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20 Questions With: Kizzy Dogan

posted December 22, 2020 | in Soy Latina by Latinitas Magazine Staff

Editor’s Note: This is a transcription of Latinitas Magazine’s SoundCloud segment “20 Questions With,” where we invite bold and creative Latinas and women of color to discuss their experiences and background. Listen along by clicking the link!

Hola chicas! Welcome to 20 Questions With a radio segment in conjunction with Latinitas Magazine. Latinitas Magazine is a strong voice for Latina and POC youth which is why the hosts of 20 Questions With are all young women of color, looking to gain experience in innovative and creative fields just like you. 

In each episode, you’ll hear from striking women who are inspiring today’s youth with their passion, motivation and grit. 

Today, join volunteer writers Amanda Landa and Angelica Hechavarria while they sit down and ask 20 Questions With Kizzy Dogan, who just released her debut book titled “Thirteen: Lessons for Every Teen Girl’s Journey to Womanhood.”

Before we get started, here’s what you should know:

In addition to just releasing a book, Kizzy is the CEO of T&G Commercial Cleaning, and the founder of Love Circle, Inc, a 501c 3 nonprofit organization that is geared for boys and girls who lost a parent before adulthood. 

Her book was written to motivate, inspire, and empower young girls to always speak up freely and truthfully. Her passionate desire is that young girls will learn how to communicate with their authentic feelings without the fear of being judged, ignored, rejected, misunderstood, or unheard. 

Latinitas Magazine is proud to speak with Kizzy. So let’s get started with today’s show.

AMANDA: My name is Amanda Landa. I am a second-year sophomore at the University of Texas. Go Longhorns! I am a volunteer writer and for Latinas. This is my second time that I am hosting 20 Questions and I’m so honored to be interviewing Kizzy Dogan. Before we go on with the interview. Let me introduce one of my co-host. She is also a volunteer writer. Take it away Angelique.

ANGELIQUE: Hello, everyone. My name is Angelica Hechavarria. I’m a multimedia journalist at Latinitas. This is my first time recording 20 Questions With interview and I’m so so happy to have our special guest Kizzy. 

AMANDA: Thank you so much, Kizzy for joining us. I really appreciate it. Let’s get started with the questions. So to begin your book, “Thirteen,” the demographic is for teenagers and it’s basically a guide in order for them to learn lessons before they transform into womanhood. So one main theme emphasized in your book is self-love. So how has your journey with self-love made you the person you are today?

KIZZY: First of all, Amanda, I want to thank you for taking time out to have me here to interview me and to have me be a part of this show today. So thank you guys very much. I’m delighted that you asked me that question, because one of the pieces of advice I wish to share with young girls, and I believe is the most impactful if necessary, and teaching them the importance of self-love. 

Unfortunately, I didn’t always conduct myself as a girl, a woman with self-love, even though I thought I did. I thought because I never suffered from body issues, I always knew I was attractive, that that meant I had self-love. And actually, that only means that I have self-esteem, not self-love. It’s a big difference. It took me some time, but I figured it out. And so over time with growth and maturity, I realized self-love is a learned behavior. We have to choose to have self-love. And it takes practice every day to conduct its own challenges, and every day is different. But I believe when we have self-love, we can forgive ourselves, forgive ourselves for mistakes that we made for disappointing ourselves. We have acceptance, acceptance of our flaws, and acceptance of other great things that make us who we are. We have compassion for ourselves. Sometimes we’re hard on ourselves, and we can forgive others and be sympathetic to others, but not toward ourselves. So when we have self-love, we share that same heart with ourselves that we share with the world. And we’re patient, we’re patient with ourselves, we know that we’re going to make mistakes, we’re not going to always get it right. But we have patience. 

So self-love is the most impactful thing that I wish to instill in young girls. So and I want them to learn it early, not past their 20’s and 30’s and 40’s. And they like wake up one morning like ‘what in the world.’ But if we get that concept early, that it’s okay to want to lose weight, but we still must love ourselves at that weight. It’s okay to want longer hair, but we have to love ourselves with frizzy and short hair and whatever type of hair that God gave us. Once we develop that, and we can walk in that. That’s when we have self-love and that is the most impactful message that I wish to send to young girls around the world.

AMANDA: I really love that message. Especially since all your demographic is young girls, I really like how that can apply to women my age or women above that age. It’s never too late for women to develop self-love. And I really love that about your book. Speaking of self-love, what’s something you like to do to promote self-care?

KIZZY: My mantra is to do it in moderation. I believe in proper diet and exercise to maintain a healthy life because health is wealth. However, I don’t beat myself up when I want to indulge in my guilty pleasures, such as pizza, fries, chocolate, those are my three favorites. And they don’t always agree with my waistline, but they are my three favorites. And I don’t beat myself up, I enjoy pizza. I’ll eat two slices, I may even eat three. And so for me, promoting self-care is to do the things that make me happy, you know, and don’t have any judgment of it. You know, if it’s healthy, it’s OK to do it in moderation. It’s OK. I’m an early riser. And so, for me, that’s when I usually have my ‘me time.’ Because my house is quiet, the kids are sleeping. And I mean, when I say early riser, I’m up at 4 a.m. like a crazy person, but I’m up at 4 a.m.. And in that time that I have those few hours to myself, I can do whatever I want. I can even work out if I choose to I can lay in bed and do nothing. I can surf the internet, I look at whatever I feel like doing at that moment, to spend time with myself of meditating and praying and thinking and writing. Whatever it is. That’s how I promote self-care. I do everything in moderation. And I also spend quality time with myself.

AMANDA: And growing up, were there any women either fictional, whether on a TV show or on a movie or somebody in your life, who truly inspired you?

KIZZY: Absolutely. I’m a girl’s girl. And I believe women rule the world. So I’ve always gotten inspiration from the beauty, intelligence and strength of females. There are so many women who inspired me. Two fictional characters that really inspired me are Diahann Carroll, her character, Dominique Devereaux, on “Dynasty,” was at 80’s sitcom. She just blew me away when she stepped onto the scene. And then also Clair Huxtable. She was the mom on “The Cosby Show.” Both women were sophisticated, they were career women, and they were unapologetic. And so their boldness really did it for me, like that’s who I wanted to be like. Little girls probably strive to be Cinderella. But for me as a teenager growing up watching them, I think, probably at 10, or 11, is when I first met Dominique Devereaux, I said, ‘No, that’s who I want to be. When I grow up. I’m gonna be just like that. I’m gonna walk in that office building with my best suits on and my briefcase and I’m on run everything.’ So that’s who I wanted to be growing up. Dominique Devereaux, or Clair Huxtable. Like, I just knew that I wanted to be a career woman. And I wanted to be bold. And also my the women in my family, I come from a massive family of women. So they were always stylish, always independent, and always smart. And so I was inspired by the women in my family. 

AMANDA: I love that. Going back to the book, what was your writing process when it came to writing “Thirteen”? 

KIZZY: It took me two years to write this book. It started off as an idea that I was just driving in my car. And God spoke to me and said, ‘You need to write this book.’ And at first, I was very excited. And I was like, ‘Oh my God, OK, OK,’ I forgot I was a little apprehensive because I really never thought of becoming a writer. But I was like, ‘wow, this is a great idea.’ And this is something that I wish that I had as a teenager, especially considering that my mom passed away when I was 14. So I had to learn a lot of things from my peers. What I did is I just had all these ideas just flooding in, I just started writing, writing, writing. I would write on my cell phone when I was in the gym sitting in a sauna. I would take notes when I’m driving, a thought would come into my head and I would pull out the recorder on my phone and record a note to put in my notes. So when I get back to my office, I could write or I also use my laptop. I didn’t write, like on a notepad or anything. I just used my phone, my laptop, or my office computer, my desktop. 

Then I got an author coach because, during the writing process, I got a little scared to tell my story. And I was like, ‘Oh, this is too deep. I don’t know if I’m ready to reveal all these things.’ So I kind of slacked off. I found a writing coach. She was like, ‘Oh, no, we got to get this together. You’re gonna complete this book. I believe in this project.’ And we sat down and thought about the 13 most important pieces of advice that I wanted to share. So once we narrowed that down, each week she held me to the fire. I had to submit a chapter to her every Sunday. Monday, she would call me, we would talk about it and then, it was time to start the next chapter. And so at the end of that, we read the whole book together to make sure that it can be my message. After that, I submitted it to the editor. And that’s when the real work came. 

Because the editor had so many red marks throughout my whole manuscript. It was sliced and diced. I was like, ‘Oh, I thought I was complete.; She was like, ‘Oh, no, no, no.’ I’m so happy that I did that. Because had I not, it wouldn’t be what it is today. I am so pleased with the outcome of this book. So I just broke down ideas. I had no structure. In the beginning, I was just writing, writing, writing. It was kind of reading like a memoir. And that’s not what I wanted. And I was like, ‘wait a minute.’ So the editor was like, ‘first of all, you don’t need to talk about this, you need to stick to the point,’ you know, so that helped me a lot. Having a writing coach and the editor was the process that I took to complete this book.

AMANDA: When developing “Thirteen,” whether it’s getting the ideas and working on publishing it, were there ever any moments where you thought about your 13-year-old self?

KIZZY: Oh, absolutely, throughout the entire process. From the moment the idea came into my mind. And it was just a simple thing. I’m just driving along and a voice says ‘you’re going to write a book. And you’re going to title it “Thirteen” and it’s going to be geared towards teenage girls.’ So from there I just went right back to being 13, 14, 15 and I was like, ‘oh, wow, had I known this I probably wouldn’t have made these mistakes.’ So I throughout the entire process I thought about myself, as well as all my 13-year-old friends at the time.

AMANDA: And what would you say to your 13-year-old self if you could see her now?

KIZZY: Oh my goodness, if I could see 13-year-old Kizzy, I would definitely say ‘Kizzy, you are dope.’ I would tell her that mistakes are inevitable. And it’s OK, she will recover from those mistakes. I would tell her not to be so hard on herself, she is worthy. And she shouldn’t sell herself short. I would tell her to always strive for excellence. I would definitely instill in her to not waste her time and energy on unworthy and undeserving people. I would just encourage her to be her prominent most advocate for herself. I would tell her to advocate for herself at all costs, never lose her voice for the fear of rejection, or conflict, or the fear of being misunderstood. And I would just tell her that I love her.

Photo courtesy of Kizzy Kittrell Dogan.

AMANDA: When it comes to “Thirteen,” as mentioned before, this is a great book, especially for teenage girls, to basically learn and to understand that life is going to be a struggle sometimes. And it’s really good to understand and have them develop a mindset in order for them to have a way smoother transition when it comes to growing up and dealing with the world. So when it comes to “Thirteen” what are some main takeaways you hope your readers, especially teenage girls can find in your book?

KIZZY: It is my heartfelt desire that my readers see my passion for empowering girls. That is my life’s purpose, to empower young women and young adults. I hope that they can see my authenticity and my vulnerability after reading the book. The key takeaways that I really want teenage girls to understand that they are worthy, and they are valuable. I want them to realize that much sooner than later. I want them to know their worth as early as possible. That way they can strive for excellence, and they can excel. I also want them to know that they’re enough. They are absolutely enough. They don’t have to change anything. They don’t have to become anybody else. They can just show up and be themselves. That is enough. And lastly, I pray they discover, after reading the book, they discover their superpower and they start to use it to do the best. Those are the main takeaways that I want for young girls to know their worth, know they’re enough and discover their superpowers.

AMANDA: Now talking a little bit more about you. Can you describe a usual day in your life? It can be workwise or home-wise or both.

KIZZY: Oh my goodness. Most days My day starts early. Before the pandemic, I was in the gym at 5 a.m.. By 8 a.m., my sons were in school. Between their school time, I would go to my office, have meetings, eat, I would go to site visits and look sharp on projects, different projects, where I’m working, to manage and oversee everything’s running smoothly. One of my sons is engaged! I have twins, and I have three sons, but one is grown. So I don’t have to carry him all over town. But my two younger sons participate in a lot of sports. So there were a lot of practices in a lot of games. So besides taking them back and forth to practice and screaming and cheering like a crazy mom and daughter on the sideline, that was my day. 

Now that we’re in the pandemic, things have slowed down. I’m still all over the place. Because that’s just my personality. I’m a chicken with my head cut off sometimes. I may start this project, and then I’ll put that down, and I’ll start something different. So I’m always all over the place. But I am so grateful that I have slowed down. I’m not driving anyone to school, although I wish now that we could go back into the building, because I don’t like being the teacher at home. But that’s typically today for me. It involves me caring for and taking care of others, and occasionally spending a few moments of quiet time for myself.

AMANDA: And I’m just curious, what’s the latest thing you’ve been working on?

KIZZY: Well, currently, right now I am writing an article for this organization that I’m very fond of. It’s called Team Strong. And they have a monthly newsletter that they put out to their members. And as a contributor to this organization, I’m writing this article. This will be my first time writing this article for them. I’m a bit nervous about it because I still struggle with considering myself a writer. So just trying to stay focus on writing this article. My deadline is actually coming up on Tuesday. I’m also working to create some sort of workbook to go along with “Thirteen.” So the girls, not only do they have the book to read, but they have some type of worksheet or workbook. They can work through different exercises to really get the message that I was trying to convey in the book. And lastly, I am working with my sons to develop a haircare line. This is something totally new, something way out of my wheelhouse. I have nothing, no experience with hair care, but they’re always planning their hair. The idea popped in my head like, ‘you guys should really have a haircare line for young males because you’re always in my products. So I think you should create your own product.’ So that’s what we’re working on right now.

AMANDA: You’ve had many accomplishments involving helping the young demographic, such as volunteering with the leadership program, and Love Circle, Inc.. My final question is, in your own words, why do you believe it’s important to help the youth?

KIZZY: Well, not only is it necessary to support young people, I feel it’s my duty and obligation as a person that’s going to pave the way for them to come behind me. Besides the fact that they’re going to be our future and we’re going to need them to take care of us. I feel it’s important to offer encouragement, guidance, inspiration, and love to young people. When we foster the best qualities for young people they grow up to become whole, healthy, productive, happy, and inspired citizens and they will do great things. So that’s why I think it’s important that we give encouragement to young people.

AMANDA: Thank you so much for your wonderful answers Kizzy. I’m going to go ahead and pass it on to my co-host, Angelique.

ANGELIQUE: Thank you, Amanda. Hello Kizzy, I want to ask you, what are some of the challenges you face to get to this point in your career? 

KIZZY: The key challenges I’ve encountered to get to this point in my career, besides fear and self-doubt, I face rejection. I face having a lack of funding to fund some of the projects that I wanted to do. I had to use my own money and my own resources. I had limited access to some of those resources whereas make them get bank loans to start this project or to pay for materials or things like that I just didn’t know the right people to talk to. I also had some bad partnerships. And you know, I didn’t make good decisions when collaborating with certain people. They didn’t have my best interest and the relationship didn’t go with what anticipated. Also, there’s been a lack of opportunity for me. However, I never stopped that put one foot in front of the other and persevered.

ANGELIQUE: In relation to this question, what is your personal philosophy that could have, in a way helped you move along in your journey?

KIZZY: Oh, my philosophy is, it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. I teach my children that it’s OK to express their genuine and authentic feelings, as long as their communication is transparent, honest and respectful. I encourage my sons to speak up when necessary and never be afraid to ask for what they want. And that’s my mantra. That’s what I instill in them, that you need to open your mouth and speak up. I remind them, ‘in my house is a closed mouth doesn’t get fed. And we have not because we act not.’ So my philosophy is to speak up. The act will never be afraid to ask for help. And to ask for the things that you want.

ANGELIQUE: I was curious to see where do you see yourself in 10 years? 

KIZZY: First and foremost, in 10 years, I see myself happily married. I’m not married today, I’m single. I’m happily single. But in 10 years, I would like to be married. In 10 years, I see myself debt-free with financial freedom. I see myself traveling around the world with my children and friends. I am traveling around the world for pleasure, as well as to fulfill my mission to speak to young girls all around the world. I feel like it’s 10 years, I will be doing God’s calling work of inspiring and motivating young girls. I feel like I will be doing that completely full-time. Because I do a lot of different things today. But I feel like, in 10 years, that those things will take the backseat.

I would just be really focusing on my mission, which is to inspire and empower young women. I’ll probably still have my nonprofit, it’ll be profitable. My nonprofit is Love Circle Inc., it’ll have tremendous recognition in 10 years for the great work that we do. And the nonprofit is for, well, we go from all ages, it can go from one year, all the way up into adulthood. And basically, it’s for any child that lost a parent before adulthood. What Love Circle Inc. does it gives resources to young people who are missing a parent. Not only resources, but we provide shelter, we provide food, we do a whole lot of different things, just to have a child whole and healthy in the process of grieving and mourning. Then trying to find a way and life without a parent because it’s a tough thing to grow up without a parent. So that’s what we do at Love Circle Inc. and I feel we will continue to do that 10 years from now. And in 10 years, I will have written a few books. That was a great question. I had to really think about that. Thank you for asking that, Angelique.

ANGELIQUE: I love that! I hope you accomplish all your desires and inspirations. I also wanted to know, if you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be and why?

KIZZY: To be honest, I would love to meet Diahann Carroll. And as I mentioned, she inspired me when I was a little girl in the 80’s. She stepped onto the scene And she was so fierce and fearless. I would love to meet her and tell her ‘thank you for playing that role and just for embodying what I feel like strong women are.’ We were so many different things and she displayed that role. And for that she allowed me to dream. And then to also show me, give me a representation of what a strong woman is or what a career woman is. And she had me dream in my mind. Like one day I’ll be sitting at the table amongst men, and they’ll have to listen and take orders from me and not in a negative way. But like I can do this. So I would love to meet her. She’s passed away last year, but I would have loved to meet her, just to tell her thank you for playing that role because that character changed my life.

ANGELIQUE: Yes, representation is so, so important. And I also want to ask you, what do you like to do in your free time?

KIZZY: Oh my goodness, in my free time. I’m a big foodie. So I love to dine out. I can’t stand to cook. Really my idea of cooking is some bacon in the oven, waffles in the toaster. Like, that’s breakfast in my house. I’m so happy that my sons can cook now. But back to your question. I love it. I love spending time with my family and friends. I love dining out, going to different restaurants. And one thing that most people don’t know about me, I’m obsessed with all things fabulous. So I love looking at beautiful things and beautiful people. I search the internet. I look at magazines. My mom introduced me to a magazine when I was a young girl. I used to look through those magazines because had big beautiful houses. I used to date this guy when I was in college and he used to read the Robb Report. So I would just look at Rolexes. I just love looking at fabulous things. I mean, it doesn’t even have to be material things. It can be pictures of other countries and things of that nature. I just love looking at stuff like that. So that’s what I do in my spare time. I like to spend time with my family and friends. That’s my guilty pleasure. Oh, and one more thing I love TJ Maxx and Marshalls. I go in there with no intentions of buying anything. But then I get excited when I can score eyeliner for $3.99 or mascara. And I can spend hours there. 

Photo courtesy of Kizzy Kittrell Dogan.

ANGELIQUE: Yes, my mom also loves TJ Maxx and Marshalls. My brother hates spending time there with her because she can take the whole day just looking around and touching things. We also love watching movies just to look at the clothing, like all the glamorous clothing or like in the palace. It’s so beautiful. I also want to ask you, what would you recommend to someone who would like to start practicing self-care?

KIZZY: Oh my, I would recommend for them to start practicing immediately. Just do it. Without hesitation and without guilt. I would encourage them that self-care is the best care. if they’re not taking care of themselves, they cannot take care of the people that they love and want to take care of. I want to encourage them to just carve out five to 10 minutes, let’s just start with five to 10 minutes, if they don’t have an hour, or if they can’t take a day, just carve out five to 10 minutes a day. Just practice breathing, meditating, praying, right? Whatever it is that they can fit in that five to 10 minutes, but to be solely present, and to focus just strictly on themselves. Once they start to do that the five minutes will turn into 10, 10 will turn to 20. They may even get up to an hour. If they’re like me that gets to take a day, you know, because I tell my sons ‘No, I’m going, this is my day. I’m going to the spa. I’m getting my hair done. I’m getting my nails done.’ Whatever it is on that day, like, hopefully, they’ll get a day. But I believe that self-care is important. I would encourage everyone to really understand that they deserve it and they have to put themselves first and not last. I mean, as women were nurturers, we provided and care for everybody. So we put ourselves last but if we’re not happy, nobody else is either. It comes out. It shows in everything we do. Our responses, our tone, our actions, our body language, our energy, everything. It’s all jacked up because we’re not taking care of ourselves. So I would encourage them to just do it and not feel guilty about it. They deserve it.

ANGELIQUE: So, so true. And switching gears now. I want to ask you if you can travel anywhere, where would it be?

KIZZY: Oh, wow. As a person, I love to travel. So it’s my prayer that I get to visit every continent. But right now I do have a bucket list. So and these are the five places that I want to visit over the next five years. This is number one, Greece, Tahiti, Turkey, Singapore, and Seychelles. Seychelles is in Africa. I fell in love with Singapore just from watching “Crazy Rich Asians.” They made Singapore look just like this grand, amazing place. So that’s high on my list of places that I want to visit next.

ANGELIQUE: Have there been any places that you’ve visited before that have left a lasting impression on you?

KIZZY: Oh, my goodness. So I haven’t been able to travel at all in 2020. Of course, we know because of the pandemic. But at the beginning of 2019, I’ve traveled to Africa. I went to Kenya. I’ve heard how beautiful it was. But then growing up, I didn’t hear that it was a beautiful place. But as I’ve become an adult and heard people who traveled to Africa, they said how beautiful it was. When I got there, it was just magnificent and breathtaking. The energy. I was like, ‘wow, this is the home that I don’t know of.’ You know, my ancestors came from here. That has left a lasting impression on me. The people were nice. I absolutely love Africa. I would like to visit them again and again and again because it’s a huge country. It has so many beautiful elements. So that’s the last place that I traveled and it left a lasting impression.

ANGELIQUE: I noticed that your book “Thirteen” is dedicated to your goddaughter. What role did she play and inspiring you to write your book?

KIZZY: Oh Kira, my goddaughter, played a massive role and inspired me to write this book. Initially, when God gave me the idea or the instruction to write this book, she didn’t come to the forefront of my mind only because of her age. But as I begin to write this book, and we share this commonality, her mom, which was one of my best friends passed away when Kira was a young girl. I started to think about her like, ‘Oh, wow, I need to write this book, not only for other girls but mainly for her.’ Because I want her to have this guidebook. I want it to be at her fingertips because she may not want to call me or she may be ashamed or afraid to ask for help. But if she has this book, she can refer back to this book and she can thrive, as well as survive her teenage years. 

So that’s really, she was one of the main focuses of why I wrote this book because I wanted to make sure that I also honor her mom. We grew up together, her mom and I, so I would feel like if I didn’t do this for her daughter, I wouldn’t be doing my role as a friend, you know. So I absolutely thought about her the entire process. I had a book signing and she was there. And I was like, ‘Oh, you really are a teenager now. Like, I’m still thinking of you like an eight-year-old. My eight-year-old baby. You’re a big girl like, wow, I’m glad I wrote this book. You make sure you read it and read it every day because I want you to get it,’ you know. So I was like, ‘I’m gonna make sure you get this. I’m calling her, ‘Have you? Did you read your book? Are you reading your book?’ So she’s like, ‘yes,’ but I’m sure she’s probably just skimming it, which most kids do. But hopefully, at least she knows she has it and she can refer to it at any time.

ANGELIQUE: What is one thing you have learned from being a mom?

KIZZY: I’ve learned many, many lessons from being a parent. But the one main lesson that I’ve learned is that someone is always watching and listening. So my sons are my unsolicited accountability coaches. They’re my moral confidence. Because when I think I’m doing something in private, they can hear between the walls, you know, it’s just like ‘mom you said,’ ‘I wasn’t talking to you. How do you know that?’ I thought I was in private. So that’s what I’ve learned that as a parent, someone is always watching and listening. So I have to show up, and I have to be accountable for my actions.

ANGELIQUE: Yes, thank you so much Kizzy, that seems to wrap up our interview. Thank you. Thank you so so much for being our special guest today. It was an absolute pleasure to speak with you and get to know you more.

You can buy Kizzy’s novel “Thirteen: Lessons for Every Teen Girl’s Journey to Womanhood” on Amazon. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in media, make sure to email our Magazine Editor Elisa Garcia at elisa@latinitasonline.org to join our team. Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of 20 Questions With! We’ll see you next time! 

About the writers:

Amanda Landa is recently a second-year student at the University of Texas at Austin, majoring in Journalism. She has skills in broadcast, social media, audio journalism, and magazine editing. Landa, like a chameleon, is versatile in her work, ranging from current events to pop culture. You could find some of her work published in Afterglow & Latinitas Magazine. When she is not busy, Amanda likes to take the time to watch a film and on her daily phone calls with her family.

Angelique Hechavarria resides in Massachusetts, where she is a senior in high school. She is interested in all areas of STEM, biology in particular. Growing up in a Cuban and Colombian household, she loves learning about the history and culture of Latin America. With this, she also loves learning about and conserving artisanal craftsmanship from all over the world. Through her AP Literature and Composition course, she was fascinated by the art of literature, in which she participated in the poetry out loud competition where she made it to regionals. Through her new position in Latinitas, she hopes to highlight these interests and more to the Latinx community.

Featured image courtesy of Kizzy Kittrell Dogan.

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