"Si Se Puede" From Farmworker to Doctora - Dr. Alanis

Maggie is my mom and my role model. She has pushed me harder than anyone I know. She has given me the world and I knew as a mother I needed to do the same for my kids. I was able to defend my dissertation while pregnant and holding two other jobs on top of my full-time job. If my mom could do it, then I could as well. She inspires me and gives me a good kick in the butt when I need it. Inspiration from her came by example. Although there are many experiences through the years, one stands out that often reminds me about mom’s unconditional support. For instance, when I was working on my own doctorate program I moved across the country and traveled back and forth for my courses. I was tired, in a new job, and an instant mom, but my mom’s unconditional support kept me going.

"Maggie is my mom and my role model. She has pushed me harder than anyone I know. She has given me the world and I knew as a mother I needed to do the same for my kids".

Her drive came from her dedication to uplift our family, our culture, and our community. Her empowerment came through education. I believe that her experiences with my grandfather played an important role. Here is a brief glimpse into my mom’s life, Up until I was 8 years old my father participated in the Bracero program in the states while my mom, my siblings and I lived in Mexico. My dad worked hard in the fields to make a life for us, it was one of the farm owners who sponsored us all to come to the United States. The goal was to build our life as a family in the Chicago area. My dad always knew that he wanted us to be successful and did not want his children or grandchildren working in the fields to endure the horrific conditions and the back-breaking work. My mother saw education as a way out of that life. We also worked the fields, but seeing my dad work endlessly, helped me realize that he wanted more for us. His life of a Bracero impacted my whole life because it showed me the power of advocating for our community. It also allowed me to understand the needs and the sacrifices farmworkers make for their families and communities He gave me the strength to achieve my dreams and always keep going. Although my mother and father would separate, she ensured that such dreams became a reality.

"Her drive came from her dedication to uplift our family, our culture, and our community. Her empowerment came through education".

Education became central part of our lives. Maggie earned a bachelor’s degree from National Louis University-Chicago in Behavioral Science. She then went on to complete all the curriculum requirements for the clinical psychology master’s degree from the same university. She obtained a master’s degree in business management/organizational leadership from Webster University (the same day her husband Jose and daughter Jennifer obtained their Master’s degree). And finally, she obtained her Doctor of Education degree from Universidad Pedagogica de Zacatecas. She decided to purse psychology as her major because she saw the need for bilingual practitioners in her area. She realized that she needed to be able to provide a service to those in her community in which they were lacking. She also wanted to show her community that it was ok to seek outside help for mental health issues.

Struggles were part of her life, but they never stopped her from moving forward. She was a college student while being a single mom raising a teenager and she was a nontraditional student, all while working full time. She was able to also keep her social justice hat on and keep advocating for her community, while also raising a family. My mother has always owned a Si Se Puede Y Que Seguen Adelante mindset. She is someone who immigrated to this country as a child and who faithfully believed in the Cesar Chavez movement. She has advocated at a national and state level. She believes in earning and owning a seat at the table. Her community advocacy and education became her way of earning a seat at tables designed to create systematic and community change. By increasing the numbers of Latina Doctorate holders and advocating for her community, she has inspired me and my hope is that she will inspire many more.

"She was able to also keep her social justice hat on and keep advocating for her community, while also raising a family. My mother has always owned a Si Se Puede Y Que Seguen Adelante mindset".