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Latina Empowerment Conference
Poem "¿Que Ves?" by Daisy Cruz

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Daisy CruzIn February, I was asked to speak at the 3rd Annual Latina Empowerment Conference at my former high school, Mount Miguel High School. I gave an introductory speech, and at the end of the ceremony recited a poem that I wrote entitled "What Do You See?" This conference primarily serves as a form of encouragement for teenage girls of Hispanic heritage and their mothers. Some of the important topics that were covered include the importance of education and self-empowerment, as well as financial help for obtaining higher levels of education, and a focus on the importance of mentorship and positive influences.

About three years ago, when the first Latina Empowerment Conference took place, I was approached by Silvia Sposato, the Principal's Secretary, asking me to help her design a logo that would serve as a symbol for the conference. I felt honored and ecstatic and immediately jumped on Photoshop in an attempt to design an illustration that would capture the essence of feminity and a woman with rich, Hispanic culture. I was able to come up with a colorful design, which is still used as the main logo of the conference.

When I first attended this conference, it left me with a lasting impression and a positive outlook on life. I recognized that my culture, my Hispanic roots, were elements in themselves to encourage me to push myself further, while reaching uncharted heights. A college education would be the major key that will assist me in making a difference in the world I live in. After the recital of my speech, I hoped to have influenced other girls, just as I was, by listening to the various motivational speakers. My inspirational poem was written in hopes to do just that; inspire. To inspire our youth to prevail even through the toughest of situations. To remind others to never give up and learn to see tomorrow with optimism. Success will only be brought to us if we endure the many struggles that are thrown our way, and at the end, those struggles are what make us strong and capable leaders.


Latina Empowerment Conference 2009
Poem by Daisy Cruz

What Do You See? (ENGLISH)

Look at the mirror,
And tell me, what do you see?
Past the warm skin tone,
And those dazzling brown eyes.
Yes, past the silky dark hair,
And the fine wrinkles around your eyes.
Your bright smile and cheek bones are hard to miss,
But look deeper, oh so much deeper.

I can go on forever telling you what I see.
I see a beautiful woman;
A beautiful Latina woman.
A beautiful mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend.
A woman who can conquer the world,
And change it for the good.
A smart, intelligent young woman.
A woman who has undergone hardships,
And times of frustration.
But nonetheless,
A woman who can go far, oh so far.

You are an inspiration.
You are the epitome of empowerment.
Like a shooting star, you will cross unchartered territories.
Like a small water droplet who feverishly seeks to reach the sea,
You will prevail in achieving all of your goals.
You will both empower and be empowered,
My beautiful Latina mother, daughter, sister and friend,
You will go far, oh so far.

¿Que Ves? (SPANISH)

Mírate en el espejo,
Y dime, que es lo que ves?
Mas atrás de tu cálido tono de piel,
Y esos deslumbrantes ojos marrones.
Si, mas allá de tu sedoso pelo café,
Y las arrugas finas alrededor de tus ojos.
Es difícil no notar tu sonrisa brillante y tus mejillas,
Pero mira más allá, mucho mas allá.

Yo podría decirte lo que yo veo.
Veo a una mujer bella;
Una bella mujer Latina.
Una bella mama, hija, hermana, y amiga.
Una mujer que puede conquistar el mundo,
Y hacerlo mucho mejor.
Una mujer joven  e inteligente.
Una mujer que ha sufrido dificultades,
Y momentos de frustración.
Pero sin embargo,
Una mujer que puede ir muy lejos, oh muy lejos.

Tu eres el epítome de la potenciación.
Como una estrella fugaz, cruzaras territorios inexplorados.
Al igual que una pequeña gota de agua que busca febrilmente para llegar al mar,
Vas a prevalecer en la consecución de todos sus objetivos.
Tú serás y darás un ejemplo.
Mi bella madre, hija, hermana y amiga Latina,
Iras lejos, oh muy lejos.

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