Every action we take at Blue Shield of California is guided by our North Star: To create a healthcare system that is worthy of our family and friends. Put into action that means we are focused on uplifting communities by offering health care in an affordable way. I am inspired by how we stand for what is and lead the way in re-imagining what healthcare means.

I am from a small village called Agua Blanca in Oaxaca, Mexico, where everyone has the mutual understanding of being wholly responsible for the health and well-being of the community. One thing I’ll always remember from when I was a little girl was when the entire village, including elders and young moms, came together to move a house for one of the families—literally, move the house from one place to another. This kind of community effort was not uncommon. Helping others is part of the culture.

That experience has always stayed with me. I do not think those small-village values are any different from the values that drive Blue Shield. It’s the idea of being interconnected, of partnering, and having a strong foothold in this larger promise of creating a healthier world.

At 18, three years after arriving in the United States, I enrolled in community college in San Diego and founded the Coalition of Indigenous Communities from Oaxaca. Then I went to California State San Marcos, earning a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, and next, a Master’s in urban planning from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. By then, I was quite involved with the local immigrant community in San Diego. Currently, I am a candidate for a Master’s in Health Administration, thanks to the employee benefits here at Blue Shield.

From those experiences, I have a deeper understanding about the importance of “place” in determining the health of a community. Blue Shield was the perfect place for me to land. The company has demonstrated an amazing commitment to ensuring every voice is heard and represented—especially those that have been marginalized and underrepresented—and reimagining what healthcare looks like for our diverse communities. It is an exciting time to be at Blue Shield of California, take part in these conversations and help ensure all voices are heard.