(L-R) Rear Admiral James Rendon, Cadet 1C Valentina Giraldo Torres, Rear Admiral Melissa Bert, Lt Gen Jay B. Silveria, and CJ Johnson, DoD at the National LATINA Symposium.

As this year winds up to an end, I am reminded of all the trials and tribulations we have faced these past 24 years. Next year we will begin our 25th year of publication of LATINA Style. We will be celebrating our 25th Anniversary throughout the nation during our Welcoming Receptions at all of our 2019 conferences.

We will dedicate our receptions to the many Latinas that have graced the pages of LATINA Style. Beginning to look through our archives has been already a challenge and trying to focus on remembering and celebrating our journey has been even harder. So much has transpired during the time lapse that it is difficult to single out the changing events that have reshaped our community. For me the single event that outshines all others is without a doubt the momentous occasion when the Honorable Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor took her place on the United States Supreme Court. Nothing represents the arrival of Latina empowerment more than that. We hope new Latina and Latina judges will join her one day but it will take time.

On the other hand, the largest group of Latina Congressional Representatives will be coming to D.C. to begin their journey as members of that exclusive club “the Latina Members of Congress.” There were three of them when we began our journey, this time there will be 12 And the number of Latino members has also reached its greatest number. The question is “How will they all work together to advance the causes of the Hispanic community? After all they have to represent all their constituents not only the Hispanic community. We shall see, we hope it will all workout.

In this issue we are proud to have the opportunity to highlight the honorees who were recognized at the National LATINA Symposium this past September in Washington, D.C. We thank all the services and the academies for their participation, especially the United States Air Force whose nominations for recognition came from all over the world. We also were able to present the Trailblazer Award to the first Latina pilot at the U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Olga Custodio (Ret), and of course, we present her here as our main feature in this issue. You will be inspired by her story.

A special thanks to Lt. Jay B. Silveria, Superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado for joining us at the conference and submitting the His View Column for this issue. Thank you to all the attendees and participants at the conference. We look forward to seeing you all next year. Don’t forget February 20 & 21st in Washington, D.C! We will begin our 25th Anniversary celebrations on Wednesday, February 20 in Washington, D.C. during our LATINA Style 50 Awards and Diversity Leaders Conference, we hope to see you there.

Leave a Reply