Latino millennials are breaking down the walls of underrepresentation in the White House. NBC Latino reports that more young Latinos, hailing from Mexican to Peruvian backgrounds, have worked under President Obama than in any prior administration.
Most of these trailblazers didn’t have the privilege of resting on family connections or a wealthy background to land their respective positions. Rather, by relying on their passion for public service, they achieved success largely through their own efforts.
Bearing titles like Senior Advisor of Education Policy and Deputy Chief of Staff of Presidential Personnel, each staffer is aware of the responsibility they carry in representing the voices of their community, although their roles are not limited to Hispanic affairs. “You look around, and you don’t see as many faces that look like yours,” White House Counsel Executive Assistant Kenneth Sandoval, 25, said of the lack of diversity in politics.
Bronx native Elias Alcantara, 29, felt the weight of his political standing as Associate Director of Intergovernmental Affairs in shifting this reality after he officially met President Barack Obama. “It was in that moment I realized that all the sacrifices my parents made coming to this country and all the work that I had done up until this point was actually worth it because here I was, a first-generation American kid from The Bronx having a chance to brief the president of the United States on an effort that is obviously incredibly important for him and for this administration.”