When life gives you lemons, you need to realize how special they are and use them to their fullest potential. For Hector Javier Preciado, he has taken advantage of any situation life has given him to succeed. Hector has an inspiring story and a powerful message to share to show how much you can make a difference in your field.
Let us begin by first exploring the early years of Hector’s life as he grew up in Mexico.
Hector feels very privileged in his upbringing as he was able to take advantage of opportunities that not everyone in his situation was exposed to. In many ways, this only highlights Hector’s humility as he certainly did not have an easy childhood. Being born in Mexico and immigrating to America, Hector considers himself a version of “the American Dream.”
Hector was born in the state of Jalisco and eventually moved with his family to LA. He is one of 13 kids in his family who all moved to America while his father and oldest brothers would work to raise money for the family. With such little opportunity for the family in his small hometown of San Juan de Los Legos, his family had to move to America so they could support themselves.
Being such a large family, Hector’s mother and father realized it was best for everyone to move to America in the 1980s. The better economic offerings in America paired with less violence were large incentives for the family to move to America.
Immigrant Life in LA
Moving from Mexico to a rather poor area of LA, Hector has his fair share of rough experiences growing up. Surrounded by low-income housing, drug use, and gang violence, Hector quickly became adjusted to the violence and crime in his new childhood home.
However, Hector was also fortunate enough to grow up in an area with a large immigrant community. His neighborhood of Boyle Heights may not have been the best, but there was a sense of community there that allowed Hector to really come into his own and appreciate those around him.
Getting the Most Out of School
With America offering opportunities for his family, Hector’s parents made sure he was in school or working. While his older siblings didn’t get the chance to go to school as they were working, Hector loved school and his natural curiosity helped him get the most out of the school system possible.
As he thrived in school, Hector was entered into the gifted program with both GATE and the MESA program. Hector used this time to learn new things that excited him and helped him to get the most out of the education system that he possibly could.
With the MESA program, Hector was on college campuses at the age of 11. This experience not only exposed him to new concepts that would challenge him, but it helped him realize that he could have a future with college in it if he worked for it.
In college, Hector had to still work with a limited budget as his grades only helped with scholarships and financial aid. Many college experiences like spring break were completely foreign to Hector as that kind of money just wasn’t there for Hector and his family.
As he worked his way through community college, Hector began to find what really clicked with him. Hector started out thinking he wanted to become a college professor until he took a sociology class and realized that is where his true passion was.
His college experience gave Hector the path he wanted and transitioned him into the field of public policy.
Hector’s Dream for his Business Degree
After college, Hector moved to the Bay Area where he worked with public policy issues across the region. He was featured on platforms like Univision and Telemundo where he used his Spanish skills to help share ideas about public policy that affected a wide array of people.
With a strong sense of connection with the communications field, Hector eventually realized he wanted a new degree. While his peers looked at schools like Harvard Kennedy and the LBJ school, Hector realized how much he needed to understand the business sector to make an impact in the public policy field.
Hector had a sort of epiphany when he realized he needed to get into a higher position to make a real difference. Being Latino, he realized that a business degree would equip him with the skills necessary to get into a position of power to make some real change.
Hector decided Haas was the perfect place for him to develop his leadership skills. Hector was eager to get into the learning and was blown away by the diversity of thought offered by his peers that opened up his eyes to a whole new world.
Hector was often given a new perspective that helped to humble him to become a more diverse leader. Through his dedication to leadership and learning, Hector even became the first Latino President of the EWMBA program without ever thinking that was the position for him.
Hector knew he wanted a degree and little else, but he really showed his true colors when connecting with his peers at Haas. He helped create a new culture with more Latino representation that will last for many generations to come.
Working to Help Others at Alluma
After Haas, Hector went on to help use his newfound leadership potential to help others grow. Working the nonprofit Alluma, Hector is able to help make sure that organizations that need technology to help others are getting what they need.
What is so special about this opportunity is that it has allowed Hector to help both social justice and equity by helping those who need it. In many ways, Hector has been able to grow into that leader in high places he once wished had been there for him earlier in life.
Alluma has the important job of helping to connect people with the services they need most., hector describes many social services of working in isolation of one another in a way that can make it very hard for someone in need to get everything they really need to thrive.
Alluma creates the systems that help government agencies get help to the people who need it in a wide array of formats. Bringing all these agencies together allows families and children to get what they need to thrive at school and pay the bills all in one place.
Such meaningful work helps Hector to use his developed leadership skills to get resources where they need to be. Instead of using his experience and education to help a large company make a profit, Hector has taken the noble route to use his abilities to help those who really need it.
Hector has found that using social systems to help those who need it most is going to benefit the general population as well. As his organization is able to help more people, the quality of life of everyone will start to improve as a whole.
Advice to Future Generations
Hector comes from a background that many other people face and wants to let them know that anything is possible. He reminds people who have had a rough start in life to think big and be proactive to get into the places they want to be.
Hector wants to go back to Haas in the future to see many like him who are doing just as good if not better. He comes from a family that moved to America to find a better life that he is now helping to create for other families in a similar situation. With Hector setting the example, he hopes to see more Latino representation in higher places where their voices can be heard by all. Listen to the full podcast with Hector here to really get to know what he is all about.
Born in Mexico and raised in one of the roughest areas of LA, Hector has had to make the most out of every opportunity he was given. Through perseverance and a desire to succeed, Hector has helped improve the lives of so many others in his journey.
In what ways have you been able to give back to the people and places that helped you develop into an adult? Share your story with us so we can all get a new perspective on life.