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Migdalia Figueroa, a personal journey

I grew up surrounded by strong women, although they lacked many opportunities for professional development. My mother, Ramona Alvarez, only completed up to the sixth grade of elementary school, but she was a natural leader. She organized community events to improve living conditions and stood out as a service leader in the Catholic Church. Her opinion was highly valued by family, friends, and neighbors.


Fortunately, I had the opportunity to graduate from college, and gradually I have come to understand that my duty is to open doors for myself and for future generations. Thanks to the support of other women, I have had opportunities both professionally and in life in general. Since I arrived in the United States in 1990, I have learned from strong women who have become mentors both in my career and in my personal life. Those relationships have been as important as the one I had with my mother.


I lived 28 years in South Florida, where I developed a successful career in the television industry. During that time, I had to balance my family life with my career, being a single mother and far from my family. Despite the challenges, I not only survived but also thrived, thanks to the support of a great tribe of women. This balance between personal and professional life led me on several occasions to reject job opportunities that would have taken me elsewhere, as I did not want to uproot my children. After I became an empty-nester I accepted a promotion that brought me to Orlando as the President of Telemundo. I confess that initially my move to Orlando was solely to advance my career, but I soon discovered that this community had much to offer. I fell in love with Orlando right away.


Here, I have observed up close the tireless work of women leaders who seek the growth and success of our community. Women like Lizette Valarino, Elba Pagan Hill, Mercy McCall, Jennifer Marcial, Gaby Ortigoni, Deisamar De Soto Torres, Sami Haiman-Marrero, Dr. Francelys, among others, have inspired me to contribute to making Orlando a place where we can all grow personally and professionally, fighting for gender equality with love and purpose. Also here in Orlando, I found a group of professionals at Telemundo, such as Ana Karina Tovar, Davianna Santiago, and Leslie Sierra, who behind the scenes ensure that our community service is the best.


Sometimes, life takes us down unexpected paths, like the return of my dear Lourdes Mola to Miami. Now it's my turn to return home to Puerto Rico. I leave proud, knowing that in Orlando, spectacular growth is underway for all women who dream of a fulfilling and successful life. Orlando has a magical community of unstoppable women leaders.


And to conclude, I quote the great poet Maya Angelou: "Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it." BY MIGDALIA FIGUEROA



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