At 17, she is the President of Break the Bonds Non for Profit Organization, President of FBLA "Future Business Leaders of America" & President of STOCK "Students Taking on Corporate Knowledge" .
Meet this months Mina Maven...
Tell us a little bit about your day to day.
Right now I am a senior at Gulliver Prep and have my hands full with applying to colleges. It’s completely time consuming.
Between writing essays ,writing my resume, getting community service hours, SAT’s, ACT's and the SAT 2, I don’t have time for much. It’s a lot, but I am excited about it and working towards my goals.
You did a summer program at Harvard?
Yes, it was a summer program where only a few high school students were selected to live on campus and take college credit courses . I was only 16 when I did it and we were basically living the college experience. Since I was already taking business classes in high school, I thought this would be a great opportunity to get college credits in Science and Philosophy.
One of my aspirations is to one day own my own hospital. For this, while at Harvard I took two courses, one in Neurobiology and the other in Biomedical Ethics. Overall it was an incredible experience.
Your grandfather, Herberto Padilla was one of Cuba's leading poets whom sparked worldwide controversy when he was placed under arrest for "subversive writing" because of the verses in his award-winning 1968 anthology, Fuera del Juego (Out Of the Game) where he expressed dissatisfaction with the Castro regime.
Can you tell us how this has influenced you?
When I think of my grandfather, I think of how brave he was. He had the courage to speak his mind and share it with the world in spite of the consequences that he knew he would face.
I admire him for teaching me to set my goals and to never be afraid to go after them.
I would like to think that I have the qualities to one day become a good leader in whatever career path I choose and I know that I get this from both my grandfather and my father, whom I admire greatly.
My father co-founded Padilla Cigars and is an international distributor for the Carrier Corporation. I have always looked up to him, I love how he works and I admire his dedication and ambition.
People pay attention to him when he talks, his demeanor demands attention. He is very business savvy and he gains peoples trust and that is what is most important.
He always tells me he did it for us, to give us the life he never had.
You mentioned community service hours earlier, are there any organizations that you are currently involved with?
I am involved in the Susan G Kohmen Race, I attend every year since my mom was diagnosed in 2007. She is a survivor and this is one of the causes that I am most passionate about. One in every four women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.
Also, my friends and I set up an organization called Break the Bonds to help raise awareness for Human Trafficking. Human trafficking is very real and we are fighting to bring awareness to others.
After some research, I decided that this was the best organization to donate to because they work directly with the community, not only to help those people affected by human trafficking, but prevent it as well by educating people of their rights.
We started an international cultural fair and raised over $30,000.00.
What is your inspiration when it comes to your wardrobe?
I love the Teen Vogue editorials and Chloe and Chanel are two of my favorites. For a local designer, designs from Alexis Barbara is my top pick.
But, as much as I like the pretty and classic look, I also love some grunge, I guess it depends on what mood I am in. That’s the fun part about fashion, it always changing.
What’s your must have piece?
Toms. I have 5 pairs , I wear them everyday to school and I think the concept is great. Every time you buy a pair, a second pair is donated to a child in need.
What’s your favorite part about shopping at Mina?
Affordability. I can walk out of Mina without spending too much. They have great clothes and I love the jewelery. Also, the Gaia bathing suits have a great fit.
Any advice you would like to share?
Take care of your reputation and don't stress out too much.Do your best in school and most importantly, remember to have fun J