An Interview with Dora Barrera

Dora_Barrera_Selfie.jpg“Without the constant mentorship and support of [the TSS Staff] and the love from my Lovin’ Oven girls, I would not have realized my potential as a business leader”

A little about me:

Age 21. I was born in Sonoma, California.  My mom works at a winery, packaging wine.  My father was a field worker, but he passed away four years ago.

I am passionate about social justice and leadership in the business industry. 

What I remember about Teen Services:

I was walking home one night, and as I passed by the Teen Center, I ran into Esther Oros. She and Rebecca [a Teen Service’s staff member] started to tell me about Lovin’ Oven and how they had just come back from selling [cookies] at the Farmers’ Market. The next day I was in Rebecca’s office learning everything there was to know about Lovin’ Oven. I eventually became the manager and also participated in TSS events, trips, and workshops.

Some of my best memories were staying up late finishing [food] orders or getting ready for Farmers’ Markets. Yes, we did put in endless hours with a team of about four, but we had the most meaningful and inspiring conversations.

What I gained from Teen Services:

I learned how much I enjoyed being a leader and I found out that I had more self-worth than I had ever imagined.

I remember that the people that I met through the Teen Center automatically assumed I wanted to go to culinary school because I loved what I was doing. The truth is that I loved the business aspect of Lovin’ Oven.  Without the constant mentorship and support of Rebecca at TSS and the love from my Lovin’ Oven girls, I would not have realized my potential as a business leader.

I always knew I wanted to attend college, but [without Teen Services] I did not have the mentorship to know how. 

Where I am now and where I’m going:

I have just started my final year at University of the Pacific’s, Eberhardt School of Business to obtain a bachelor in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Sociology. In the past three years, I have held various leadership roles. Currently, I am the Eberhardt School of Business Senator in student government and the Chair of Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán de Pacific [an organization dedicated to the promotion of higher education among Chicanos]. I am involved with the Latino Community Outreach, SUCCESS Trio Program, and Pacific Promise Scholars. I enjoy keeping busy.

Eventually I want to work in a different part of the country for a while and then return to school to obtain my MBA. 

What are you proudest of?

I am most proud of not giving up.