Frida Medrano is the National Career Association, President-Elect. Frida is a graduate of Copper Canyon High School in Arizona.
Frida is in her second year as a JAG participant and immediately appreciated the advantages and impact. She is excited to take the next step in her journey by attending Gateway Community College to complete her cosmetology license and receive her associate’s degree in Beauty & Wellness.
I didn’t know how JAG would impact my life when I joined. I expected to have fun and learn new skills, but I didn’t think my horizons would expand as they did.
I was held back in first grade due to academic and language deficiencies. I felt like that put me behind in life. I didn’t speak or understand English and received negativity and humiliation from my peers. When I tried finding support from my peers who spoke Spanish, they would instead tease me, and at times they would get mad at me for not understanding. In those moments, I knew I wanted to be the friend that wasn’t there for me. The feeling of loneliness and exclusion continued throughout my academic career until I joined JAG’s loving and accepting community.
Because I was held back, I always felt ashamed of sharing my story. I felt like I had failed everyone who supported me, and when I did feel comfortable sharing my story, I would immediately regret it because people would make me feel dumb and insecure. JAG, however, embraced my story. I had the confidence to share my struggles to help others who could relate in any way. JAG didn’t make me feel ashamed about my defeat. Instead, I was encouraged to be proud of the accomplishments I earned afterward.
I gained immense knowledge, courage, and experience this past year, and I owe it all to JAG. I look forward to sharing my story nationally and giving back to our communities as much as they have given me. I am so grateful and honored for the opportunities that JAG has presented me, and I am so excited to see what this year has in store.