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Hispanic heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month: Believe In Your Dreams

As we observe Hispanic Heritage Month, we pay tribute to all the fearless dreamers who represent the Hispanic community — we celebrate their art, histories, culture and the countless contributions they’ve made as leaders, visionaries and entrepreneurs. Join American Family Insurance as we celebrate generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society.

David Quarles IV: A Dream Motivated by His Heritage

As a child, David Quarles IV spent much of his time dreaming up ways he could showcase his vibrant personality to the world. When he saw a piece of jewelry his father made for his mother — his dream was ignited.

David originally went the traditional route of college and corporate jobs thinking he wouldn’t be able to support his dream of being a jewelry designer — but as time went on, he could no longer ignore the growing desire within him to pursue his dream. So he merged his degree in interior design with his jewelry aspirations and brought his dream to life.

Today, when David isn’t remodeling a home or office space for a client, he’s making beautiful jewelry pieces using an array of metals and stones. Through each masterpiece he creates, David honors his heritage as the pieces are inspired by what his ancestors wore on special occasions and by their music. Take a look at David’s jewelry collection and see how he brings his dream to life.

  1. On screen: David Quarles IV, jewelry designer, sits in front of a broad array of house plants.

    David Quarles: My name is David Quarles, and I'm a Jewelry Designer.

    On screen: Childhood photos of David are shown as David begins to detail his history.

    David Quarles: As a child, I knew that I wanted to work in some creative capacity. Learning from my dad that he — or, actually, learning from my mom first — that my dad used to make jewelry for her, I knew that that's what I wanted to do.

    My dad would always tell me — he tells me now, even — "The worst part about it, is thinking about it. Just do it."

    I have the privilege of living out the dream that I knew I was purposed to live out.

    [Upbeat whistling and piano music]

Paola Velez: Connecting to Her Heritage Through Cooking

Paola was inspired to become a chef after spending most of her childhood in the restaurants that her family owned. Before her grandmother passed away, she taught Paola everything she knew about food and her culture. Her grandmother always reminded her, “Through food and heritage you can connect so many people.” Paola holds this and countless other lessons from her grandmother close to her heart when she creates in the kitchen.

When Paola goes to work, she strives to honor her culture and heritage by persevering through the pressures and challenges that come along with being an Executive Pastry Chef. Being a pastry chef is a very frontward facing position, which can be challenging for someone like Paola who was shy growing up. And even though she feared that she would be limited by how people perceived her, Paola learned that by keeping her head high, pushing forward and relentlessly pursuing her dream, she could press beyond fear to reach her goals. Take a look at some of Paola’s unique concoctions here.

  1. On screen: Paola Velez, executive pastry chef, sits in front of a group of house plants as she tells her story.

    Paola Velez: My name is Paola Velez, and I am an executive pastry chef.

    On screen: Photos of Paola as a child are shown while Paola continues her story.

    Paola Velez: When I was a child, I wanted to be an archeologist.

    Before she passed away, my grandmother taught me everything that I know about food.

    A lot of my fears were based on appearances. To be an executive pastry chef, it's a very frontward facing position. It wasn't until just recently that I was not looked at by my cover, but also by my experience and expertise.

    I worked my tail off to become an executive pastry chef.

    [American Family Insurance jingle]

Lucia Hierro: Honoring Ancestors Through Her Artwork

Even as child, Lucia Hierro knew she wanted to be an artist — a dream that was inspired by her grandmother, who was always making things. Through hard work and dedication, that vision became a reality and Lucia is now a visual artist who creates sculptures, paintings and teaches other students how to hone in on their craft.

When Lucia walks into her studio, she feels like she’s honoring her grandmother who relocated to America from the Dominican Republic. All the pieces she creates are a tribute to her parents and grandmother’s efforts. Her artwork highlights how her ancestors and parents’ dreams created new opportunities for future generations.

Lucia says it’s been challenging being one of few Dominican American visual artists, and she hopes people understand and relate to her family history and culture. She fears that, although the work she’s creating means everything to her, it may not fully capture her family’s legacy or keep it alive. Of course, as a truly fearless dreamer, she doesn’t allow that to keep her from creating new art or working towards new dreams. Check out Lucia’s artwork here.

  1. On screen: Lucia Hierro, visual artist, sits in a white room, with a white-painted brick wall, accompanied by a table with a sewing machine in the background and an array of snack bags posted against the wall behind them.

    Lucia Hierro: My name is Lucia Hierro, and I'm a visual artist.

    On screen: Photos of Lucia as a child are shown.

    Lucia: Since I was a kid, I wanted to be an artist.

    My grandmother — huge inspiration — she was always making things. So much of my work is about honoring and remembering the people that inspired the work, and one of my biggest fears is not doing that. All of the work that I make is really a tribute to her efforts, and my mother's efforts — my parents' efforts.

    I am doing exactly what I envisioned I would be doing as a child.

    [upbeat whistling music]

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Find the Support You Need

When you’re working hard to pursue your dreams, you need the right support by your side. American Family Insurance is dedicated to inspiring, protecting and restoring your dreams every day, every step of the way.

Check out our library of success stories, helpful articles and motivational pieces to help you dream fearlessly!

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Empowering Our People During Hispanic Heritage Month & Beyond

We believe that how we treat people is just as important as what we deliver. Our employees bring their best to work each day because we’re passionate about our customers, our communities and our company. And we’re committed to providing a diverse and inclusive workplace, with opportunities for continuous learning and development.

Hispanic Heritage Month Showcase