Name: Raydhiri Hidalgo
Born: New York, NY
Lives: New York, NY
As a young girl growing up in the Bronx I always felt represented in the media, education, food and culture of my neighborhood. It wasn’t until college that I felt I was different from the rest of the population.
I felt a culture shock with a change in demographics when I moved to Fairfield for college. I was now a first-generation 𝐃𝐨𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐀𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐧 studying at a school in one of the richest counties of Connecticut.
There were these differences about me that I didn’t know existed until I was faced with a different environment •my kinky hair •my upbringing (my parents are immigrants from the Dominican Republic) •Spanish is my first language. I learned English by watching Sesame Street and Barney •my economic status
I wanted to leave my neighborhood for something different not realizing that I could’ve gotten a similar education at a more affordable state school. I didn’t have the guidance on making those financial decisions at 18 years old.
I grew up in public housing and received food stamps as a kid to be able to keep my mom afloat when my parents were separated. Those 4 years of college were the best and sometimes the worst years of my life. I had experiences that I will never forget. I’ve made lifelong friends, learned that I can be me even when that’s totally different than everyone else, and I had the opportunity to study in Spain for 2 summer months.
Eleven years after graduating from college I finally feel that I have found my purpose with my differences. I’m an 𝐨𝐜𝐜𝐮𝐩𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐩𝐲 𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐭 at a skilled nursing facility where I bring representation for women of color in a healthcare setting.
I am a leader, advocate, educator, listener, helper and student so that I can be the best healthcare provider for a community of color.
I’ve learned that people’s negative stereotypes of you sometimes cannot be changed, and that’s okay. I will continue to serve my community with the knowledge and skills that I learned through adversity