2017 #WeAllGrow Storytellers with Disney Princess (Video)
This post is sponsored by Disney. All opinions are my own.
A few months ago, I submitted a pitch to #WeAllGrow Latina Network for the annual Storytellers event, which concludes their Summit for Latina bloggers and digital creators. This year, the event sponsor was Disney Princess and I just knew that their #DreamBigPrincess vision was the perfect opportunity for me to push my boundaries.
I love this initiative so much; challenging our daughters to look deep inside themselves for strength, courage and the skills they need to make the world a better place. Just check out this beautiful video clip of our favorite Disney Princesses – including our beloved Elena of Avalor – daring to dream big!
I finally decided to go for my own big dream and do something I’ve always been scared to do: speak on stage to a large crowd. I recorded a 2-minute video in my daughter’s room, submitted the pitch just minutes before the deadline and, guess what? I was selected! Out of the many beautiful bloggers that sent in personal stories, Disney Princess and #WeAllGrow chose mine. I was so honored! Now, the hard work began…
The story I told was of growing up bicultural and a reflection of the many other stories that weaved through my soul as our plane to Cuba landed to an experience that would change my life forever. It amazed me then how much my stories – of my family’s immigration, the ones of my bicultural childhood and eventually the stories that challenged our cultural norms – anchored my identity and pushed me to reconcile with a world that I often didn’t feel part of.
As I was writing my speech, I thought of my favorite Disney princess as a child, Princess Jasmine. I remember wishing I was as brave as she is, climbing the castle walls that smothered her to explore a whole new world. Her adventures filled my dreams with hope and, knowing that she eventually comes home with a renewed sense of self and courage to make the world better, I believed that one day that journey would happen for me too.
The first time I saw Cuba from that window seat was a moment I’ll never forget; it was a moment that anchors my identity as a woman. Learning where I come from has challenged me to dream bigger, hope with more purpose and to reconcile with my home with a renewed mission to cherish my family even deeper. Telling that story on stage was one of my biggest dreams yet!
I’ll admit: I was scared. Standing on stage, looking into hundreds of faces, was much harder than I imagined. Luckily, that audience was my sisterhood – women I have known for years and respect tremendously – and they held me up like nothing I had ever experienced. I was filled with the love and adoration of my community and they willed me through. It was an amazing experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
So here it is: the clip of me as a 2017 #WeAllGrow Storyteller, sponsored by Disney Princess and their inspiring #DreamBigPrincess campaign! Thank you so much for the opportunity!