Today we’d like to introduce you to Genesis Hinckley.
Hi Genesis, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I am a daughter of immigrant parents who divorced when they came to the United States. So I primarily grew up with my mom and two brothers. As you can imagine, my mom worked multiple jobs to make ends meet due to her being a stay-at-home mom while my parents were together. Although she was highly educated in Bolivia, she never had the opportunity to finish her college degree. Despite this, and what statistics may say about growing up low income, moving from places, we were able to somehow escape the cycle of poverty in the United States and all have our dreams come true so far.
It may seem super silly but I truly believe that although my mom was not able to be at home 24 seven or attend every chorus concert, we were able to always feel her love for us. I truly believe that her love for us is what kept us out of trouble and I believe my siblings and I were blessed with a mindset that allowed us to never forget what are objective in this life was. Because money was such a struggle for us growing up, we believed that all we needed in this life to be happy was to not be in survival mode.
For me in specific, I knew that my education was my ticket out. I knew that it was the way for me to accomplish my dreams because that’s what everyone said, that’s what the successful people did. Although we had no money and my mom had not a dime to support my college education, by some miracle I received a $5000 scholarship that covered my first two semesters of the university. Since I was able to focus on my education my freshman year instead of trying to work alongside it, I received a high GPA resulting in academic scholarships. It all was such a blessing because I never had to pay a dime for my education.
Fast-forward to today, I have not only graduated early in 3 1/2 years, I have stepped into my dream company, Google, where I have been able to truly embrace my identity as a Latina and sought out to find the perfect role for me within the company. I’m currently a DEI program insight specialist where I look at data to help leadership identify gaps in representation throughout the hiring pipeline. I get to bring awareness to such an important piece in developing an ethnically diverse workplace.
Aside from my 9 to 5, I am a mother and a content creator. I am also a speaker that primarily focuses on inspiring first-generation college students and low-income communities to accomplish their dreams. As a little girl, it was rare to see someone that looked like me doing the big things. Especially someone that grew up with little to no money. So that is what I focus my extra time on. I find that most people spend their entire lives looking for their passion and I thankfully, I have been blessed with finding it at an early age.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Is it ever a smooth road? Aside from growing up low income I had to face the fact that my parents were divorced and witnessed my mother do it all alone. It has definitely not been easy but I realize that we are so affected by our childhood memories and experiences which are not to blame our parents. Of course, when it’s intentional blame is OK but do we ever really grow if the blame is on someone else? I’ve had to completely re-define what it’s like to have a successful marriage because I never saw what it was like to have one in my family growing up. I have had to relearn how to solve problems and deal with my very strong emotions. All of this is recent and I think that we do have to reach a certain level of maturity in order to grow. I have been seeing a therapist for 2 1/2 years that helps me feel supported and aware of what is going on in my mind.
When I first got married, I also doubt with something very traumatic as a newlywed. My husband’s cancer had metastasized and we had only been a year into our married life. How scary is it to be 20 years old and wonder if your husband was going to make it? While in school at Brigham Young University, where we met, I drive him to his chemotherapy and then head to my finance classes. Sometimes in the middle of the night, I would reach my hand over to his side of the bed to make sure that he was still there. Even writing about this now, it resurfaces feelings of fear and confusion and although he is fine and thankfully very alive, cancer is just a beast you always have to deal with.
When I thought all was good and we were trying to have our son, we found out that the testicular cancer had affected his ability to have children. But by some miracle again, our son Benicio was born. All is great, right? Of course, somehow I am diagnosed with postpartum depression that quickly led me to realize that being a stay-at-home mother was not the appropriate choice for me. What’s interesting about mental health especially in Latino communities, is that if you are seeing a therapist or psychologist you are seen as crazy, or if you’re behaving a certain way people may use that as an insult, “you need to see a therapist or something”. Life is pretty challenging but I think that that’s the point. Growth does not happen when everything is all daisies and roses. And as someone who is deeply religious, I believe that God puts challenges in front of those who are willing. At least that’s what I tell myself.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am honestly so proud of my Latini dad. I think so often people who are not white shield their identities from the world because we quickly understand as children that there’s a white standard. So we won’t bring our mother’s “smelly “lunch to school or change the way we speak to ensure we are perceived as more intelligent. Sometimes people avoid speaking their native languages because they don’t want to be seen as different. But what I’ve realized as I have matured is that the most beautiful people in this world are able to see beauty in differences and more specifically differences in culture and perspective. I wish more and more people would embrace their identities without the fear of judgment. I’ve realized that the more confident we are in ourselves, the more people will actually start to catch on what the true beauties of the world are.
I’d say what I’m most proud of myself is my strong desire to constantly be challenging myself. I really strive to challenge myself in all sense of the word and purposely do the things that scare me the most. I do this when exercising like signing up for triathlons or playing D1 rugby as a walk-on at BYU, I do this by changing my major for marketing to finance just because marketing getting didn’t scare me enough.
I do this in my career by jumping into a role that felt like it was out of reach. I know that by doing the things that scare me, I am working on building a very important muscle called courage. And I believe that the more courageous I become the closer I will be to accomplishing every single one of my dreams. Now, I look for the things that scare me. For example, I wanted to sign up for a triathlon and was going to take the easy way out by signing up for the sprint. Right before purchasing my entry, I knew that the sprint wasn’t scary enough. So I closed my eyes and signed up for the olympics. And I guess you can say I’m a little crazy because soon I will complete my half Iron Man.
I am built differently because I seek scary things and always blame myself. Of course, everything with balanced.
We all have a different way of looking at and defining success. How do you define success?
Success is seeing it through. I don’t care how slow you do it, I don’t care how you do it, I don’t care what mindset you do it in… If you commit to doing something I better see you do it all the way through. I am someone that truly values execution and loyalty, and success to me is showcasing respect to the people you’ve committed to and showcasing respect to the opportunities given to you.
- Website: genuinelygenesis.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/genuinelygenesis/
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtmqKOo1RYDtkv7wfJdsxWg