Hi, my name is Melba, and I am a Product Marketing Manager at Google. I help communicate the what, the why, and the when of the products that we are developing, both internally to cross-functional teams and externally to our defined target audiences. I would say my trajectory has been very unconventional. When I was 16, I actually had to drop out of high school to get a job and help out my mother financially. I grew up in a single parent household, and if I'm honest, when I was 16, I never really thought that going to college, let alone getting a job at a place like Google, would be possible for me. It's interesting the way that things ended up working out because after getting a job, I eventually found myself dealing with a very incredible, powerful Latina leader. The very first time I saw a Latina leader, I was blown away because it's not something that I used to see often. And when I did, I realized if she could do it, so can I. I went home that exact same day, and I started researching a career in marketing. And so, I really had to start from the ground up. I started to go take classes to get my GED. After I got my GED, I went and I got my undergraduate degree while maintaining a full-time job. As part of my education and continued learning, I took several online classes, and I also did a lot of courses that were available for free online. One of the biggest reasons that I did this is because I found that, oftentimes, I needed to sit with the materials and be able to do it at my own pace. For me, this was instrumental because since I did drop out of high school when I was in college, I actually found that everybody else was at a more advanced pace than I was. I didn't have a lot of the foundational knowledge that they did, and so because of this, I often had to go back, take some online classes, take some additional courses, and really gain that foundational knowledge in order to be able to set myself up for success in the future. I knew I made the right decision of pursuing a career in marketing when I launched my very first campaign. My first campaign was actually targeting underserved populations. As a Latina, it's really important that in the work that I do, I am able to give back to my community and really make sure that their voice is being recognized. In addition to the work that I do at Google, I also founded a company called Mujeres on the Rise, and Mujeres on the Rise is a community that helps Latinas rise through resources, community, and coaching. Again, being from a marginalized community myself, I realized that there are so many barriers that are keeping us from pursuing what we want. And a lot of times those barriers are our own internal voices that are telling us that we're not capable of doing what we want to do. As part of the work that I do, I really started this community to share what I've learned along the way and help others do the same. I used to believe that where I was in life would forever dictate where I would be in the future. Having made so much progress from where I initially started, I know that's not necessarily true. You can change the direction of your life, but it all starts with one decision. You have to take that first step without necessarily thinking about the super-long journey that might be ahead of you. Just take one step, one day at a time, and eventually, you'll look back and realize how far you've come.