Yesterday, I met Anna Escobedo Cabral at HPNG’s Latino Leadership Conference www.hpng.net.
In case you didn’t know, she’s the Treasurer of the United States, meaning, her signature is in every one dollar bill.
She gave a very inspiring presentation at a fabulous event that brought together around one hundred Latino professionals from all fields and industries to the Yale Club in NYC. Mrs. Escobedo Cabral spoke about her humble beginnings as the daughter of farmworkers and about the mentor who made sure she filled out her college applications when all she wanted was to get a job as soon as she finished high school.
She spoke of the days in which she would pick up scrap metal on her way back from school so that her father could sell it, and there could be food on the table. She told us about changing elementary schools over twenty times.
And still, she persevered. Not only did she graduate with a major in Political Science from the University of California, Davis, but she later earned her Master’s degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Now don’t think for a moment that grad school was easy for her. She already had four children and, on occasion, she attended classes with the youngest one, who, at three, asked questions of the professors. As Mrs. Escobedo Cabral shared that her son has now graduated from MIT as a Nuclear Engineer, I can’t help thinking that some of that early exposure to education paid off.
Her presentation was an inspiration to all of us at the conference. A reminder that Latinos can get as high as they want regardless of their beginnings.