Honoring our Heritage,
Celebrating Our Future

We are honored to share with you four stories of Hispanic individuals in South Carolina who honor our heritage by their perseverance toward a bright shared future for all people.

Week 1 - Sept 22

Emily Martinez-Villalobos

“I’m actually here. This is crazy. Me? In congress? I don't think so!”


As the eldest daughter of immigrant parents from Mexico and an alumnus of the Student DREAMers Alliance, Emily’s biggest dream came true this past summer as she completed an internship at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute in Washington D.C. 


Emily’s heart is grounded in her Mexican heritage and she’s adamant about being an inclusive and empowering individual who wants to make a difference, starting with the people in her community. 


We couldn’t be more proud of the work she is doing!

Week 2 - Sept 29

Pastor Manuel Mendoza

When talking about accomplishments and bettering oneself, Pastor Manuel Mendoza is an example of this and an inspiration to many.


When he isn’t working full-time for UPS, he’s helping people around him, “I do a lot at Morningside Baptist Church. Whether the Spanish-speaking families need translation and interpreting help or just getting their kids to school, I’m able to be a resource.”

Being Hispanic is very much intertwined with his identity as he says, “el que persevera alcanza (he who perseveres achieves). I come from a place of poverty and hopelessness; I’ve worked hard to get where I am, many times against the odds. I’ve had people who helped me and continue to do so along the way."

For Pastor Mendoza, being Hispanic means he has a beautiful community that is resilient and perseveres. By pouring into community members around him, Manuel hopes to see a vibrant, inclusive, and loving community.