Leading Latinas That Inspired Everyone In 2016

Three days into 2017, it’s safe to say that 2016 was probably like the weird goth phase we all just want to forget. Still, it wasn’t a hot mess for everyone. These Latinas powered through it all and created their own road to success despite the turbulence. They wrote books, mad names for themselves and their culture, were promoted to important positions while making history. Read on to learn about the incredible accomplishments that would make any woman proud to be Latina, or just a woman.

Julissa Arce


Arce went from being an undocumented immigrant from Mexico to a VP at Goldman Sachs. She was 11 when her family moved to San Antonio from Mexico. Despite being undocumented and speaking ttle English, she excelled in everything she did. She signed up for sports, dance, student council, and two honors societies. Years later she landed a job at Goldman Sachs. She went from intern to analyst, associate, vice president, and later a director at Merrill Lynch. Last year she wrote a powerful memoir, “My (Underground) American Dream,” where she opened up about her childhood and the anxiety that came with working undocumented on Wall Street. 

Ana Flores


Flores is the founder and CEO of #WeAllGrow Latina Network. Last year she was invited to speak at the White House’s United State of Women Summit. During the panel she spoke about gender diversline communities, entrepreneurship and female empowerment. She is also the co-founder of SpanglishBaby, a community for parents raising bicultural and bilingual kids.

Gabby Rivera


Through her YA novel “Juliet Takes a Breath,” Rivera helped create a safe space for young queer Latinas. She represents the LGBTQ Latina community through her writing. Last year (2016), icua revealed that Rivera will write the story of “America,” Marvel’s first queer Latina superhero series.

Catherine Cortez Masto


During the elections late last year, and in the midst of disappointment for many Latinos, Cortez Masto became a shred of hope everyone needed. For the first time, a Latina was elected to s the U.S. Senate. On January 3 she was officially sworn in to the U.S. Senate as the first Latina and the first Mexican American woman to do so.

Raffi Freedman-Gurspan


After 21 years of having a straight woman or a cisgender gay or lesbian official as the White House’s LGBT liaison, Freedman-Gurspan changed everything. She made history as the first trans LGBT liaison. She went from having a staff position in the White House last year, to the outreach and recruitment director for presidential personnel and associate director for public engagement.

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