Living the communal act of leadership


The experiences that Jessica and Mayra shared with us through their personal life-stories and their work at the Hispanic Development Fund really helps us understand the transformative power that comes from growing through adversity, and how giving back to those that come behind us can bring a sense of completeness to our lives.

Fear is an extremely powerful force. It holds the potential to disable our bodies and paralyze our minds. To grow in life we must find a way to conquer its grasp. So how can we overcome fear? When faced head on with our life’s most frightening challenges, how do we persevere? Some would say the greatest enemy to fear is hope. Belief that love, or grace, or peace   – whatever it is that we seek – awaits us on the other side of fear often arouses the courage within us to persist beyond the moments in which we would have usually given up.

What is the origin of hope?

Hope is most vividly experienced when we have direct contact to those that have traveled a similar journey to our own, and have emerged on the other side of our mutually-shared fears. Therefore, it is when we come to understand the fragility of own life journey and use it as the road map to building others that transcendent hope emerges.

When we allow our life experiences to speak though us as we interact with those that need us, our personal disdain becomes our deepening strength. This communal act of using our life experience to construct the mission for our life’s work and then living in accordance with that conviction is when authentic leaders and powerful stories emerge.

These encounters build moments of solidarity in which we come to feel the experience of depending upon one another in a genuine, sincere way. However, we must still give ourselves permission to embrace those encounters in order to experience their rewards. It is unfortunate, but our unfamiliarity to authentic leadership has the potential to deter our willingness to believe in its excessive potential. Prolonged periods of faith in authentic leaders is critical in mobilizing communities for change.

This trust is necessary in order to strengthen our bonds and unite our pursuits. United efforts endorse the capacity for large-scale attainment. Together is the only way. Fear is ever-present, but it is through fear that we are given a cause for hope, it is hope that ignites our pride to believe. And it is through authentic leaders – those that have come before us, that have felt similar life experiences to our own and choose to lift as they climb – that turn belief into momentous courage. And it is courage that moves the world.

Jessica and Mayra are the quintessential hope among their community. Not for the reason that they provide the perfect solution, but because they have felt a similar pain and have mustered the strength to otherwise persist. It is living through their suffering by acknowledging and overcoming their own life journey’s that provides the perfect leadership to a community that deeply needs it.

To learn more about the Hispanic Development fund please visit

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