Her goal is to reach thousands of Hispanic women — not just in Georgia but throughout the world. She wants to inspire them with her message and help them to achieve their own goals.
Marcela Reyes’s mission in life is clear: empower fellow Latina women to reach the famous American Dream.
Today she is doing just that through her program ‘Hispana Realizada.’ The project, which Reyes created eight months ago, came about through her participation at church retreats and with North Fulton Community Charities.
“In 2014 I began attending church retreats, and I got involved as a volunteer. I started hearing women’s testimonies, and that’s when I realized they needed help. They are in the land of opportunity, and they can’t reach any,” explained Reyes. “I told myself: I can do something for these women.”
It was the impetus for Reyes to start her business, through which she strives to offer tools and resources to women who need them.
“We offer seminars to churches and non-profit organizations that want to provide tools to Hispanic women. We teach how to make a business plan, how to prepare your resume, how to write a cover letter, where and how to look for employment, and the importance of social media. We even teach proper email correspondence and how to respect the culture and time … all of those aspects that no one ever tells us about,” said Reyes. “There are details that we sometimes don’t think about, but they are important for gaining trust. If you don’t inspire trust, you won’t get that job.”
Today, it might appear that Reyes has had an easy go of it, but she is quick to point out that she encountered obstacles like anyone else when she arrived in the U.S. from her native Colombia almost 30 years ago.
“I wanted to do my masters, because everyone in my family was in business management, and I was the only one who hadn’t studied management,” said Reyes.
After much effort, several moves and almost two decades later, Reyes completed her studies.
“That was when I learned that dreams can come true. You can’t not try to reach them. If you came to the land of opportunity, how are you not going to try to do that?” she added.
Reyes studied translation and attracted important clients for a long period, including from a large bank that experienced lay-offs. As time went by, Reyes continued to learn and grow in her career.
Furthermore, the entrepreneur is a cancer survivor, having gone through a double mastectomy, double reconstruction and five surgeries.
“The good thing is that I caught it early. We can’t just trust ourselves or wait for a mammogram. Check yourselves. We have to listen to our bodies. We have to learn how to manage stress,” explained Reyes.
Perhaps the most difficult aspect for Reyes has been overcoming her fears. “That fear of: I’m not good enough, or my English isn’t good enough … because when you’re out there working with Americans, in some way you’re different. But I learned that in the differences is where success lies. I learned how to take advantage of my differences,” she said.
Reyes, who has helped hundreds of women through her lectures, does not try to compete with other organizations but rather looks to fill voids where support is needed. “It’s about helping them to achieve their dreams,” she explained.
Reyes’s ultimate goal is to one day create a foundation.
“This isn’t about me. It’s about someone taking this on as a foundation.,” she said. “I hope to leave an enduring legacy, because there are a lot of Hispanic women who can help and inspire those who can’t do it. If you can dream it, you can achieve it.”
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