September 15 marked the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month, a month-long celebration of the rich Hispanic culture and its influence on history and achievements within the U.S. As the only national cultural observance that starts mid-month, Hispanic Heritage month covers the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala on September 15; Mexico and Chile celebrate on September 16 and 18; and Dia de la Raza is celebrated on October 12. To celebrate and acknowledge the Hispanic heritage of many of our Associates, we will be highlighting their stories as they share bits of their culture and background including music, food, language and more with our Republic family. To kick off the month, we’re leading with a story aimed to provide hope and inspiration to younger generations of aviation enthusiasts.
LIFT Aircraft Mechanic Apprentice, Christy Perez Vasquez started at LIFT in February 2020. “The aviation industry has been very welcoming, specifically LIFT…I’m allowed to be who I am and comfortable in my own skin. We’re all like a little family.” Being far from family and friends as she chases her dreams, finding a culture that Christy says resembles that of what she is used to at home has helped her adjust in her move to Indiana. “LIFT has that tight knit atmosphere that I am used to having in my family,” she shares.
The family unit and culture Christy references are what she credits in shaping her into the woman she is today. “Being from the Dominican Republic has shaped me to be a strong and resilient woman who chases after her goals and dreams. The Dominican people are very giving people. They are strong and never give up on their goals. They try to make the most out of their current situation even if it’s not a good one.”
Above all, however, she credits her parents in preparing her to chase her dream of becoming an aviation maintenance technician. “Seeing my parents work so hard to raise me and my siblings prepared me for a career as a technician. We came to the United States with nothing and started from zero. Giving up is not an option in my family. We all strive for greatness.”
As for her future, Christy hopes her journey provides inspiration to youth to dream bigger. “Sometimes Hispanics tend to stay in the places they grew up and feel fear of exploring different places or careers. I hope that I can show them that they can also chase their goals and dream.” We can’t wait to see Christy achieve the big goals and dreams ahead—blue skies and tailwinds!