Priscilla Gutierrez – Ranger Motors

Production Manager – IDENTITY Productions

Priscilla Gutierrez speaks passionately about Ranger Motors in Laredo, Texas, as her place of significance. Founded by her grandparents, it’s not just a family business but a cornerstone of her upbringing, where her father taught her invaluable lessons in relationship-building and customer service. These teachings have profoundly shaped her professional ethos, emphasizing the importance of empathy and connection. Ranger Motors, for Priscilla, is more than a business; it’s a symbol of family legacy and community ties, resonating through generations.

Priscilla recently spoke to attendees of the Creative Leadership Academy for our Creative Pathways Program, where guests from STEAM industries shared their unique journeys, blending science and art to inspire a new generation of innovators. Click here to view the presentation.







Celeste González de Bustamante – Ambos Nogales (Both Nogales)

Associate Dean for DEI, Moody College of Communication, University of Texas at Austin

Dr. González de Bustamante selected Ambos Nogales (Both Nogales)—the twin cities of Nogales, Arizona, in the United States and Nogales, Sonora, in Mexico, separated by the U.S.-Mexico border—as her place of significance. Stemming from her distinguished background in journalism and her experience in news media, Dr. González de Bustamante’s choice is deeply anchored in her rigorous exploration of media dynamics in the U.S.-Mexico border regions. She dedicates her life’s work to educate people that places like Ambos Nogales are so much more than what we read or see in mainstream news.




April Inniss – Martha’s Vineyard

Senior Research Associate – James Bell Associates

April selected Martha’s Vineyard as her place of significance because it offered her tranquility, cherished memories of relaxation, and a sense of freedom from life’s obligations and responsibilities. Moreover, she envisions this location as an alternate universe where systemic oppression never occurred in American society, and where people live in happiness and prosperity.


Maria Cazares – Wasco, California

Youth Organizer – Dolores Huerta Foundation

Maria’s place of significance is Wasco, California, where she grew up witnessing and overcoming inequalities in communities of color. She is a first-generation Mexican-American with a Sociology degree from Fresno State, now working as a youth organizer with the Dolores Huerta Liberated Youth for Empowerment Program. Through her activism, she continues to make a difference in her communities, committed to dismantling systemic barriers.





Jose Enriquez – John Glenn High School

CEO/Founder – Latinos in Action

Jose’s place of significance is John Glenn High School, where he learned to fail and succeed, developing humility and resilience. He overcame his fear of public speaking, gained confidence, and understood the essence of leadership. Through hard training, he honed essential skills, from studying to networking, ultimately boosting his self-assurance.





Corrina Brown – Avenues at Steele Creek

Development Manager – The Beautiful Project

Corrina’s choice of her first apartment as her place of significance symbolized her initial taste of independence, devoid of external influences. As time passed, she delved deeper into self-discovery. Within the confines of this space, she mastered the art of cultivating her own community. This period of living alone for the first time enabled her to authentically identify her genuine interests, desires, and needs.


Anthony Barrows – Maverick Square Public Housing

Managing Partner & Founder, Center for Behavioral Design & Social Justice

Anthony’s place of significance is the Maverick Square public housing complex in East Boston, MA where he grew up. The area has since been completely redeveloped.



Ronnette Smith – Clark Atlanta University

CEO – Future Foundation

Ronnette is a proud graduate of the HBCU Clark Atlanta University, where she earned a B.A. in Mass Communication/Media Studies. Her alma mater, selected as her meaningful institution, bore witness to Mrs. Smith’s triumphant graduation from a four-year university, even in the face of academic challenges during her high school years.


Leal’s Tires

Originally located at the corner of East Cesar Chavez and Chicon Street, Leal’s Tires boasted bright yellow paint and beautiful murals with homages to Aztec culture. Leal’s was known for having affordable services and working with customers when they didn’t have money to pay in full. Leal’s eventually relocated to far East 7th Street after restaurant owners purchased their original location. Many voiced concern when the restaurant kept Leal’s murals as their own and opened as “Lou’s Bodega” but offered highly-priced meals instead of reasonably-priced items typically found in a true bodega. However, the establishment soon changed its name to Lou’s and acknowledges the legacy of Leal’s.

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Jumpolin is a pinata and party store that captured the hearts and minds of the East Austin community for over 20 years and was owned by the Lejarazu family. In late 2014, the Lejarazus faced harassment from their landlord which unfortunately escalated to Jumpolin’s demolition in February 2015. This story quickly received national attention and the Lejarazus were supported by a plethora of Austinites, especially from the underrepresented communities.

The Lejarazus are now focused on expanding their e-commerce business towards an art gallery featuring extensive projects made in paper mache.

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