Hispanic Heritage Month: YHPAA Board Talks Culture and Hopes for the Future

Updated: Oct 9

By Yahaira Hernandez, Director of Public Relations, YHPAA


It’s Hispanic Heritage Month, a perfect time to celebrate our culture and to hear from some of our incredibly talented Board of Directors. In case you didn’t already know, the Young Hispanic Professional Association of Austin (YHPAA) was created to empower Hispanics in our community through networking events, professional development opportunities and awarding scholarships for higher education.


We could not think of better way to celebrate the month-long holiday than to gain more insight into who our YHPAA Board of Directors are and what their hopes are for current and future generations of Hispanic professionals.



Angela Navarro, YHPAA President

What’s your nationality? I am Dominican-American.


How long have you been in YHPAA? I’ve been in YHPAA for three years and am so proud to lead this fantastic organization.


What changes do you hope to see in the Hispanic community? I would like to change the lack of knowledge about different Latinx cultures. That’s why I became involved in my community, it’s important to me to help host events designed to educate people about different Hispanic cultures and create opportunities for personal and professional growth.


Part of YHPAA’s mission is to award scholarships to Hispanic students seeking higher education, what is your advice to the recipients? My advice would be to seek help and advice from anyone you can. When I first applied for college, almost no one in my family had knowledge about college applications or college in general. I wish I would have reached out to more people.



Ana Lozano, Gala Director

What’s your nationality? I am Mexican-American.


How long have you been in YHPAA? I have been in YHPAA for nearly two years.


What changes do you hope to see in the Hispanic community? Classism is very much alive in the Latinx community and I’d love to see us build bridges, rather than focus on our differences, in the vast and diverse Austin Latinx community.


Part of YHPAA’s mission is to award scholarships to Hispanic students seeking higher education, what is your advice to the recipients? I would recommend spending time in college exploring exciting and interesting subjects but also focus on courses that prepare you for a post-college career.



Sylvia Butanda, External Membership Director

What’s your nationality? I am Mexican-American.


How long have you been in YHPAA? I have been in YHPAA for two years.


What changes do you hope to see in the Hispanic community? My hope is to inspire change by bridging equity gaps in services and divides in digital access.


Part of YHPAA’s mission is to award scholarships to Hispanic students seeking higher education, what is your advice to the recipients? You never know what’s going to manifest when you decide to challenge yourself and step outside your comfort zone. When those opportunities come to try something different, even if it scares you, you should embrace it. You’ll ultimately end up learning something new about yourself and what you’re capable of.



Josue Limon, Treasurer

What’s your nationality? I am Mexican-American.


How long have you been in YHPAA? I’ve been in YHPAA for almost four years.


What changes do you hope to see in the Hispanic community? One thing I’d want to change in my community is easy access to financial literacy classes for minorities. Education in this field is necessary to make wise and responsible financial decisions that can affect different aspects of your life and your future.


Part of YHPAA’s mission is to award scholarships to Hispanic students seeking higher education, what is your advice to the recipients? My advice to scholarship recipients is to go to class and work hard but remember to have fun. Don’t take life too seriously, you need to learn how to have a healthy work-life balance.



Karlie Ramirez, Community Service Director

What’s your nationality? I am Mexican-American.


How long have you been in YHPAA? I have been in YHPAA for three years.


What changes do you hope to see in the Hispanic community? I want to see our Hispanic community succeed and have better opportunities. We’re a growing population and I hope to see more and more Hispanic people become highly respected professionals, politicians, community service activists, etc.


Part of YHPAA’s mission is to award scholarships to Hispanic students seeking higher education, what is your advice to the recipients? Get involved as much as you can! Be well-rounded with your networks and always be willing to give back.



Yahaira Hernandez, Public Relations Director

What’s your nationality? I am Mexican-American.


How long have you been in YHPAA? I have been in YHPAA for three years.


What changes do you hope to see in the Hispanic community? I would hope to see more career opportunities for Hispanic college students, such as internships and entry-level positions. College students are usually eager to learn and to kickstart their careers, and Hispanic students are no exception. If anything, some (not all) may come from underprivileged areas like myself, which makes them even more determined to break glass ceilings and pave the way for peers in similar circumstances. By hiring more Hispanic professionals, companies are truly opening doors and making a difference for the Latinx community.


Part of YHPAA’s mission is to award scholarships to Hispanic students seeking higher education, what is your advice to the recipients? Continue to invest in yourself. Apply for more scholarships during college, take on leadership positions (whether it’s for a campus organization or a job), mentor your peers and so on. By taking on these challenges, you are proving your worth to yourself and therefore setting the bar high for yourself. This self-discipline can take you VERY far, and your impressive resume up to this point will simply be a bonus.


We’re clearly proud of our heritage and the goals we share not just as Board Directors but as part of the growing group of Hispanic professionals in Austin. We’re proud to be a part of YHPAA and hope you are too.


If you too would like to make a difference, join YHPAA to meet like-minded professionals and attend networking opportunities, educational workshops, team-building webinars and so much more. Plus, members can save money on tickets to attend our upcoming Unidos Por Nuestro Futuro Gala on October 30th at The Long Center! It's a great chance to mingle with YHPAA members, community leaders and scholarship recipients.


We hope to see you very soon. Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!

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