Impact Story

Ana Shatters Cultural Barriers

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Ana Velasco graduated from high school in June 2017 and was selected as Girls Inc. of San Diego County’s 2017 Outstanding Alumnae. She embodies the mission of inspiring girls to be strong, smart and bold. Ana is a first-generation college student and is currently matriculated as a full-time freshman at California State University San Marcos. Her goal is to give back to her community in San Diego County.

In 2001, her father passed and Ana, age of four at the time, was brought to the United States and is a “Dreamer” in the California State University System.

Growing up in a single-parent household, her mother worked double shifts to support Ana and her siblings. Her mother always taught her, “estudia para que no sufras” (study so you do not suffer like I have). When Ana first participated in Girls Inc., she participated in Futures and Options, College Readiness, and the affiliate’s first Google Made with Code chapter. Throughout all these programs, she was highly engaged and continued to challenge herself to grow, while also supporting the development of her female peers in the program.

Embodying the bold spirit of Girls Inc., she has shattered barriers within her own culture. When her family told her not to play the accordion, an instrument they considered masculine, she learned to play and excelled at it. She performs at local swap meets and made extra money on weekends performing at special events.

Ana demonstrates resiliency and never gives up. In difficult times she is always up for a challenge. When she is knocked down, she rises up. Ana does more than demonstrate her understanding of the Girls Inc. mission but has become an advocate for young girls who are also Dreamers. She is involved in groups that support and advocate for Dreamers, works part-time to be able to finance her studies and is a full-time college student.

She also supports the future of Girls Inc. in San Diego by representing the organization at fundraising events where she speaks about how Girls Inc. has helped her to achieve her goals. Girls Inc. of San Diego County is proud to have her as an alumnae ambassador for our organization!