Ivis Andrade: Making change in every way
Ivis Andrade is a former member of the Texas Women’s Foundation Young Women’s Advocacy Council and a current business graduate student at Southern Methodist University. She also currently works for an insurance firm full time. In other words, she is quite busy right now! But not too busy that she is not making a difference every day to her community, that is for sure!
Ivis was born in Honduras and left her hometown due to the drastic hurricane Mitch that surfaced and was known as the second deadliest to hit. The catastrophe destroyed her town and the family decided it was time to move. She then came to Dallas, Texas at the age of 5, where she grew up and attended school. She recalls her first home in Texas, something her father had ready for the family in the suburbs, which today is now Uptown Dallas.
Because her family was from a different country, she was not quite as educated in U.S politics. At least, not until she entered school and started to learn the ways of how U.S democracy works and how it differed from her home, Honduras. Once she was a teenager, she became more invested and decided to get more involved and educate herself on the topic of politics. Through time she met with more Latinos and Latinas to further discuss politics, here she knew we had to become more aware. “We don’t grow up hearing enough about the full spectrum of politics, we hear more about immigration because it has a lot to do with us ”, states Ivis.
Ivis is currently working at an insurance agency in the catastrophe department, she has been a specialist in the industry for 4 years now. She assists people when there is a catastrophe, which is something very dear to her because she can understand the impact it leaves on others as she had to leave her home so young due to the same reasons. “My passion is to help others, and in my job, I get to do that”, says Ivis. This leads to when Ivis was a part of the Texas Women’s Foundation Young Women’s Advocacy Council.
From January 2019-May 2020 she was a fellow of the National Young Women’s Advocacy Council and was a representative for the Dallas local council as well. This organization advocates for young women of color in Dallas County. They make sure there is proper resources, checking up on their mental health, education, and much more. The council also awards grants to organizations helping out women of Color in Dallas. They awarded a grant to Parkland to make a brochure in English and Spanish catering to young women of color. One organization Ivis definitely wanted to mention was the North Texas Alliance to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy in Teens (NTARUPT). They were the community partners in the council, and she considers them to be like big sisters. The guidance they provide was a game changer. Although the pandemic happened the council is still committed to amplifying the voices and experiences of women of color. They started a social media campaign educating and encouraging their communities to fill out the census and also published 5 articles written by council members talking about immigration, voting, and centering about the importance of filling out the census.
The advice she says she would give to young women who are aspiring to have leadership roles is to start where you are at and connect with your community. Ivis says join school clubs because that gets you accustomed to a more professional setting and will help “build your skills sets”. Ivis states that in her youth her mother used to have her and her siblings volunteer by helping at gardens and other ways. Through this, she was able to connect with her community. “Ask yourself, how can I help? How does this relate to my life?” Connect with the people around you and give back.
So, what is next for Ivis’ career and life-wise? Well, firstly she wants to finish business school! She wants to continue working on her passions “As I progress in life I want to help others”, she states, “I want to inspire and empower younger generations of women of color to know they have a voice at every table and they can make a difference wherever there at” Ivis will continue to be a mentor and helper for her community.
“The future is bright” —Ivis Andrade, 2020.
Seasonal Contributor, Jindal OutREACH Program