AEO Celebrates Latinx/Latine Heritage Month: Isabel, Senior Store Team Leader

From September 15 through October 15, AEO is celebrating Latinx/Latine 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 associates by celebrating, sharing and learning about their traditions and cultures!

Tell us about your role at AEO.

I am a Senior Store Team Leader at AE! My three year journey with the company has been amazing, as I have had the opportunity to develop and inspire my team to be  their best. I have led two top-talented teams and was most recently promoted to the Queens Center Mall (a power house location!). I have awesome women leaders who empower, develop and inspire me everyday.

What does Latinx Heritage Month mean to you?

Latinx Heritage Month is a time for us to celebrate where we come from and how we can give back to our communities. We celebrate our culture by having special evenings where we come together as a Hispanic community and share what we want to improve and brainstorm how we will do it.

We’d love to hear more about your culture and any traditions you have with your family!

I have two children, and I ensure  we spend quality time together – that could be going out to dinner, taking vacations or watching a movie. I am very involved in their lives and they know that they are my first priority!

My family and I meet once a week at one of our homes with our children where we cook, laugh and share what is happening in our lives. We made a commitment to always put family first, and this bond has kept our family together through thick and thin.

We also visit our grandma once a year in the Dominican Republic and our children get to see how we lived as kids in the country, which is a humbling time for us all. We often remind our kids how fortunate they are. Two years ago, we were able to get my grandma a visa to visit us in the US, and this year we celebrated her 84th birthday. It was an experience that we all will never forget! My kids saw four generations together and it was amazing. Talk about women’s empowerment! Holidays are important as well – we always get together and bring our favorite dishes.

How do you get the chance to celebrate your heritage at work?

AEO encourages and embraces diversity, which makes it easy for my team and me to celebrate who we are at work. I represent my heritage at work through myAE style and how I style my guests. I am bilingual and some of my guests are as well, which makes their experience seamless. My team is made up of all backgrounds and ethnicities, which I always welcome!

Anything else you’d like to share?

In the early 90s, my mom, sister and I came to the United States. At that time, I did not speak any English, however many years later, I can proudly say that I am very fluent in the English language and my children speak both English and Spanish. I owe all of who I am to my mother – she sacrificed so much of herself to ensure that my sister and I would be set up for life, not only professionally, but personally as well. My mom did everything she could to make sure education was a priority for us. My sister and I both went to school for business and we continue to be students of life, and we are always looking to learn something new. My mom is very proud of the career that I have built. My sister is a very successful entrepreneur who owns her own restaurant in the Bronx, and during the COVID-19 pandemic we were able to provide essential meals to thousands of families in need across NYC.