HERstory: Deborah Estrada, Achieving Her Goals One Click at a Time

Deborah Estrada is a 20 year old student who graduated from One Economy’s San Francisco Digital Connector program in 2004. Through this program, she learned all about technology and gained valuable skills. As a Digital Connector, she taught people in her community how to use the computer and the Internet. With the knowledge she gained in the program, Deborah used the Internet to conduct research for school, build a resume, apply to college, and even buy a car. She graduated from high school with a 4.0 GPA and got a scholarship to college. Deborah is now a student at the Dominican University of California.

To learn more about Deborah, we asked her to tell us a little bit more about herself:
I am twenty years old and am in my third year at Dominican University of California. I am working on my bachelor’s degree in business and will be graduating in 2011. Last semester I was accepted into the Master’s program and started my first MBA class this semester. Being first generation to go to college and even start on a Masters degree is something both my parents are proud of. As the oldest of four and growing up in a low-income family, I am doing all that I can and taking every opportunity to be a role model to my siblings and to pursue a better life for myself.
I am also extremely involved in my church. I am the singing leader and the Youth leader’s assistant. Therefore, I work with all types of personalities that each day I learn to cope with and adjust too. Members of the church all give back to the community by visiting the elderly, feeding the poor, and influencing youth to stay away from gang violence.
  1. The proudest moment in my life so far was: graduating with a 4.0 GPA from high school and being accepted to a private university, where I received many scholarships. The moment I was asked to stand in front of my graduating class because of these achievements, I felt proud and very grateful at all the opportunities that came my way.
  2. One woman that I look up to is: my mother. She arrived to the United States in 1977 at age eight from Guatemala. She had suffered her whole childhood there, and as she came here she wanted to take advantage of the opportunities presented to her. She learned the English language and eventually graduated high school, where she met my father. As she attended San Francisco City College at nineteen years of age she became pregnant. Her own family and the church members looked down upon her and were extremely disappointed. She had to give up her education to give birth to me and eventually raise me on her own. As I get my education, I am metaphorically doing it for her as well. What she could not achieve I am doing for her.
  3. I am inspired by: all the struggles I have faced in my life. As women face troubles in their lives, many times it leads them onto the wrong road. However, this inspires me to get an education and pursue a better life for my future family and myself.
  4. One of the greatest things about being a woman is: being able to give birth. Even though I have never experienced it, I believe that it is an amazing moment when you get to receive your own child into your arms, who you have been carrying for nine months. It is a special connection between a child and mother that no one else can replace.
  5. One thing I do to make my life easier is: In order to make my life easier and take the stress away, I sing and pray. Singing takes my mind off of worries and praying gives me strength and reassurance that everything will turn out fine.
  6. My favorite thing to do in my free time is: During my free time I love to play my piano. Even if it is just for a couple of minutes, I can sit at my piano and learn new chords on my own and practice.
  7. I hope that someday: I hope that someday I will get to see a woman president. So far, men have only been the ones to run the United States of America. A woman president would show independence to those women who think that they do not have any.
  8. One piece of advice I would give other women is: to get an education. Women without an education are submissive and dependent of their partner. An education will get you far in life and will aid you in the end, no matter the cost.
  9. Something that makes me smile is: Food always makes me smile. Yes, I love food and am always open to trying new things.
  10. I would like to accomplish: Lastly, I would like to reach a high education level in business. As I gain experience in this industry I would like to give back to my community by referring low-income families to resources that will help them achieve financial independence. Helping low-income families reach a better life is something I would love to pursue as I reach financial independence myself.
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