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🇵🇷 A deep believer in a better and safer world. (They/Them/Theirs) Director of Racial Justice & Youth Programming @ YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester

Potential triggers: mentions of emotional abuse, self-hatred and harm, panic attacks, depression and harassment.

“I lived so long / with a closed heart / not because / i was afraid to get hurt / but because i was afraid / of the pain / i had hidden away.” — yung pueblo

21 year old Ariana, wearing a black graduation robe, holding a puerto rican flag as they walk to get their degree.
Me on graduation day in 2016. This one’s for you, homie. It’s time for the healing to continue.

Tomorrow night(1/6/21)will be the first meeting of the year for the youth leadership program that I facilitate. A program that came to be from the depths of my heart and a deep wish to heal the teenager that knew only how to fear their own identity. Every time I meet with my students, I ask myself, how can I fully show up for…

*Note: The ‘we’ I speak of in this piece refers to those who fund scholarships, scholarship programs/coordinators and educators both at the high school and college level.*

In April of 2012, I sat at a luncheon called Mujeres Destacadas, that honored Latinx women who had made a great impact on their communities. It is a luncheon my mother created, and one that I had been fortunate enough to attend for six consecutive years. It was the spring before my first year of college and I was telling everyone that I was going to register at Hunter College. …

I want you to love me in public.

I don’t want you to hide me with the excuse that you’re just “private.”

I don’t want to have to remind myself that you care, I want to hear it from your lips.

I want you to know that my tears are not signs of weakness and that my emotional process does not have to match yours.

I want you to know that what I do for you, I would do for anyone who has managed to work themselves into my heart.

You are not my world.

I am my world and…


If I were to give an honest answer when asked about what I want to do with my life I would say that all I want to do is take care of people. In recent months I have learned that my form of self-love comes from loving other people, from helping people be their best selves. Often times I have been told by people that I need to focus on myself more, that I need to take care of myself before I can take care of another person. But what they fail to understand is that when the people I…

#tbt to Bali 2k15 one of my few times of feeling calm.

tw: anxiety, mentions of suicide, depression.

It’s 2pm on my fourth day of work and I’m hungry. It’s past the normal lunch hour and I have no snacks at my desk yet, just my water bottle and some gum in my bag. I want to go outside and go across the street to CVS but my mind won’t let me. What if my boss comes while I’m gone? What if I miss a last minute e-mail from someone and end up missing an event? What if there’s a really long line at CVS and I can’t get back to my…

On May 15, 2016 I graduated from college with a B.A. in English and four years worth of being deprived of good rice. In the months leading up to my graduation, leaving was the only thing I could think about. I knew that I would come to miss my time at college but I was so unbelievably depressed for the entire semester, leaving seemed like the best and only solution. I tried desperately to split myself in half, to commit half of myself to be present at school and the other half to lean towards the future, not wanting to…

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