February 21, 2014
By Daniela Cadena
Certain objects and topics attract all of us. Personally, I am fascinated by hobbies. They make us extraordinary humans, exposing each person’s hidden talents no matter our culture. Our hobbies are conversation starters. They keep us motivated to keep moving forward.
The fact that they make us forget our differences, where we come from, what languages we speak and just let us appreciate the passions that bring us together, truly intrigues me. That is how it all started: I became somewhat obsessed by how musicians, soccer players, dancers and makers could be so different but all share a love for one particular thing.
Being a full-time student with five classes, two part-time jobs, as well as being Director of Fundraising for the AMA here at FIU, and trying to get my start-up out there is nearly impossible. But the fun I have doing it makes it so worth it.
I have always been proud of my Hispanic background; it is the reason that I am where I am today, and the reason I think the way I do. Being Hispanic has the advantage of letting me connect with people I wouldn’t be able to otherwise, and it lets me perceive the world from a multicultural perspective. But unfortunately it also makes people look at you differently, as if you are not capable of making it in such an “all American “society, or hell, go for it…you have nothing to loose.
A lot of people do not take you serious, especially when you are in an “idea” stage. And it is sad to see how many people underestimated me for my age, for being Hispanic and being a woman, but those are the ones that inspired me to keep going. To not give up, even when I felt like all doors were slammed in my face.
See, I have learned that the more you ask and persist, the sooner you will come across individuals who are inspired by your determination. And those people will help you and guide you beyond your wildest dreams.
During my fall semester, I was coming to school, working and going to MeetUps, workshops, and networking events, and Hackathons. I was part of #teamnosleep. During an entire semester and prototype building, thanks to all the people I met, I was able to put together Squid.
I learned how to make a website (Squidapp.co). I learned how to use Photoshop, and now I am learning Illustrator. If you love what you are creating, you will meet amazing people just like you that are going against all odds to make their dreams come to life as well.
Creating a startup while you’re in college is a great experience; you have nothing to lose. You open amazing opportunities, discover people with great connections, and learn way more than if simply spent your time sitting, studying, eating and watching TV.
Now after a year of working on Squid, I have decided to launch my KickStarter campaign, and all I want is for people to check out my project and if they love it and support the idea to pledge anything they wish, http://t.co/h8WT3UPmk8
I am not going to lie, many people have laughed and continue to laugh at my attempt to bring Squid to life. But then I read that Grayson Marshall said, “If people are not laughing at your dreams, then you are not dreaming big enough.”