We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer Ochoa and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jennifer, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
Although I was born in California, I was raised in Veracruz, Mexico since I was only a month old up until the age of 6. I like to describe my childhood as very good one overall. I have a lot of great memories in Mexico and although my mom was a single mom, we were blessed with a family who always was very supportive of one another. Growing up in a small ‘pueblo’, a small town, I felt that life was very simple and easy. A lot of that changed when my mom took the decision to come back to the US in hopes for a better life for her and I. Our move to Houston was a very sudden and shocking one to me for the fact that I was coming to a place where I had no friends, I did not know the language and basically had to start all over. It’s one thing for a child to not understand their homework but it’s another thing for that child to have to teach herself because her own parent did not understand anything at all. About a year later, my mom met my now stepdad and they have been married since. Both didn’t have much at all but together worked towards giving me a better future. I believe we struggled the most here in the US in comparison to in Mexico, but we managed. I remember that I could not keep any friends because every Summer we would move to a different apartment, sometimes even a different city, to be able to afford rent. I never truly understood the struggles, financially, but I just knew that I needed to keep doing good in school for me to have a better future for myself and my family. Fast forward to my senior year in high school, 10 years later, my stepdad and mom had finally saved up enough to afford our very first home. I had been blessed with three siblings by then and I was happy that they were going to have a stable home in comparison to myself.
In 2016 I was a first-generation graduate from Stephen F. Austin State University, and I have been working in HR management since then.
So how does my background impact who I am today? A lot! I can proudly say that I came from nothing and never let it stop me from achieving my goals. I literally didn’t even know the language, the culture, or anything at all and somehow always figure it out on my own. Today I am the type of person who honestly does not like asking for help. Some of my closest friends call me stubborn (not in the negative way) but, I just believe that I can do anything I set my mind to by myself. I am also a very giving person; I saw it firsthand how helpful my family and even strangers were to my mom and me. I sympathize very deeply with single mothers and families who immigrate from their home country just to provide their family a better life.
Today, I try to give back to my community, friends, and anyone I can when I can. I love traveling, love to spread awareness about topics which may be tough to talk about and overall hope that one day I can have a family of my own and provide to them what my mom and family worked so hard to provide to my siblings and me.
Moral of the story: Never judge a book by its cover.

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.
Although on Instagram, @theworthyvida, it may look like I am always out and about eating, traveling and talking about my fashion…during the day some may never guess but I am a woman in the construction business. As handy as I am, I’m not out there hanging drywall or studs (LOL) but I am an HR Manager and Personnel Supervisor for a construction firm here in Houston. My degree is in Interior Design and began as a project manager right after college but soon came to realize I had a special talent for business management. I enjoyed learning all the labor laws, and working with employees and being there for them as their go-to for all concerns and questions. It has not been easy being a woman in a field full of men, especially with some who are very old-school and do not believe in women in a place of authority, but I have grown a very strong shell on my own and everyone respects me.

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.
First things first, I am a planner. I love to plan all sorts of stuff from birthday parties, celebrations, work events, vacations…you name it! I am the friend that you go to if you want any sort of recommendation! If spending a week in Houston, I have too many things I would love to recommend. First things first, having breakfast/brunch at my favorite restaurant in Katy @harvestkitchenbakery is a MUST! My go-to is always their Hot Chicken Huevos Rancheros but they offer so much more. Hate to say it but I don’t really tell many people about this spot so you should feel lucky to know! I feel like there are so many great places to eat in Houston but the following are some spots I would recommend: @mianhouston for chinese noodles , @polanquito_htx for delicious and very authentic mexican food, @hsgreenmenu and @eatflowerchild are my fave if I am ever in the mood for healthy options, @krazykatsutx for amazing Udon and Katsu and last but not least… Tacos Tec off Gulf Fwy is a must if you want authentic tacos!!

As for fun and entertainment, Houston is a city that offers so many different things all the time. @discoverygreen always has some sort of entertainment open for the public, bar-hopping on Washington Ave or Midtown is always fun, visiting the Houston Livestock & Rodeo Show soon is also a must. All of this of course with caution as we are still living through a pandemic!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Overall, I owe my success to my support system: my family and friends.

Instagram: @theworthyvida

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.