From September 15 through October 15, AEO is celebrating Latinx Heritage Month – a time to recognize the important contributions of U.S. citizens whose ancestors immigrated from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. Throughout the month, AEO is highlighting our Latinx associates by celebrating, sharing and learning about their traditions and cultures!
- Name: Emely
- Role: Lead Cashier, American Eagle
- Latinx Heritage: Mexican
Why do you love working at AEO?
I love working at AEO because I enjoy meeting and interacting with new people every day. I also really love my team and enjoy how they make the job even better as they are always such in good mood and we’re all quirky and weird in our own way. I also love how my home store is really accepting of everyone and I love how it does not feel like a race or a competition, but instead there are always people giving tips and advice to those struggling. It’s very supportive and encouraging.
Where is your family from?
My cousins and I were all born in the states. I was the 3rd out of the 40 grandchildren to be born in America. My mom and her family are from Matamoros, Mexico. My grandpa (her dad) is from Guadalajara, Mexico and he is very proud to be from that area. My dad and his huge family are all from Michoacán, Mexico.
Why is Latinx Heritage Month so important to you?
Latino Hispanic Heritage Month is such an amazing month. It’s when events are held around the local area and it makes me and my family feel accepted. Educating and celebrating the Hispanic culture with those who are not as familiar with it is needed as it is a reminder that there are people who live by an entirely different culture than they do. I also think is very important to celebrate as it is a reminder to many of us Hispanics that our culture is not something to be ashamed or embarrassed of and that it is okay to celebrate our traditions and holidays here in the states. We must cherish our beautiful culture with our family and friends.
What is so special about your family?
I really admire my parents as they both came from absolutely nothing and sacrificed the opportunity to receive education. My had dad dropped out of school when he was in 5th grade in Mexico and my mom dropped out in 11th grade in the states to work in fields and on farms to help feed their family. Growing up, they made sure education was our top priority as they wanted us to have an easier life. Because of their support and hard work, I was able to attend an Early College in Rocky Mount and earn my Associates of Science, Associates of Arts, and High School Diploma all at age 18. I am the first in my entire extended family to attend college. I’m now 21 years old and attend ECU and am graduating with my Bachelor’s in Engineering with a Concentration in Electrical in 2021. Next year I will begin working on my Master’s in Mechanical Engineering. I really could not have done it without my parents and grandparents as they have never failed on supporting me and never stopped believing that I could get as far as I did today.
Also, my dad has 20+ brothers and sisters and they each have quite a few of children. In total, with my dad’s living cousins and my first cousins, I have 500+ living cousins currently. We are not sure exactly how many – as it is possible the number reached over 1000 by now – but we definitely know I have more than 500!