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Rising Stars: Meet Ana Barba

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ana Barba.

Hi Ana, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I am a PhD student, writer, and entrepreneur. I am getting my degree in Ethnic Studies/Latinx Studies and it has been a motivational factor in my newest venture. I recently started a podcast /blog/support group for first-generation BIPOC high school students, college students, and professionals. The project is titled “Intersectional Conversations” and I run this amazing project with my good friend Giovanna Martinez. As a first-generation woman of color from a working-class background, I have experienced many educational obstacles. I hope our project will help reach more of us and give the resources and advice we seek as first-gen students.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It has not been an easy road for me in my own career. I have worked really hard to get to where I am today. One of my biggest struggles has been believing in myself and valuing what I have to offer to my community. This is part of a process of imposter syndrome that I think a lot of women of color in my position go through. This is why I helped start Intersectional Conversations because we want to give the resources and guidance to first-gen BIPOC students like ourselves.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
We hope that people contact us and follow us on our various social media platforms. We have so much to offer! We love what we do and it has been rewarding to use our experiences and knowledge to help guide BIPOC students navigate higher education. Check us out and contact us if you have any questions or need some help.

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
Networking has been so much fun for our project! What has worked for us has been using social media platforms like Instagram, Clubhouse, and Twitter. We always find new people to collaborate with in these platforms. Digital networking has really become popular these last few years and you can create genuine bonds that can potentially become mentors as well. My advice is to never shy away from asking people if they are willing to show you the ropes on something they are great at. The worst thing they can say is, “No.” And, you move on to someone else because there is so many people out there who want to help. Again, this is why we started “Intersectional Conversations.”

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