If you’re a Latina, you probably spent years dreaming of your quinceañera. Questions of the song you’ll come out to, what your dress will look like, and who will escort you into womanhood dance around so many of our heads until the moment we hit the actual dance floor.
Chances are, however, you never considered how to incorporate the current political sphere, freedom and voting rights to your big day.
Quinceañera Aleida Ramos decided to have an innovative addition to her recent quince: voter registration.
On the Houstonian’s big day, she invited Jolt Initiative — the Latinx Youth Advocacy group. Their goal is to register as many Latinx voters as possible. For Ramos’ party, the organization set up Poder Quince booths to assist guests with voter registration.
In between thanking friends and family and celebrating her quince, Ramos encouraged guests to visit the Poder Quince booths. Her father, Marco Ramos, Jr, joined in on urging guests to register to vote. The pair focused on the impact that the Latinx vote can make in the 2020 election and elections to come.
Community was a big focus of this push. Ramos’ motivation for inviting Jolt Initiative was to pay back the community that has supported her and invested in her these past 15 years. Undoubtedly, even this small gesture can have huge outcomes.
“Our vote ensures we continue to protect our community and those who matter to us most,” the quinceañera told her party goers.
With Poder Quince, Jolt has made it their goal to reach potential Latinx voters through quinceañeras.
The Texas-based advocacy group started their Poder Quince initiative in May of 2019. Thanks to the huge Latinx population, quinceañeras have become mainstream in the Lone Star State. By Jolt’s estimation, around 50,000 quinces are held each year.
With this in mind, these quinceañeras prove to be an untapped resource to connect with Latinx voters. Jolt — which is a non-profit association — recognizes that in order to mobilize a community, we need to be part of the community. Their presence at quinceañeras helps accomplish this.
Ramos’ quince is the first in Harris County to invite Jolt Initiative.
Harris County — which includes the city of Houston — has the second largest Latinx population in the country. At over 2 Million, it’s second only to Los Angels’ nearly 5 Million Latinx population.
Harris County set a new historic turn out record during the 2018 elections — no doubt helped by their large Latinx and Millennial vote. This turnout officially changed the county blue in the traditionally red state.
According to Jolt’s spokesman, Antonio Arellano, Texas is a crucial focus for voter turn out.
As he shared with NBC News, “That’s why we are so focused on energizing the Latino vote in Houston. The Latino vote lives here, and we have to mobilize them and there is so much riding on them.”
While Ramos is still too young to vote, she was intrigued by the other quinceañeras who welcomed Jolt to their celebrations.
Ramos shared with NBC News, “I liked their stories and what they said about everything. I wanted to do something that would help us — trying to make a difference in things for our community. It inspired me.”
Her father — who doesn’t consider himself political — has voted in every election since he was 18. His example also heavily influenced Ramos’ decision to incorporate Jolt into her quince.
Ramos shared with NBC News the wisdom that her dad has passed on to her.
“My dad tells me I have to be educated to vote and have to know what I’m voting for and about the person,” she explained. “When people ask you why you are for that person, you don’t stutter. You know because you are educated.”
Jolt also provided a photo booth for the quinceañera and her guests.
Guests of Ramos’ quince reported that they enjoyed the presence of Jolt at the celebration. Younger guests had fun with the props and Instagram-able opportunities. Similarly, voting-aged guests appreciated the chance to register and update their personal information.
Ultimately, it was a quince that her guests won’t soon forget. Altogether, it might make a difference in Ramos’ community and ultimately our own.
Our community does better when we all work together. As such, mitú wants to help people uplifting our communities. We asked all of you to nominate people that were doing the work and mitú is proud to announce Latinx en Medicina as one of two winners of the mitúCares grant program.
Latinx en Medicina is more than a social media page, it is an important place for Latinx healthcare workers to connect.
Leslie Gonzalez is a fourth-year medical student and has spent her academic career feeling like the only one. She often walked into classrooms and was the only Latina in the room from her masters programs through medical school. This inspired her to create Latinx en Medicina.
Gonzalez, who grew up in the San Fernando Valley, went to California State University, Northridge for her undergraduate degree. She admits that during that time she felt isolated because there just weren’t any mentors who helped her along the way. She loved her experience but walking into a class for her pre-med degree and seeing no one that looked like her took a toll on her.
Getting into medical school was something much harder than she expected and wished she had a community to ask for advice.
“Applying to medical school is a whole different kind of challenge in its own. I didn’t really have mentors who looked like me,” Gonzalez says. “I don’t recall seeing a doctor who looked like me, that was Latina or Latino or Latinx. At the moment, I didn’t really understand that, until I got into med school. I applied to medical school and I didn’t get in. The first time that I applied, I didn’t get in. It’s very common not to get in the first time that you apply but I didn’t know that because I didn’t have a community to talk about this with.”
Fortunately, a pre-med counselor pointed her in the direction of a master’s program. It quickly became two master’s degrees before she was comfortable enough to apply to medical school for a second time. This time, she was accepted and what awaited her was less representation that looked like her.
Gonzalez said that in her first-year class of 200 to 220 students, 6 percent of the students identified as Latinx. She knew that it was a problem that had to be addressed. People should be able to find mentors in their fields that understand them on a cultural level, someone who could help her navigate her nagging imposter syndrome.
“I went through the motions of med school,” Gonzalez recalls. “Again, I didn’t really have a mentor who looked like me. I didn’t really have somebody to look up to. Again, I felt like I had to do the most just to prove my worth in med school because of that imposter syndrome. I didn’t know it at the moment but that was exactly what I was experiencing, the imposter syndrome.”
Gonzalez created Latinx en Medicina to create a place for people to finally connect and network.
Latinx en Medicina is all about helping Latinx healthcare professionals connect with each other like never before. Gonzalez wanted a place for any and all people who work in healthcare to have a place to network and create an online community. She remembers receiving so many messages from young Latinx people in school and starting their healthcare careers reaching out to her for advice. After a while, it got to be too much to handle on her own so she wanted to start connecting people to one another.
“Essentially, I was acting as the older sister in pointing them in the right direction. But, I am one person,” Gonzalez says. “I can only handle so many messages in my DMs. On top of that, I’m still in school, I still have that schedule. The thing that I came up with … [was to] build a community that was separate from my personal social media platform [to] build its own community.”
Another important function of Latinx en Medicina is to connect healthcare providers with patients who are Latinx. Gonzalez watched how much being able to connect with patients in their language meant to them.
Gonzalez remembers being able to talk to one young patient in Spanish and the impact it had on her then. She visited a young Spanish-speaking patient and asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up. The patient said she wanted to be a doctor so Gonzalez let her wear her stethoscope and reaffirmed that she can be a doctor if she wanted to.
Moments like that, according to Gonzalez, are some of the most touching and rewarding parts of the job. Moving forward, that young girl will remember the time the doctora encouraged her to do the same.
Congratulations, Leslie! Thank you for creating a place in the medical world for our community.
Strange experiences are almost always extremely unique but they happen to all of us at least once in our lives. So bad that they give us nightmares, make our hair stand on edge, and make us spend the rest of our lives searching for explanations far and wide, strange experiences leave some of the worst impressions.
Reddit users recently came together to share their own strange experiences.
The story shares were quite incredible!
Check them out below!
“In 1996, I had just dropped out of University and was moving home to my parent’s place. My tail was firmly between my legs, I had almost no money and no job prospects. Basically I was screwed. I had an old Jeep Comanchee with all my belongings in the back and 200 miles to go. I borrowed $20 from a friend for gas and started the trip. I got to a point that was 30 miles from home and was on empty. I pulled into a gas station/rest stop and sort of cried for a minute in my truck. I needed $5 for gas to make it the rest of the way and had nothing. There was no way I could call my dad and ask for help…he was already so disappointed. After a minute I started searching around my truck for change…anything…I opened the glove box and there were these paper ‘loyalty bucks’ for a gas station that I never used. It turns out it was the exact gas station that I was stopped at. $4.70 worth of bucks. I found another $2.00 in change, put $6.00 in the gas tank and bought a coke. I made it home. Fast forward 20 years, I had sorted my crap out and am a lawyer…that Gas Station hired me as their outside counsel…I got to tell this story to the President of the company.” –d_rickards
“As a child visiting my Grandma’s house (My Mum’s – mum), whenever I left the house I’d wave next door to Ken who was always sat in the bay window looking out at the sea. They lived right on the coast off the North Sea in Hartlepool (UK) We’d never really talk, but just a little wave before I went to get into the car. One time I’m leaving my Grans house, I’m in front of my Mum who’s stopped at the door to talk to my Gran. So I head down the steps and towards the gate. I turn back and see Ken in the window. Big smile as usual, waving at me. I give him a wave back. He stands up, gives me the thumbs up, and wanders towards the back of the room. My Mum comes walking down the steps and asks “Who are you waving at?” I replied “Ken”.
To this day, I can remember my mam’s face. She just went white, but didn’t say anything to me. It was only a few weeks later when she plucked up the courage to tell me, that Ken had died a few days prior to our visit to my Grans. I don’t believe in ghosts, but I know I saw him. I can still picture his striped grey sweater with light stripes across it. Him waving and getting up out of his chair. There was no-one else in the house, he lived by himself.
“I 100% believe you. My cousin’s daughter (4 years old maybe?) says she talks to our dead grandpa all the time. One time my cousin caught her singing along to my grandpa’s favorite song, giggling and running around the room, she asked her what she was doing and she said “I’m playing with Tata and he’s teaching me a song”. She got so spooked because there’s no way her daughter could have heard it anywhere as my cousin doesn’t like to listen to it because the song reminds her of him and it makes her sad, it’s also an old tango that you have to actively search on the internet to find. There are other things about her kid that are straight up weird and everyone is convinced she’s a medium or something.” –fuckyouyoufuckinfuk
“When I was about 12 years old I went up to Lake Tahoe with my friend and his parents who had a condo in Incline Village. One day, the two of us are walking to the bowling alley and cross a street in a crosswalk. Right before we get to the curb, a car comes really close to hitting us. All of a sudden, we’re both up on the curb, like we were lifted a few feet. We both looked at each other strangely. “Did you jump?” “No, did you?” “No” We spent the next hour kind of dumbfounded. It didn’t feel like a shove or any use of force. We were still in the street, then we weren’t.” –Plumhawk
“I’m too young to remember this, actually. But my mom always tells this story. Apparently, when I was younger, like barely able to speak, I was sitting on the floor playing with some toys nonchalantly with my mom when I just said ‘when I was in heaven, I met a woman who said you’d be the perfect mommy for me.’ I apparently held the belief that I was in heaven before being born, and an angel looked at me and chose the mom I went to. My mom asked me to describe the woman, and I apparently described my mom’s great grandmother perfectly. Down to the eye colour. I had never met my great great grandmother, nor seen a picture of her.” – Beans375
“When I was 10 years old I didn’t want to go to school one day. I faked a stomachache so my Grandmother would let me stay home. Ive always been a bad liar, so my Gma tried to call my bluff. She told me if I was too sick for school then she would be scheduling me a Drs Appointment. 3 hours later I was rushed into emergency surgery. My fake illness was actually appendicitis and It was so inflamed that if I hadn’t come in that day my appendix would have ruptured potentially killing me. I felt 100% fine that day. Faking sick saved my life…” –jnoway826
“Apparently a feeling of dread is a common symptom of things like organ failure and life-threatening illness… Maybe your lack of interest in going to school was from that.”- TLema
“I once was changing pants in my room before work and took off my belt. After putting on my other pair of pants, I went to put my belt back on but it belt was gone. No one else was in the room and I spent a good 10 minutes looking for it as I had simply set it on the floor. It’s been 10 years and I’ve never seen that belt again.” – JonesE27
“I’m a firefighter and we got a call for an overdose around 3 am to a rough part of our district in the middle of winter. Unfortunately the patient was long gone and her dealer or whatever found her like that when he dropped some stuff. As we were packing up our stuff mind you this is a absolutely trashed mobile home, I hear something down the hall that said “lights?” I ask my partner if he said anything as it was just him and I cleaning up he said no. I walk to the far end of the trailer where I heard it and shine my flashlight I get a reflection out of the window. They have a small tool shed and it had a flickering light, it peeked my interest so my partner and I go out there. We hear crying and notice the door is padlocked. We cut it, and this little six year old girl was in there. She said her mom puts her in there when she gets mad at her. She said she got scared when she heard the sirens and didn’t know what to do. To this day I have no idea what happened or where the voice came from, but I’ll take the win on it.
Edit: a couple people wondering about what happened after, my partner and I took her to the children’s hospital closest to us and we wrote our report and ate chips and a sandwich we took from the lounge while they called a social worker. She was a really sweet girl, the voice was not a little girl voice I 100% thought it was my partner since it sounded like a guy.” –EatinBeav
“I will never forget witnessing this moment: In my physics gen ed last year, we were split up in groups and working on a lab. A guy at another table let out a yell while extending his arms, and fell headfirst off his chair. The very second in between his yell and hitting the floor, a beeping started going off in the room, followed by the words “an emergency is happening in your building. Please evacuate at the nearest exit.” and accompanied by flashing lights. The guy is having a seizure on the floor, so all we’re focusing on is getting him help. A campus police officer comes in and tells us the rest of the science buildings have already evacuated for the fire alarm. Most of us leave to give some space to the people helping the guy.
While outside, we’re talking amongst ourselves, absolutely baffled by the coinciding events we just witnessed. Did the flashing of the alarm trigger epilepsy? No, because he was already on the floor by the time the lights kicked in. Was there some kind of sensor on him that alerted when his body was experiencing an emergency? No, because it was his first seizure. Just reading it might sound lame, but witnessing it and working out what was happening in real time was just eerie.”- groundhogseatclover
“This one is strange to me because it was so long ago and I’m convinced I have to be remembering things wrong. I was a young kid at the grocery store and I saw this toy helicopter (like hot wheel sized) that I really wanted for some reason. I, of course, didn’t buy it, but it the memory of it stuck in my head. A few nights later, I had a dream where I was playing with the helicopter, but I realized it was a dream and stupid young me thought that if I put it under my pillow, it would still be there when I woke up. After that, I woke up and eagerly checked under the pillow to get it. For some reason, it was right where I left it in the dream. As a kid, I wasn’t surprised to find it there as it all made perfect since to me then, but years later I have no clue how the toy helicopter actually got underneath the pillow.” –Rawhited
“At friends house. Friend was in garage working on dirt bike. Driveway empty because parents left a while ago. Go inside to grab a soda but decide to look for his cat. Who I haven’t seen all day. I walk into the office and as Im calling her name, a deep man’s voice goes “Meow” right into my right ear. I jump and run around the main floor looking for who said that. Didn’t find anyone.” –JmyKane
“A car going 50-60 kpm hit both of my knees in 2008 (it was 100% my fault, I wasn’t paying attention when I crossed the road) and not only I didn’t have any broken bone whatsoever, I dind’t even fall. (I did flinch quite a lot, though.) My knees and leg hurt for about 2 days, but I really can’t explain how a car going relatively fast hit me only got me to have barely more than a couple bruises.” –
“Once, my mom and I were driving to Las Vegas from Santa Clarita. We were just passing Barstow and on the I-15. It was right about high noon and very hot. Not a cloud in the sky. She had a fancy Lexus at the time with a touch screen console on the dash that could play DVD’s while driving. I remember we were on a long stretch of road with a lot of space between cars on the highway. One minute we see nothing ahead of us and then all of a sudden, a woman was walking across the highway right in front of our vehicle. My mom swerved behind her and barely missed her. She pulled off to the shoulder and we look behind us, and we see her go all the way across the highway, including westbound traffic. Then she turned around, and walked all the way across again. Each time, nearly getting clipped by an unsuspecting and oncoming car like ourselves. At one point, a semi truck almost hit her head on missing her by literally one step. Each step she took was a steady and confident step, looking ahead of her and never batting an eye to any oncoming traffic. She was barefoot mind you and walking on the boiling asphalt with zero sense of urgency. So my mom calls 911, we’re directed to highway patrol. They say they’ve received numerous reports and they’re headed out to it. My mom decided after hanging up to slowly reverse down the shoulder to get a better look and see if she’s okay (yes, I know, stupid in more than one way). As we get to a spot behind her now, she’s crossed the highway and is now in front of our vehicle. This part I will never forget. The women slowly turns her head and looks at us and is now slowly but steadily walking towards our car. She was white as day in every way. White night gown, pale, dry, wrinkled skin, white hair, and the palest bluish grey eyes I’ve ever seen and barefoot. Almost looked like a walking dead version of Rose Dawson from Titanic. I was in the passenger seat, which was on the shoulder. When my mom made eye contact, she froze. Absolutely shut down. I remember the woman walking so close to my door, I could see her eyes make contact with mine. It looked as if she was blind and lifeless but could not just see me, but see into and through me like into my soul. I went cold immediately. She reached for my door handle and I remember screaming at my mom to punch the gas and without hesitation, she came to quick and we peeled out of there. In the back window, I saw her watch us speed off and then continued across the road again. A mile down the highway, we called highway patrol to see what happened and they didn’t have a clue what we were talking about and said they got no reports of a women crossing the highway. My mom to this day still doesn’t remember the time between when we reversed to when we dipped out.
I have no idea what happened that day except for what I witnessed and experienced.” –Half-infinity
“There’s no other explanation than someone who had access to your home, knew your sleeping patterns and did this on purpose. There have been incidents where stalkers record their victims or set up a similar situation to see how far they can go without getting caught. A stalker may be someone you know, or it may be someone you never spoke to – both types of cases happen.
Call the police and file a report if you haven’t already. Set up security cameras inside your home asap. Get a panic button – for example this one by Ring. Change all your locks. Place locks on the windows. Put locks on doors inside the house.
There are more things you can do as far as self defence goes like getting a taser, gun training, or even pepper spray, a bright flashlight within arms reach. But, using them takes time and training. The best thing is being aware of how secure any entrance to your home is.
Also check the metadata of the photos, it should tell you how they were taken, possibly give you some insight. By any chance if this happened recently there may still be fingerprints. Stay safe, please be careful.”- InCoffeeWeTrust