The women who want to set the system on fire

When I applied and was later accepted into the IWMF Adelante program I had no idea what to expect. What I did know is that I would meet 13 other women from various places who all had a passion for storytelling.

Frankly, I wondered whether I would become overwhelmed! So many women on one trip, sharing resources, and if you ever met a female journalist you know the last thing we do is keep our ideas and thoughts to ourselves. Would it be too much?

Then, we got to talking. The more we talked the more I realized we all shared another passion beyond storytelling- the burning desire to set the system on fire.

We are all fighting against various stigmas and stereotypes. We are all fighting to convince editors and managers that certain stories are important and should be told, regardless of clicks and hits.

Many of us are first generation college grads or Americans. We balance being Hispanic and being American. We were once those little girls who got in trouble for being too outspoken. We help our family. We navigate through a business where we’re never the target audience so we need to come *EXTRA* proper and correct when we want the stories of underrepresented communities told.

We’re compassionate and empathetic. We’re not doing it for the paycheck, we’re doing it for the passion. We’re simultaneously wild idealists and jaded optimists. We truly believe things will change and we can make a difference.

Most importantly, we validated and supported one another.

Hell hath no fury than a woman scorned, and these women are ready.

Valentina Pereda , Adelante Fellow,  2019 Honduras.