Tell us a bit about yourself: how would you describe yourself and your life in a quick snapshot?
I am a US Army Major with a little over a decade in service and two combat tours to Iraq. I am a native of Venezuela, raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. I am a registered 200 hour Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance. I am married to CPT Julio Alvarado, a recent GMAP graduate from Tufts University. Julio and I love to travel and have enjoyed trips to Italy, France, England, and Spain - I am fluid in Spanish and can manage a simple conversation in French. I am a mother to 3-year old Evan Agustin and 5-month old Estella Margot, and, as a family, we enjoy the outdoors, riding bikes, hikes, and walks in the park.
If you had to describe yourself using three adjectives, what would they be?
Passionate, loving, ambitious
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a businesswoman. When I was little, I dressed up in business suits and played as a bank teller with Monopoly money and a computer drawn on my Lisa Frank folder. Or I would sell my clothes and toys as a store owner.
What was your very first job?
I held my first job at University of Nevada, Reno, as a secretary through work study for the dean of the mechanical engineering department. As far as real, real job, I was a lifeguard for the city of North Las Vegas throughout college.
What do you do to occupy your time: work, family, community?
I always find myself doing more than I should be. I just graduated from an intense year at the US Naval War College, which consumed most of my time with all the reading I had to do. My kiddos go to daycare while I’m in school or at work, so the rest of the time, I spend taking care of them doing activities either outdoors and indoors, and of course, I can’t forget Julio. He’s amazing at supporting everything we do as a family and my career choices. We enjoy day dates while the kids are at daycare, and we always spend quality time together.
What are the hardest decisions you’ve had to make?
I think staying in the military is the hardest decision I’ve had to make each day since Evan was born, and now, with Estella, that decision weighs more, especially at the thought that, any day now, I will have to leave them for some length of time to either do military training or deployments.
Tell us about any mentors or figures that are crucial to how you see the world or what you’ve chosen to do.
My parents are my biggest mentors and crucial figures in my life. I’ve seen the struggles, sacrifices, and rewards they’ve had to endure in their lifetime, and I know that I owe it to them and to my children to be a better version of who they are. Their choice to raise me and my siblings and provide us with as much as they could came at great personal sacrifice. So it’s only fair that I make them proud by being the best person I could be. And, to my kids, I want to be the example to Evan and Estella that women can be anything they want to be, whenever they want to, wherever they want to.
What do you consider to be your greatest success this far?
My kiddos. I have been blessed thus far to be strong enough to give birth to them completely naturally and have been able to breastfeed Evan pretty much up till the moment Estella was born, and I’ve been able to continue the same trend with Estella. This is all while working and studying full time. Sometimes I would have to go TDY (travel duty) for extended periods of time, but I managed to keep up supply and get right back to the kids.
What has been your greatest failure and what did you learn from it?
My greatest failure has been to be kind in my honesty. Sometimes I get so caught up in the way I see things and what I believe, that I don’t consider how that might affect others. My crassness sometimes is overwhelming to others, so I continue to learn from it every day.
Where do you see yourself in 15 to 20 years?
I hope that, in 15-20 years, I have to been able to retire out of the military and own a successful little yoga studio and mindful cafe in a small community town. I want to have my own business, schedule and be available to my children as they go through school. Come to think of it, that’s more of a 5-10-year goal. I think at 15-20, the kids will be off to college and Julio and I could get back to traveling the world on our own.
What is the top item on your bucket list – something you’d love to do but haven’t yet?
A family trip to Patagonia! We’re working towards it, but that’s definitely the one thing we haven’t done, that we want to.
Describe your personal style: how does it reflect your day to day and your values?
My style has definitely evolved this past year. I’ve been wearing business casual most days, so I would say a mixture of casual and comfortable with some outdoorsy/yoga pieces here and there. Of course 100% nursing friendly.
If you ran into your 18-year old self, what advice would you give her?
Have fun, but take it easy. Study, study, study. The One is worth the wait. The faster you learn to have fun, enjoy life, but be responsible always, the faster you’ll get to “adulting” with success and less regrets.
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