Fostering an inclusive environment

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Lizzully Canales-Acuna
  • 335th Training Squadron
Growing up, hard work, respect, honesty and a sense of honor were instilled in me. To always be the best that I could be, no matter what I was doing. Every day, I come to work I bring this with me, and I try to teach my students the same. 
I am a first-generation child from immigrant parents, and in the Hispanic culture that comes with a lot of expectations. I was lucky enough to have parents who sacrificed leaving their home country to come to America. 
That set a big expectation on my shoulders as the first born to succeed in life and be able to make my family proud. It can be challenging to live up to the expectations that the Hispanic culture can set on their children. 
Some can see it as a burden, and some see family as a burden, but I see that as a blessing. I am blessed enough to have that big support system behind me, to have others to lean on when I think that I cannot. 
When I decided to join the military, it was a huge step and a defining moment, because it would mean having to leave my family, but my family has been there for me every step of the way. 
Their support taught me to be supportive to those I work with. Many do not have the support systems I do, and some have none. Being there for people is huge, especially in the military. We move around so much in the military, we sometimes forget where we come from. I do everything in my power to not forget.
Anytime I move and meet my new office, I want everyone to always feel included and together. Inclusivity is a huge part of my heritage. “If one succeeds everyone succeeds,” and I feel like every day I try to bring this type of mentality to work. Even if I can make a small difference, then the whole office will benefit.