Kelly Galeano loves to swim and spend time with her little sister. She likes to visit new places, describes herself as optimistic, and has a deep love of caring for others. “Since I can remember, helping people has been my passion,” Kelly writes.
Gladys Perez-DiVito, a licensed psychotherapist, life coach, and four time Her Honor Mentor, is passionate about enhancing personal growth in individuals. Through her work, Gladys helps people to improve the quality of their lives emotionally, spiritually, and professionally. “For more than 20 years I have seen hundreds of human beings experiencing amazing transformations no matter how challenging their situations are,” she writes.
However, a passion for helping others is not the only thing the pair shares. Both Kelly and Gladys are Colombian immigrants to the United States. Just over three years ago, Kelly moved to the U.S. with her mother and sister. While you wouldn’t know it upon meeting her today, Kelly initially struggled with the move.
“We have been through very difficult times since we first stepped into this country,” Kelly writes. Upon arriving, she did not know the language and was unfamiliar with American customs, “Everything here looked different than in my country.” She missed her grandparents, whom she had lived with in Colombia, “It makes me feel sad and sometimes lonely to be so far away from them.”
Gladys, who moved to the U.S. in 2000, has a unique perspective to share. “I have a deep understanding of the unique challenges as one who transitioned to the U.S.,” Gladys writes on her website, uturntoyourspark.com, “I understand the Latino culture, the beliefs, the principles and the values that color our thoughts, relationships and interactions. Here in the U.S. now for many years, I also understand the unique benefits and challenges of the American culture and psyche.”
Through this thoughtful mentor match, Gladys is not only helping Kelly learn more about professional roles she is interested in, but also supporting her through a process that Gladys deeply understands.
“The value [of Her Honor Mentoring] is the relationship,” writes Gladys, “both mentor and mentee learn from each other.” As a coach, Gladys recognizes the deep power of the mentor relationship to effect life beyond the professional sphere, “I think mentees gain more confidence in themselves and inspiration — not only as future professionals, but as a human beings and as women.”
Kelly dreams of becoming a head nurse working in pediatrics. Within her placement at Gladys’s practice, she’s been supporting workshops, presentations, and helping with organizational systems. “I’ve always wanted to be in the United States and to accomplish my goals here,” Kelly says, “because, unfortunately, my country does not have the same opportunities.”
Even with the hardships Kelly has faced, she continues to follow her dreams fully and, with the help of Her Honor, has found a mentor to support her through this process. “As every person has, I have my own American dream,” writes Kelly, “In the short time I've lived in this country, I have shown myself as a person who pursues her dreams and goals.”
We are excited to see Kelly bring her dreams to life. And know that Gladys will be there to cheer her on — throughout this year and, potentially, for many years to come!
In their own words...
Three words you use to describe yourself?
Kelly: "responsible, consistent, honest"
Gladys: "determined, calm, optimistic"