National Hispanic Heritage Month is now! Microsoft shares inspiring stories from Latinos that are motivated by passion, determination faith, love, and perseverance – as well as other aspects of their lives. Join the celebration sharing your story using #MicrosoftLatinx and #HispanicHeritageMonth.

From fisherman to senior program manager: A life full of perseverance and hope

Thirty years ago I immigrated from Mexico to the United States to be a fisherman. This was an opportunity that I hadn’t considered, but it made perfect sense to pursue.

Although I loved the open ocean, there was so much more I wanted to discover. I started my journey by returning to school to earn an associate’s degree in computer science. This was when my new career began.

After working in technology for a few decades, I was offered the opportunity to join Microsoft’s Operations Engineering team. I felt that I was getting real knowledge as well as the practical experience I had always wanted.

Reflecting on my journey of self-reinvention I am reminded of that moment in life when it was all about survival rather than thriving. Growing up, my family experienced many hardships. I had to step in at an early age to help my mom raise my younger siblings. Although it was difficult, I love my family more than any of the pain we endured. It makes me proud to look at what they have achieved.

My dreams have changed a lot since becoming a father to three children. My kids are my greatest motivator. Every thing I do is for my kids, to give them a purpose and to inspire them to become the best version of themselves.

Similar shifts are occurring in the workplace, with families being integrated into modern work environments in a way that is no longer perceived as an external support, but as integral to an individual’s success. I have been encouraged to be my authentic self and embraced it, as well as a father in my case.

If I could give advice to the next generation Latinos, it would be to point out the lessons that I have learned along the way. Opportunities are not necessarily limited to a particular location. They are available everywhere, as long as you’re willing to search for them.

As chair of the Advisory Board, I am HOLAMicrosoft’s Latinx employee resource group, I have the opportunity to inspire and give back every day to the same extent that I was.

More stories are available at Microsoft LatinxBlog.