El Paso

Desert Wisdom

Desert Wisdom

On February 2, 2019, I got the opportunity to present at the inaugural TEDxUTEP conference. The theme of the event was “Access and Excellence” which is the dual mission set by our long-time University President, Dr. Diana Natalicio. I’m incredibly grateful for the experiences I received at UTEP, and I love El Paso, so I decided to speak on the growth mindset imparted on the people of the desert. Friends have been asking for a video of the presentation. I don’t know when that will go live, so in the meantime, I thought I’d share the transcript I wrote to prepare my talk. This isn’t 100% what came out on stage. I’m less eloquent in speaking and memory isn’t perfect. But the message I wanted to deliver is here.

Taking Pride in an El Paso Upbringing

Taking Pride in an El Paso Upbringing

One of the most glaring cultural problems I’ve found in the city is that few people seem to be proud of being from here. I must’ve felt the same sentiment as a youth, but the more time I’ve spent outside of the city, the more fondness and respect I develop for the upbringing the city afforded me.

Manifestos for their own sake are stupid. This isn’t that. Rather, I think it's important for people to level with who they are so they can track a course for who they want to be. Unfortunately, there’s an odd disconnect between what the city is and what every local campaign claims it to be.