NAME: Adriana Devers
OCUPATION: Author| Educator|
COMPANY: Creator of Cuentos de Triadas INC., providing meaningful and enriched learning experiences that elevate the diverse cultures within our communities.
BIRTHDAY: Born March 26, 1981 in Santo Domingo, DR.
PLACE OF RESIDENCE: Resides in Long Island, New York
COLLEGE: Attended Suffolk Community College and Stony Brook University
BA Spanish Language and Literature, MALS, Teaching Certificate. 15+ years teaching experience
LAST BOOK READ: Mejorar la raza de Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro & Whatever Love is
Love de Maria Bello
LAST NETFLIX SERIE WATCHED: Watching Netflix «Amend» and trying to catch up with all the Marvel movies with my kids.
HOW IS A DAY IN YOUR LIFE?
A day in my life is magical, it depends on what I have on agenda for the day, but it’s usually good busy. I have really started to focus on allowing myself to have some «me» time, I try to do one thing at a time, slowing down and reminding myself that it can be done. And whatever I can’t finish, if it’s meant to be, then there’s always tomorrow.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION ABOUT WOMEN IN BUSINESS?
I think one of the biggest misconceptions about women in business, that I actually feel is about people in business in general, is that «one can’t be great at everything» Perhaps, if we changed the dynamic to be more supportive of each other, to be fair and kind, not only women, but everyone would be able to give their very best in everything they do and still be a great partner, a great parent, a great friend. We talk about balance, but we constantly force people to break the balance, to «prove» what’s more important, etc.
HOW DO YOU BALANCE FAMILY AND CAREER?
Family and career has been a challenge from the beginning. There’s too much guilt and shaming for working mothers. I have learned to let go, to ask for help, to say NO and stick with it. I schedule things, and most of all I look for kindness in everything. I have to say that after I started being intentionally grateful and intentionally kind, both things come unconsciously, from me and for me. More doors have opened. Everything just seems aligned and perfect just the way it is. So it’s not balance, to me is acceptance, letting go, flowing and pursuing your dreams in kindness and gratitude.
WHAT DO LATINAS AND WOMEN BRING TO THE TABLE? DOES ETHNICITY PLAY A ROLE AT THE TIME OF DOING BUSINESS?
Latinx women bring the «sazón» and grace everywhere we go. It’s like we possess an extra chispa that allows us to flourish no matter where we are.
WHY DO YOU THINK THERE ARE NOT MANY LATINAS IN LEADERSHIP POSITIONS?
But even though we have that spark, that sazón and magic, many of us are constantly haunted by guilt and fear. In my case, in the past I felt that I followed my dreams, I was betraying someone in my family, or I was being selfish. It has taken a lot for me to walk side by side with my fears and take them along in my journey.
HOW IMPORTANT IS MONEY WHEN IT COMES TO JOB SATISFACTION?
Funny you ask about money and job satisfaction, because I left a position where I was making quite a lot to pretty much spend a whole year making NADA! After making that decision and going through the most meaningful period of growth in my life I realized it is possible to be financially stable doing what you enjoy. It takes time, it takes commitment, patience, you lose some people along the way, and there is no easy way to anything! Having a support system makes a huge difference, but even if you don’t have one, it is doable.
WHAT MUST BE DONE TO EMPOWER WOMEN TO PURSUE HIGH RANKING POSITIONS?
To empower women in general we have to start with our little ones, we have to shift our mindset and realize that although we love our culture, there are certain things in our culture that limit our growth. Things like el sentido de culpa (the guilt), el miedo al dinero, money is our friend and if we learn from a young age to respect money, to be committed and treat everything and everyone around us with kindness, we’ll be able to accomplish much more. Empower desde la raíz, recognizing the strength and beauty of our African and indigenous roots. If we celebrate each other and unite in love and kindness, we will be unstoppable, then just imagine the future leaders!
PEOPLE KNOW YOU ARE LATINA WHEN…
People know I’m an Afro-Latina when I’m storytelling, when I dance, when I recite poetry, when I talk about sancocho, yaniqueque and morir soñando LMAO!
WHAT IS THE SECRET OF YOUR SUCCESS? HOW DID YOU GET WHERE YOU ARE TODAY?
Success has different meanings for each individual. I spent a lot of years whining and complaining of my lack of success, without knowing that I’ve been successful all my life. The first step I took was success, learning English, graduating high school, attending college, having a family. Now I keep on pursuing my dreams, doing my part to make a difference in my community, in society and in doing that, in just trying, I am a success. So there’s really no secret! It’s being ok with failing, taking chances, saying NO GRACIAS, being ok with doors closing, making my own way, and no matter what I smile, todo me da risa. I live one day at a time y acepto que lo que será será.
HAVE YOU EVER FELT EXCLUDED BASED ON GENDER OR CULTURE?
I’ve felt excluded many times. From a young age in DR, to my teenage years in Long Island. Excluded by family members, although they «loved me» to places where I was judged based on the color of my skin, my accent or the texture of my hair. The one common thing with every situation has been that I’ve kept going. I don’t know how, but I have felt the pain in each experience and somehow managed to walk tall from the situation. I’ve cried endlessly, felt a deep sense of nostalgia consume my soul, but I’ve made the choice to step out, to see beyond, before I used to say «Tu verás, I’m going to show them» Now I could care less, I go on for me, because it is my right to live the magnificent life I have been given, I do it for my children so that they know that you keep going no matter what. I do it for hope because I’m certain my life story will touch somebody else at one point or another and that in itself is success.
WHO/WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Inspiration comes from many places and people around me. My children inspire me everyday, even before they were born and I have a book to prove it! The struggle of women who came before me, history, other people’s pain, my students. Life itself and all the magical things in it push me to do my part each and everyday, no matter what!
WHAT IS YOUR SUPER POWER?
My super power is knowing who I am and feeling proud of it. I’ve built relationships, touched individuals and learned so much just by being me and being present. I sing, write, dance, run, I do whatever I want a mi propio ritmo. I am free, and that sense of freedom and joy is the best thing one can experience in life.
Lots of love and fairy dust!