Founder of Latinas with Masters Shares Why She Created This Community
AN ONGOING SERIES PUTTING A SPOTLIGHT ON LATINAS MAKING BOLD CAREER AND ENTREPRENEURIAL MOVES. WE LEARN WHAT MOTIVATES THEM, HOW THEY GOT WHERE THEY ARE AND WHAT’S NEXT FOR THESE BOLD LATINAS.
Over the years, the journeys of higher learning accomplishments have been documented right here on our platform. One of our earliest published pieces, The Academy Changes You: Brown Girl Edition by Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodriguez resonated with many daughters of immigrants on the pursuit of higher education. BoldLatina doesn’t just stop at sharing the stories, given the cost of a rising education, sharing financial aid resources and scholarships for our Latinx student body is what BoldLatina is all about too! As part of our advocacy for higher education, in addition, we are honored to come across amazing Latinx educators and advocates like Christina V. Rodriguez, the founder of community-based Latinas with Masters who are supporting the pathways and movement of Latinas who are graduating from colleges and universities at record numbers in the United States.
Christina V. Rodriguez is an equity-minded creative entrepreneur with a commitment in creating equitable opportunities for all women of color in business, housing and academia. Building a career in real estate and marketing over the past fifteen years, gave Christina perspective and opened her eyes to opportunity to integrate her background and advocacy for higher learning. Christina holds a Bachelor’s degree in Latino/a Studies from San Francisco State University and went on to receive her Master’s degree (MBA) with an emphasis in Marketing at Notre Dame de Namur University. The Bold Latina she is, Christina is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in Educational Leadership.
When Christina is not recording her podcast or making dope Tik Toks for Latinas with Masters or attending online classes in her doctorate program, she is spending time with her family and spoiling her Chihuahua.
BoldLatina: What inspired you to start Latinas With Masters?
Christina: Upon acceptance to my doctoral program, I created Latinas with Masters with the inspiration to create space and community for Latinx and BIPOC current and future students navigating higher education. My goal is to inspire, empower and education nuestra comunidad and future generation leaders with equitable pathways, academic advancement and professional growth in a safe, positive and supportive space. Latinas with Masters is more than just a degree, it’s a community beyond academia!
I also reflected on what I didn’t have while attaining my master’s degree program and that was a community for me to connect with other first generation students of color navigating graduate school. I also remembered feeling overwhelmed by the application process and not being able to reach out to anyone to guide me through this process as I personally did not know anyone who
attended and graduated with a Master’s degree.
BoldLatina: What services does Latinas With Masters provide to our community?
Christina: I created services that are both affordable and attainable for any college student wanting to pursue a higher education. The services offered are tailored towards the admission process with guidance and assistance with their personal statements and curriculum vitae/resume that enhances their professional and academic experience while embracing and preserving nuestra cultura!
BoldLatina: What tips can you offer to Latinas working towards higher degree programs like masters or bachelor college degrees?
Christina: Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. It’s okay to not know everything. Find trustworthy mentors early on into your program that can guide and support you through different stages in your life with motherhood, academia and your career.
Also another important tip is to be flexible with your goals. Not everything will go as planned and that is okay. Don’t let this bump on the road define your success as a college student. Take some time to reflect and make changes accordingly.
BoldLatina: Do you have any future goals for Latinas With Masters?
Christina: OMG Yass! As a marketing professional who is trained to think outside of the box, my head spins with ideas. I personally don’t like to overthink about anything that I feel 100%. To give you a sneak peak, there are future collaborations and recently we partnered with Juno which provides resources like scholarships and better student loan rates to our audience. So much in the making with exposure to Latinas with Masters in other forms of media and publishing…stay tuned!
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BoldLatina: What progress and setbacks have you observed within the Latinx community in higher education?
Christina: The financial setback undocumented students have to endure by being charged a higher tuition rate than citizens and in-state resident students. I honestly do not know how charging some students a higher tuition rate than other students for the same exact education is ethical in academia and lawful in the United States? Why are we not talking about this more? Blows my mind…
BoldLatina: What are you personally looking forward to with the education business you are building?
Christina: I look forward to continuing building space and community for college students navigating higher education. I love receiving personal messages from my friends (I don’t call them followers, we are all friends on Instagram) when they get accepted to graduate school, are considering advancing their professional and academic career and getting positive messages for finding a social media page who they can relate to through my videos and content. That’s all the motivation I need to continue to do the work para nuestra cultura and comunidad.
BoldLatina: What do you believe our Latina/x community challenges are right now?
Christina: Finding free and affordable financial resources to fund their higher education degree. Many Latinx want to pursue a degree but hold back due to the finances and I don’t blame them. Universities, especially Hispanic Serving Institutions need to make intentional efforts in making higher education more affordable and attainable for Latinx students. Being accepted to a program is exciting but being able to afford it is a challenge for many of us and sometimes, our dreams of having a degree is put on hold due to finances.
BoldLatina: If you could change one thing about the world today that would make it better for women, especially women of color/Latina/x/Black Women, what would it be?
Christina: Women around the world have equitable opportunities in education and in the workplace. Period!
BoldLatina: What, in your opinion, makes someone a BoldLatina?
Christina: A Bold Latina is someone who is not afraid of another woman’s success. We each have our own unique qualities we bring to the table and there is plenty of room for all of us to support each other and be successful.
BoldLatina: Any advice for other BoldLatinas out there you would like to share?
Christina: It’s never too late to go back to school and get your degree. Once you are ready, you’ll have a whole community of Latinas with Masters Girl Gang cheering you on. #SiSePuede y #SiSePudo
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