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When You Were Growing Up...
Who Were Your Role Models?

IT’S HUMAN NATURE TO SEEK PEOPLE to look up to when we’re kids. Some of us look up to family members. Others become enamored with celebrities. But as Latinos, finding role models we identify with can be difficult. In fact, when we polled our readers, a surprising 41% felt they didn’t have any childhood role models at all. Here is a look at some of the responses we received when we asked who our readers’ role models were when they were growing up.

“I had a wonderful role model who taught me many things—one being the importance of an education and advancing one’s self. She is my mother, but not only that, she is my friend.” —26 years old, Hanford, CA

“I don’t feel I had enough role models when I was growing up. I am still a young Latino in a culture that is still not open to a QV world. It’s taken me almost six years to come out of the closet to my closest friends. I cannot express the ‘true’ me. I am still afraid of what they might say or what they might do. It is like I am still living a life full of lies to my friends and my peers. It is something that I am not proud of. If I had enough role models growing up, I don’t think I would be as afraid to inform my peers.” —22 years old, Houston, TX

“My great uncles were wise and full of old stories from the old days. I try to live my life one day at a time just like they did.” —46 years old, Phoenix, AZ

“I really didn’t feel my role models were the people on TV. I looked at what my grandparents and parents went through so that I wouldn’t have to go through that. I saw them as role models.” —18 years old, Del Rio, TX

“The only person I looked up to was my grandmother because she was strong and never let people tell her she couldn’t do anything.” —19 years old, Bronx, NY

“One of my middle school teachers who happens to be QV helped me to find out who I really was. Like most, I did not know how to deal with a lot of things, but he helped guide me through. Having faith in me and letting me get the answers on my own have made me the man I am today.” —24 years old, Houston, TX

Reader Childhood Role Models
A Breakdown
No One 41%
Celebrity 11%
Father 10%
Friend(s) 8%
Parents (Both) 8%
Mother 7%
Sibling(s) 7%
Grandparent(s) 5%
Uncle 5%
Teacher 4%
Cousin(s) 3%
Family (in general) 3%
Other 5%

“The only role models that I have are my parents. My father because he grew up as a little child never having anything given to him. He always had to work for what he needed and always did what he had to do in order to provide for me. As for my mother she grew up learning from her own mistakes, and she turned out to be a wonderful mother. She has turned her life around from going no where to becoming someone.” —19 years old, Chicago, IL

“My father was not in my life for the most important years of my upbringing. The more I think about my past, the more I admire my mother and my mother’s strength. My mother is definitely my role model.” —21 years old, Miramar, FL

“Well, I did not really have that many role models in my life, but if I had to choose one male role model that would be all of my friends that I had while I was growing up. I learned a lot from each one of them. They where all different in both good ways and bad ways.” —23 years old, Villa Park, CA

“I feel that my parents were great role models. I was lucky enough to have both of my parents be there for all of my life. They still are, and I think that is why I turned out to be the person that I am today.” —35 years old, Dallas, TX

“My dad was always a hard-working man that I looked up to. I appreciated his work ethic, and he always managed to take care of his family.” —19 years old, Miami, FL

“My main role model as I grew up was my dad. He was, and still is, the most loving, kind, and caring man I have ever met.” —26 years old, Laredo, TX

“I didn’t really have any role models. That was one of the things that made me afraid of being QV when I was a child. I felt like I didn’t see myself in any of the people that were prominent in the community. I am amazed (and thankful) at the current state of affairs in the media etc. Yes, society still has a lot of issues with the QV culture, but the progress in the last twenty years has been heartening.” —37 years old, Chicago, IL

“I looked up to myself and did what I had to do to succeed.” —22 years old, Atlanta, GA


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