Mentored Gloria Estefan?
Gloria Estefan originally rose to prominence in the
1970s by joining the Miami Sound Machine. As she segued
into a solo recording career, she became one of the
first Latin artists to achieve major mainstream worldwide
is only one person in my life whom I consider my mentor--my
grandmother on my mother's side, Consuelo Garcia. Besides
her obvious role as a grandparent, she represented to
me a vivid example of a woman ahead of her time. She
was a strong, caring, spiritual humanitarian who filled
my life with possibilities, and through her example,
gave me the belief that there was nothing I could not
do or achieve in life. Although she was born in 1905
in Cuba, she felt no limitations and even aspired to
be a lawyer, an unheard of profession for a Latin woman.
And though she had to leave school to help her large
family at the age of ten, she taught herself to read
and write and became an amazingly astute businesswoman,
and extremely independent.
cared for me from birth, and nurtured the thought that
music was a gift I had received. And although I was
reluctant to follow that path, I somehow found myself
involved with music because our gifts are meant to be
shared for the good and pleasure of others. We remained
extremely close throughout my life, and even after her
death I have often found comfort in her memory and the
wisdom she shared with me.
grandmother always pointed out my strengths and filled
me with hope for the future. She constantly nourished
my inquisitiveness, and shared many quests for seeking
answers to my questions. She wasn't afraid to let me
see her vulnerability, and made that intimacy an asset
to be celebrated. Primarily through her example, I learned
that we, as women, have limitless potential. I finally
said yes to music because of her.
most valuable lessons I learned from my grandmother
were to discover what makes you happy, and do it with
as much energy and joy as you can muster. And that success
takes perseverance, determination, and an unwavering
belief in what you have chosen to do.
feel fortunate to have found such an amazing mentor.
I don't believe that people like my grandmother are
commonplace, or even a given within a family. She had
a profound influence on who I am and continues to be
from The Person Who Changed My Life: Prominent Americans
Recall Their Mentors.
Matilda Raffa Cuomo, Editor, with foreword by Sen. Hillary