Meet Ana Angel Avedano, first generation orgullosamente Xicana/Latina born in the Bay Area and raised between borders. Get to know Ana's story of being a first generation Latina in higher education, to obtaining her Doctorate Degree in Education, Modern Motherhood, and never giving up on her dreams! Ana has a Bachelor's degree in Ethnic Studies, a Masters in Chicanx Studies, and most recently her Ed.D in Education from USF. This knowledge seeking mama is an inspiration to all!
Q: What's your Story? How has your journey of living between borders shaped your educational journey?
My childhood experiences with my grandmother in Michoacán, Mexico, not only shaped my cultural identity but my everyday work as a community leader, activist and mama scholar. I am a mama of a 2- almost 3 year old who has taught me so much about myself. My full time job is in the public sector working directly with the community. And recently, I was hired as a lecturer in the Ethnic Studies department at CSU, East Bay! The best way I describe myself is a community- scholar-activist.
Q: What inspired you to pursue higher education, and ultimately pursing your Doctorate Degree?
I became interested in earning my doctorate when I was an undergrad at CSUEB, through a program called McNairs Scholars. Having been in that program the idea of a Doctorate sounded less intimidating and like the next step for me in my educational journey. Being the first in my family to be U.S. born I knew I had the privilege to further my education and I didnt take this for granted. I didn't pursue my Doctorate immediately after my Bachelors because I didn't feel ready- looking back now, I definitely think I could have been ready! But I didn't have the confidence!
However, I am grateful for my educational journey-- I went to San Jose State, got my Masters- then took a five year break. During this time I got some professional work experience, got married, and then applied for a Doctorate program! I chose the University of San Francisco (USF) because of the teaching weekend program, the location, and the program in International and Multicultural studies.
Q: How has becoming a Mami, while working, community organizing, and going to school changed your life?
Along the way, I held many jobs, became a mami, and made so many amazing mujer scholars! Who are now my comadres. I learned that everyone's journey looks different- we have ideas in our minds of what we want our lives to be like, but ultimately things happen along the way, and the WAY you get there will look different, but as long as you keep your goal in your heart and mind, you will accomplish it.
It is never too late to follow your passion. I also learned that we need to lean on our community and ask for help! I had so many great folks that helped me with childcare while I was studying, including my husband, my mother in law, close friends, and relatives. We don't get there alone.
"ALWAYS BELIEVE THE IMPOSSIBLE IS POSSIBLE"
Portrait Illustration of Ana and her daughter
by, Alicia Martinez
Q: Thank you for sharing your story, and inspiring others! What resources can other Mami's, and WOC wanting to pursue higher education?
There are many social media pages for those interested in pursuing a doctorate or higher education, including facebook groups Latinas Pursuing Doctorate Degrees. Follow those pages because not only do you get inspired, but you realize you are not alone, there is a whole community of folks doing this together!
Reach out to professors in the schools you are interested, ask to be connected with alum or current students. Visit the program. Sit on a class.
Follow Ana's journey on IG: @angel_xicana , or connect with her via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What books or podcasts can you share for other Latinx to educate themselves on higher education?
Chicana Motherwork Book + Podcast
Anzalduing IT podcast
Gloria Anzaldua's book Borderlands/La Frontera
Adrianne Marie Brown "Emergent Strategy"
Latina Feminist Group book "Telling to Live: Latina Feminist Testimonios"
"Chicana/Latina Education in Everyday Life by Dolores Delgado Bernal
Q: Any final words or quotes that you live by?
"SIN MADRES/MUJERES NO HAY REVOLUCIÓN"
" SIGUE ADELANTE"
Want to share your story, or nominate a Mami with a Message? Reach out today, we can't wait to build community together, and highlight your story.