Written by: Ana Demendoza
Former Congresswoman and CHLI Board member, the Honorable Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, is a Miami firecracker. Serving as the finale of the three-day Zoom orientation for the incoming Fall 2020 Global Leaders, Ros-Lehtinen demonstrated to each of us the power of our Latino identity and authenticity.
The usual protocol for CHLI Connect sessions, each of us as students gives a brief introduction to our guest speaker to familiarize them with our university, majors, and CHLI roles. A Miami native herself, Ros-Lehtinen raved at the many students who are from the South Florida area, myself included. Her enthusiasm to get to know us and our interests is reminiscent of a personality emulating my hometown.
When I picture a member of Congress, the first image that pops into mind isn’t necessarily a Latina woman. As the first Cuban American elected to the United States Congress, Ros-Lehtinen breaks the traditional stereotypes. Her identity as a Latina woman is central to her work prior, during, and after serving in Congress for nearly three decades.