I remember one day asking myself, is it really important to believe in myself to be able to accomplish my dreams? And a short answer to this question is yes! My name is Steve Munoz and I am a Mexican-American first-generation student majoring in public relations with a minor in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) at the California State University of Long Beach. I was born in Santa Cruz, California, but at the age of three my parents decided to move to Mexico and I had to live there for 12 years. When I turned 15 I decided to move back to my hometown of Santa Cruz.
Moving back to California was a struggle because I didn’t know how to speak English and because I had to leave my mom behind in Mexico, due to her immigration status she couldn’t live in the U.S. Since then I had to live with one of my aunts and two of my cousins.
I felt overwhelmed and frustrated during some months because I couldn’t communicate with anyone. I was going through a tough time, especially because I was in high school. However, later on, I realized the whole point of why I moved back to California. I wanted to continue with my education and discover my passions and I couldn’t let the barrier of communication stop me from my dreams. To overcome this difficult situation, I started to teach myself English and also had to enroll in Adult School to become better at it. As a result, I was able to apply to college.
I attended community college at Cabrillo College and graduated with two associate degrees, one in communication studies and another one in Spanish. This is what helped me to figure out what I wanted to do next with my education. I decided to transfer to CSULB, and even though I transferred as a journalism major, later on, I realized that it wasn’t for me and moved to public relations. I finally knew, “this is what I really want to do” and decided to join PRSSA.
Being a Latino PRSSA member means being able to show others who are part of the Latinx community that it’s possible to join organizations like this one. It doesn’t matter your race or ethnicity, you will always be welcome. Nowadays, diversity and inclusion play such important roles in our society because people want to feel welcomed and comfortable with themselves, something that everyone should be able to experience. Feeling proud of who you are and your background should be a top priority for everyone because that’s what makes them unique.
Believing in yourself is essential to accomplish your dreams but feeling included and creating this type of environment for others is crucial.
This article is part of PRSSA’s ongoing celebration of Hispanic Heritage month. From Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, Hispanic Heritage month celebrates the cultures, contributions, and history of Hispanic and Latino Americans. Be on the lookout for stories from students and PR professionals all month long
Steve Munoz is a senior at California State University, Long Beach majoring in public relations with a minor in TESOL. He currently holds a position in the PRSSA Long Beach board as a web designer and hopes to go into the entertainment industry after he graduates. He loves to travel and during his free time, he likes to hang out with his friends and try new restaurants in Los Angeles. Connect with him on LinkedIn.