We had the good fortune of connecting with Endrina Hernandez – Dadson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Endrina, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I’m Endrina Hernandez-Dadson, I was born in Venezuela in the city of Puerto Ordaz. I moved to the states , when I was eight years old . As a child in the states, and an Immigrant I had to constantly maneuver between two cultures. This caused a lot of issues growing up when it was time to figure who I was. I grew up in a house hold where everything was ” you are Venezuelan ” but when I left the house, I couldn’t be just Venezuelan. I would say that by the time I was leaving for college, I was aware who I was and knew how to deal with both cultures a certain way. One thing that I always say is ” I am Venezuelan first, and I am American second”. My culture is very important to me, and makes up a lot of who I am as a person. My values, morals have to do with it in a various ways. Also being born/raised in Venezuela, I will always have a connection with my homeland. Being American was a something I had to take on and learn how to live and engage with people when we immigrated here. It was something that I saw as ” I need it to blend and fit in” but truly, nobody ever fits in this country. As I got older, was away at college in the Bay Area, I was able to unfold into who I am completely. I use both sides of my upbringing to explain who I am. I’ve learned to take a bit from each side and create the best blend for myself, so that I am comfortable and can be myself a 100%.
This blend has helped to me to be who I am in many ways. Ive learned to be proud of who i am and where i come from. I appreciate all I’ve had/have to get me where I am . I’ve been a teacher to immigrant children, and helped their parents. I’ve been able to explain my culture to those who don’t know it. I’ve grown to love and be patient with people, just how many were with me as I grew up. I’ve created a business that represents me, and it’s relate-able to others . Most importantly, I’ve stayed true to who I am and have not allowed others to change me.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
One thing that excites me is my career. Although, I have my own business, I do appreciate having a job as well. I work in the defense world. It’s very exciting to see all our military and NAVY use to protect our home. I’ve always wanted to form part of government in some form. I even wanted to join the Air Force once I graduated high school but I chose to go to college instead. During college I was an engineering degree but ended up switching into cultural anthropology after failing my main courses and not being able to re-do them on time. Regardless, I ended up working in tech and I love it. Engineering and Anthropology go hand in hand with what I do. I work with engineering, so I get to learn the culture of those who work for our government as well as learn about the technology used and so on. It’s amazing and I wouldn’t change it for anything.
I am trying to move to up in this world as well. I started off as an admin, and that has helped me to network and meet everyone: anyone while in that position. It was a great way to network when I first started. My goal is to become a program manager or work within cyber security within the defense world . I also plan to go back to grad school to receive a master in either engineering or business. Being in this world of defense, hasn’t been easy . I feel like I’m still paying my dues before I get to where I want to be. My lesson has been to not give up. It’s very easy to sit there and be over it just cause you feel you’ve been doing your work and making everyone else happy. I know my turn is coming and I can just keep hoping and praying that I am ready when it gets here.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my friends were in town, I am going to Seaside for sure ! That is a must ! Great vibes and the food is good as well . I love that place mainly of the music – I love to dance ! Piggy’s is another great brunch spot ! They have bottomless mimosas – a girls favorite ! their ambiance is super cute as well ! Definitely taking them to the NASA Johnson Space Center or Color Factory Musuem and a Houston Astro’s baseball game !
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
A lot of people, especially women deserve a s/o for my upbringing and who I am as a whole, but my mom would be the one to get this recognition as whole. She is the one that always made sure my sister and I, were close to our culture and never forget where we come from. My love for knowledge comes from her as well. My mom that taught us everything… from ancient history to dance to love everyone, etc. She made a lot of sacrifices for my sister and I to have as much as a normal childhood away from all of our family in Venezuela. She kept our culture and tradition alive while living with her and I appreciate that so much now that I am older, and plan to have a family of my own. I always think like ” Oh I can do this with my kids, just how my did with me.” I remember one time , I had a Flamenco performance at school and she stood in the crowd where I could see her, so that she could do the moves with me and I wouldn’t go blank while on stage. That’s just one way she’s supported me out of the hundred times I’ve needed her. My mom is super woman, honestly. She is strong, mentally and spiritually- that is something that I hope to be just like her as I grow up. She is also very confident and I appreciate that she passed that down for me. She taught me that I make my own space, and should never allow others insecurities to bring me down.