with my family. Knowing that my career goals could take me far away stirs up an appreciation for every visit home.
That's not to say I didn't grow up with an appreciation for my loved ones. We are Cuban Americans, with an inspiring story about how we came to the United States.
If not for the bravery of my grandparents, making sacrifices to leave a communist country for a free one, I would not be here today. It inspires me to work hard and embrace every opportunity I receive.
Home is where the heart is:
I was born in Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, New Jersey on Oct. 2, 1990. I lived in North Bergen with my mom and dad until we moved the Jacksonville, Florida in 1993.
Soon, my little sister, Alyssa, joined our family. A few years down the line, our family was completed by Jack and Ellie, our golden retrievers.
When my schedule allows it, I go home to Jacksonville. I shop with my mom, walk the dogs with my dad and work on crafts with my sister.
Over the past couple years, we've become very close. I'm so grateful for my fun, loving and supportive family.
The best of both worlds:
Even though I was truly raised in Jacksonville, I also identify myself as a Jersey girl.
Much of my family still lives in various parts of New Jersey. I spent this past summer living with my godmother and her family and commuting into New York City for an internship.
Even though I missed my immediate family, I never felt homesick thanks to the company of aunts, uncles, cousins, distant relatives and new friends.
After weekdays watching movies under the Brooklyn Bridge with friends and weekends heading "down the shore" with my family, I fully reconnected with my Nothern roots.
I like to say that I have the best of both worlds. I feel lucky that so many places feel like home!