The 43rd Treasurer of the United States came to speak to the students at St. Mary’s Academy in Inglewood earlier this month.
Rosa “Rosie” Gumataotao Rios is a Mexican-American and Harvard graduate, who is making history by championing the effort to have the U.S. government feature a woman on a banknote.
Former slave and abolitionist Harriet Tubman is expected to be pictured on the front of the $20 bill beginning in 2020.
Rios’ speech to the young women included challenging them to further their education after high school. She also spoke of her Catholic upbringing and discussed her own challenges as a child who was raised by a single mother.
“There were three things that really drove us as kids, three things that to this day I value … family, food and faith,” Rios told the students.
She also spoke of maintaining her Latina identity at the predominately Caucasian Harvard. Rios, who participated in ballet folklorico (Mexican folk dance), encouraged the students to also get involved in extracurricular activities and to develop their interests and passions in areas that went beyond academics.