Why She Leads: Jacqueline Moreno
Over 13,000 women have started their journeys to elected office with the She Should Run Incubator. These are their stories. There is no shortage of fierce women leaders, and with over 500,000 elected offices across the country, there is no shortage of seats waiting to be filled by them.
What is your most memorable career and personal accomplishment?
I remember walking down the aisle at my Masters graduation, one of the youngest members of my graduating class. It was so powerful to feel like I had achieved something that took so much hustle; and yet, I wanted to do more!
We’d love to hear more about your leadership path. How did you get to where you are today?
A lot of help and guidance from wiser, older mentors who helped me figure out who I am. I had a lot of people who could help me muddle through the mess of “advice” we get from peers, some of whom know what they’re doing, some of whom don’t. Having those older mentors really gave me a point person and confidante when I needed objective advice from someone who’s lived experiences.
What is your personal mission related to running for office? Why?
It all stems from my sister, diagnosed with autism at the age of two years old. My parents placed my brother and me in private school because our home district was such a mess; unfortunately, my sister didn’t have the choice, and she had to endure a learning environment in that home district, that is such a mess. My personal mission relates to Special Education and creating quality services across service providers when a student needs those support services.
How has the Incubator helped you clarify your leadership vision?
It’s really helped me identify for which areas of my philosophy I am completely unapologetic. There are certain areas where I can concede that I am not completely knowledgeable, or don’t have the understanding to make an argument. There are other areas where I can stand my ground and demand to be listened to because I’ve lived those experiences or dealt with them in my work, and I am not apologetic for having a sense of purpose and grounding in that area.
What are steps you’ve taken on your path to a future run?
I was at the Democratic State Convention in California this past weekend and met with congress members and assembly members who are passionate about education and helping children succeed.
Tell us about your favorite She Should Run “aha” moment or success story. Why are you an Incubator member?
A moment of realization came when She Should Run emphasized that leadership is something to be harnessed and is not something to apologize for or something I should feel ashamed for wanting to pursue. Women tend to overapologize or undervalue their own thoughts with innocuous-sounding phrases like “I think” or “I feel.” These damage our messages and our sense of professionalism because they make women sound like we’re not even confident in our own messages, so others are hesitant to do so as well.
What’s your advice for finding time for your personal life (family, personal growth)? Dare we say it, how do you make time for fun in your life?
I just DO. I am a great multi-tasker, I keep a rigorous schedule, and I mark off items completed and done in a SelfJournal (shout out). It has always been a great relief to me to see myself completing the ‘to do’ items at the end of the day/week/month that I need to complete. I am simply unshakable in that aspect, I absolutely make time for me, no ifs/ands/buts about it.
Note: This interview has been shortened for clarity.
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