“Adancito, de los cobardes no se ha escrito nada.” I vividly remember my grandmother telling me throughout my childhood, that nothing has been written about those who are not brave.
The sacrifice and bravery my family members constantly exhibited are my biggest source of inspiration and motivation. As a son and grandson of Cuban refugees, sacrifice and hard work were always present in my life. Growing up in a community surrounded by a duality of cultures, and humble working–class individuals, made me someone who understands the value of hard work, speaks two languages, appreciates great food, and absolutely can dance salsa!
Today, I feel very lucky to have had the opportunities presented to me and feel a deep responsibility to pay it forward to future generations among the Latinx community. As a result, I have dedicated my work, both personally and professionally, to creating positive social impact.
As part of the Microsoft Tech for Social Impact team, I focus on helping large nonprofit organizations tackle the most pressing challenges that the world faces today through digital transformation. This gives me direct visibility into how organizations are dealing with global health, refugee crises, youth empowerment, sustainability, and more.The lessons I have learned through my work on the Tech for Social Impact team has increased the amount of good I can do with the organizations I serve.
I truly enjoy working at a company with a culture that not only supports employees and is diverse, but also serves to inspire us as well. I mean it when I say my day-to-day work is a source of inspiration and learning.
Inspired by my family’s journey, I founded the Cuban American Alliance for Leadership & Education (CAALE), a nonprofit organization that awards college scholarships and administers a leadership development program for Cuban American students. Young Latinos who have not been exposed to career opportunities available in corporate and entrepreneurial America face the challenge of “connecting the dots.” This is one of the main reasons I founded CAALE – to help guide these students to their desired career path by elevating their thinking, exposing them to different careers and encouraging them to manifest their talents.
Adam spends time with upperclassmen students at a private leadership lunch with CNN’s Jim Acosta at Microsoft offices in New York City.
I’m inspired to give back to my community. I recently took some CAALE students to visit a customer called International Rescue Committee (IRC), a nonprofit organization committed to helping refugees worldwide. Through these company visits, we introduce college students to the work IRC does to aid Latinos in their process of resettling in the United States by providing education and health services. I was completely taken aback when one of my students raised their hand and said, “I think you guys helped me and my family.”
The biggest challenge some Latinos face is really understanding that there is so much more out there than what you grew up around. My mission is to introduce young Latinos to the unlimited potential and help them to understand that it is completely attainable with the right guidance. You can do anything!