Claudia Soria, 42, is Latino community education liaison for the Mint Museum and director of ArtSi, a community initiative advancing local Latino arts and culture.
The way I view life, I never see obstacles. Whatever happens, there is always an opportunity.
I moved to the U.S. from Bolivia in 1996. I came to join my husband. I left behind a great career in economics. I worked for an advisory agency for the government that worked with the World Bank and IMF. We worked directly with the Secretary of Finance.
I came to Washington, D.C., to American University for a graduate program in development banking.
After only two months into the program, I left the program and moved to California because my husband was forming a company in Silicon Valley.
This was difficult – I was leaving something I wanted so badly. However, there was an opportunity to learn new skills and work in completely different areas than my training, like website development and programming.
You have to be tough and resilient. You have to see the opportunity in challenges like this. Be flexible and reinvent yourself. You can do so much if you set your mind to it.
Many people are surprised I’m involved in the arts because it is far from economics. The truth is, I’ve always been passionate about the arts. I was torn between arts and economics after high school, choosing economics.
I’ve returned to the arts because of my passion. Now, I’m learning to play the cello.
As told to Michael J. Solender