written by Dania Duenas, Director of Professional Development


When I thought about writing this blog post, I wondered if I should write about a question that everyone asks themselves, “What is my story?” This is a question that comes to mind every now and then, but it’s dismissed most of the time. Maybe we dismiss it because we think our story is not complete, or because we think it doesn’t matter. Truth is, the rest of our story depends on the journey we’ve had so far and it does matter. Fortunately, I found my answer to that question, and I’ve learned a lot from realizing my story. I was able to understand my actions better, and I was able to grow personally and professionally.

Your story is usually built around radical changes in your life. This is because radical changes are what bring out your true self. For me it was when my family and I moved from Cuba when I was eleven years old in 2008.  I enrolled in school as soon as possible since education and responsibility has been inculcated by my parents from a young age. I was in fifth grade and I arrived around FCAT time. Even at that young age, I cared about my grades and cared about my education. It was hard to accept that I had to take an exam that set me up for failure when I was always top of my class in Cuba. I studied for it and prepared as much as I could. I wish I could say that I passed those exams, but I didn’t, and that was okay. The reason why is because it showed me who I was. It didn’t matter to me if the odds were against me, I had to do the best I could. This event was important in my life and I hold on to this example when my sky turns gray.

You can see my story reflected in everything I do because at one point I never thought I would be able to do any of the things I’m doing. When it feels like I’m being set up for failure I rise and I give the best I can. I can do this because I’ve found my story. This was one of the first complications out many that came because of the disadvantage I was placed in. I’ve shown my dedication, hard work, and drive by putting myself where I am today. I’m a student at Florida International University and I am on the Executive Board of AMA. I reach my goals while working part-time to help my family.

Throughout our lives we grow and our stories might change depending on the choices we make. Most of the time we are a certain way and we think it’s because of how we were raised or because of our instinct guiding us. But it’s important to really take the time and acknowledge the moments in your life that defined your story. Knowing your story will help you understand why you do things and how you do them. So, what’s your story?