Tell us a little bit of your experience growing up in Miami.
I was born and raised in Miami from Cuban parents and have lived in the same house for over 20 years now. Ever since I was a little girl I always wanted to dance so for 16 years I danced everything you can imagine. I have two older brothers, Jorge and Jonathan, but to me they are my Tato and Yoyo. How their nickname came about, I am not sure. I loved growing up in Miami because of its diverse culture, the beautiful beaches, the variety of things to do in Miami, and of course the amazing food. Miami will always be my home, even after I move next year.
What inspired to start sending care packages to the troops?
Two and a half years ago my friend from high school who joined the Army introduced me to his Sergeant, Andrew. They were both about to be deployed to Afghanistan within the next month. I began to talk with Andrew every chance I could and eventually our friendship became this extraordinary love. Before I knew it I was a US Army girlfriend. Being away from someone you love and not knowing if they are alive is emotionally, mentally, and physically draining. I was just starting Nursing school so I was busy but still needed something else to do to ease my thoughts about my boyfriend being deployed. I came up with this non-profit organization to send care packages to these soldiers for the upcoming holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I sent all 200 soldiers a care package for both holidays along with a 7 foot Christmas tree with lights and ornaments. I knew what a hard time it was for these brave men and in my mind I thought the least I could do is show these men they were thought about and missed back home.
It must have been difficult being away from your boyfriend when he was deployed in Afghanistan.
How did you cope with missing him?
It was difficult to be away from him, even for one day. I became very familiar with the saying "No news is good news". I don't know if I ever learned how to cope with him being thousands of miles away at war but each day I just focused on getting through that one day. I would pray several times a day that he was safe and no harm would go his way. My cellphone was in my hand at ALL times. I would sleep with it in my hands next to my ear and I would wake up at all hours just to talk to him even if it was for just 5 minutes. There were several scares when he was away because he had been in trucks that exploded from underground bombs several times and would be in numerous "fire fights". Every time I heard news like that my heart would always stop. What really got me through that year was faith, family, and friends.
You have also done some work in migrant camps, how was that experience?
That was one of my most amazing and memorable experiences. Working in a community service group to help poor migrant children is what made me realize I wanted to become a nurse. Helping the less fortunate really does humble you as a person and makes you feel blessed for thankful the important things you have in life.
Doing all the extra non profit you and as well as being a student in nursing must be tricky, whats a tip for the girls that need to balance their time?
Prioritize. Nursing school is very demanding when it comes to time. I usually have something to do for school everyday, but it is also important to make sure that school doesn't consume your schedule all day. It is good to take a break and do something productive outside of school, which is what I did. It helped me cope with school because it can be frustrating and depressing if you only focus on school work. So my tip all in all is to create a schedule with time frames of when you are going to study, when you are going to the gym, when you want to do your nails, and if you decide to do anything else fit it in a schedule.
You are the perfect reminder that girls can do it all and still look beautiful, what's a beauty secret of yours?
I think a woman should always be kept up. This doesn't mean you have to look like you're about to go on a runway but for example I make sure my nails are filed and there is no chipped nail polish. I think it is better to have no nail polish than chipped nail polish. My mom always told me you can tell a lot about a person by the way their hands look, which I think it seems to be true. Also, I use this special face wash, toner, day and night face lotion, as well as anti aging eye cream that I also sell as a part time business. Also, I take 4 different vitamins specifically for women that help your hair and nails become healthy, protect you from getting Osteoporosis when you're older, a daily vitamin, and of course an omega vitamin which I sell as well in my part time. Lastly, I have been going to the gym with a personal trainer to teach me the techniques on how to work out properly as well as taking Pilate classes. ( Its a great class I highly recommend it !)
How did you hear about Mina Miami Beach?
My brother Jonathan has been dating one of the most beautiful women I know for a few years now and she introduced me to Mini Miami Beach. Krizia Bajos told me she would buy all her clothes in this boutique whenever she was in Miami. She always looked so beautiful in the outfits she had bought from the store I couldn't resist in becoming a fan as well.
What's a fashion tip for the girls that want to look sexy while still looking classy?
I love the combination of sexy and classy. When I am getting ready to go out, lets say for a date, I pick a body part I want to emphasize for that night. For example, if I want to show a little more cleavage then I'll wear a lower cut shirt with nicely fitted jeans or white pants depending on the occasion. I also love wearing heels and I think they do wonders for a woman's legs. I think sometimes women can overdo their outfits and show too much. From my experience, men are visual creatures that want a little mystery, behind a woman's outfit. When too much skin is shown like a mini skirt with a short low cut blouse then your just sexy and no longer sexy and classy.
Tell me a little about what your plans are for the future?
I will be graduating from Nova Southeastern University's Nursing program this August. Then, June 29, 2013 I will be getting married here in Miami and moving to the Virginia/ Washington, D.C. area for a year until Andrew gets out of the Army. He was stationed in Fort Campbell for 7 years and when he came back from his deployment they gave him orders to work at Arlington Cemetery for 3 years. After, one year living there we both will be moving back to Miami. I will be continuing my work as a nurse in the NICU and him as a police officer.
I have thought about it and I would like to. I am not sure what my next project would be but I am open to ideas.
Leave us with your favorite quote.
"Embrace that which defines you."
Jocelyn created a video with some images of her and Andrew thanking Mina for making her a Maven. It was our pleasure Josie. xo