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SELF MADE Stories

Meet Carla Harris: Vice Chairman, Senior Client Advisor and Managing Director, Morgan Stanley

Tell Carla Harris she can’t do something, and that’s exactly what she’ll do. Over the course of Carla’s life, she was often underestimated and told “she can’t.” Yet this only motivated her more to succeed and prove people wrong. When her guidance counselor said it was too hard to get into an Ivy League School, she applied to several and ...

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Meet Ivette Rodriguez: President & Founder of American Entertainment Marketing (AEM)

Ivette Rodriguez is a trailblazer and pioneer in the film and entertainment industry. Twenty-three years ago, she launched American Entertainment Marketing (AEM), putting Latino films and consumers on Hollywood’s radar. Ivette captured an emerging market that had gone largely untapped, focusing her business on promoting films to Latinos consumers in the U.S.

Building the business from the ...

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Meet Candy Ramirez, Owner of Candy’s Cakes

“Adelante was a turning point for me,” says Candy. “For the first time, I was around other women who had careers while also raising families. It showed me I could do that too.” She was determined to turn her baking hobby into a profitable career.

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Meet Jean Chatzky: Financial Editor for NBC’s Today Show, Best Selling Author & Motivational Speaker

For women, our relationship with money can often be complicated. Making, saving and spending money can be filled with emotional complexity, and the world of finances can be intimidating, overwhelming or stressful. Jean Chatzky has dedicated her career to helping women solve these challenges with money. She is the financial editor of NBC’s Today Show and Founder and CEO of ...

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Ruth Behar, Self-Made Anthropologist & Writer

Ruth Behar’s family is both extremely Cuban and very Jewish. Her family left Cuba by way of Israel, and eventually settled in New York. Growing up, her family’s lifestyle was a mix of cultures – they spoke Spanish at home and celebrated Jewish holidays like Passover and Yom Kippur. They enjoyed pork dishes at Cuban Restaurants and ate kosher dishes ...

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Meet Renata Rensky: Make-Up Artist to the Stars

When Renata and her family left the former Soviet Union, they came to the U.S. as political refugees and started over with absolutely nothing. Renata needed to make money and help her parents, and the experience left her hungry to embrace every opportunity her new country had to offer.

Renata decided to pursue a passion she’s had since ...

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Meet Sandra Cisneros: Renowned Novelist, Poet and Activist

Sandra Cisneros is an internationally renowned Latina novelist, poet and activist, most famously known for authoring The House on Mango Street. Among many honors, she is a MacArthur Genius Fellow and earned the National Medal of the Arts Awardee from President Barack Obama. As Sandra celebrates her 64th birthday, Nely Galán sits down with her for an intimate conversation about ...

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Meet Cristina Jiménez: Co-founder of United We Dream & MacArthur Genius Fellow

Cristina Jiménez transformed her pain into power when she founded United We Dream, a nationwide movement that unites young undocumented immigrants in a quest to impact national and local policy. United We Dream was born out of Cristina’s own story as an undocumented immigrant. It was as an answer to the pain she experienced growing up living in fear of ...

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Meet Yalitza Aparicio Oscar Nominee and Star of the Film “Roma”

One day Yalitza Apraricio made a decision that changed the trajectory of her life. Encouraged by her sister, she decided to attend a casting call hosted near her town in Mexico. As a preschool teacher of Mixtec decent, Yalitza had never acted before in her life and was normally terrified to be in front of a camera, but she decided ...

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Meet Beatriz Porto: Co-Owner of the Family Business Porto’s Bakery & Café

To Beatriz Porto, being self-made means keeping her mother’s dreams, ambitions and entrepreneurial spirit alive. Beatriz comes from a legacy of self-employed women who shaped their own destinies through hard work, determination and even reinventing their lives. When Beatriz’s mother relocated to the United States from Cuba, she was driven by a desire to survive and see her children thrive, ...

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