TJSL Alumni Association Vice President Lorena Slomanson '03 recently attended the annual USHLI (United States Hispanic Leadership Institute) conference in Chicago, where she met former Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis.
Secretary Solis was honored with the USHLI Edward R. Roybal - Henry B. Gonzalez Award for Excellence in Public Service.
In December 2008, President Barack Obama announced he would nominate Solis as the next U.S. Secretary of Labor, a position for which she was confirmed in February 2009. She became the first Hispanic woman to serve in the U.S. Cabinet. Last month she announced she was stepping down from her post to return to Los Angeles and run for County Supervisor.
"It was so inspiring to see these students exposed to high ranking government and military officials, and CEOs of major corporations,” sad Slomanson. “My favorite memory is of Secretary Solis recalling a high school counselor who told her to aim low, and maybe she could become a secretary like her older sister. Well, she DID become a secretary. We all laughed, but the message for the youth was clear- never let anyone tell you cannot achieve your dreams."
Geared towards high school and college students, the mission of the USHLI conference is to train a broad section of Hispanic leaders by promoting education, unity and leadership development and creating a servant leadership community.