Follow These First-Gen Latina Creators Forging New Paths to Prosperity

September 15, 2022
5 mins

A note on Hispanic Heritage Month: 

Words are important. Definitions are important. The ways we identify ourselves and the groups we belong to are important. For these reasons, the phrase “Hispanic Heritage Month” in itself is a little tricky. 

As a primer, we recommend this fascinating deep-dive into the array of labels that delineate—but also unite—people in the United States who were meant to be celebrated during Hispanic Heritage Month when the observational period was enacted in 1968. 

Latino, Chicano, Afro-Latino, Tejano, Mexican-American, Mixtec, and Indigenous are just some of the identities that bind together the communities, cultures, and ethnicities traditionally under the “Hispanic” umbrella term. Additionally, in an effort to recognize the full gender spectrum, terms like “Latinx” and “Chicanx” have gained popularity.

Does Hispanic Heritage Month need a rebrand? Probably. But in the meantime, we’ll take this opportunity to elevate and celebrate the people who are doing the most for their communities—by whatever label they choose. For this blog post, we’ll primarily use the term Latino/a unless otherwise specified.

What financial obstacles does the Latino community face?

Latinos in America experience unique financial challenges, many of which have grown more complex in recent years. Here are a few stats that help piece together the broader picture:

  • Latino Americans make just 73 cents for every dollar earned by White Americans - Latinos are collectively underpaid by $288 billion a year.
  • The median wage for foreign-born Latinos was $31,700 in 2019, vs. the annual median wage of $52,942 for non-Latino White workers.
  • Latinos start more businesses per capita than any other group in the U.S., but are still underrepresented as business owners when accounting for population shares.
  • The Latino population was disproportionately impacted by the health and economic effects of the pandemic 
  • 72 percent of Latino millennials are likely to provide financial support to their family members, versus 53% of non-Latino millennials.

What’s the solution?

If you ask these Latina money experts, they’ll tell you that knowledge is everything:

Yanely Espinal: MissBeHelpful

According to her bio at Next Gen Personal Finance, Yanely was raised in Brooklyn by her immigrant parents from the Dominican Republic, along with her 9 siblings.

After making her way through graduate school, Yanely turned her educational expertise and passion for financial literacy into a YouTube channel, called MissBeHelpful. Her goal? To shine a spotlight on people, stories, information, and experiences that will help her audience achieve their financial goals. 

Our recs: 

This video about being the first in your family to build generational wealth.

This video discussing the ways immigrants can invest money, even without an SSN

Maribel Francisco: Our Wealth Matters

Maribel is a financial educator and speaker who describes herself as the “first-gen daughter of Mexican indigenous immigrants.” Her mission is to empower the immigrant population in the U.S. with the financial knowledge—particularly the knowledge of how even undocumented immigrants can invest, build credit, own businesses, and save for retirement.

Through her website and Instagram account, Maribel offers 1:1 coaching and a goldmine of information for immigrants looking to build their own version of the American dream.

Our recs:

This collection of invaluable resources on Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITINs) and where/how they can be used

This IG Live replay covering investment options for undocumented immigrants

Giovanna “GiGi” Gonzales: The First Gen Mentor

GiGi, founder and CEO of The First Gen Mentor, is a “proud first-generation American, first-generation college graduate, and first-generation wealth builder.” Her platforms offer a potent mix of financial literacy knowledge, professional success tips, and empowering resources.

GiGi has been featured in the New York Times, Business Insider, and on Good Morning America—but you can find her posting incredible tips, tales and insights on her TikTok account and making money-mentor-moves on her Instagram account.

Our recs: 

This emotional story about professional life as a first-gen college graduate

Gigi's inclusive financial education for the first-gen community, including financial courses, coaching, and workshops

Can credit access build a more equitable future for Latino consumers?

StellarFi is proud to be immigrant-founded, and powered by Latinx leaders. During Hispanic Heritage Month and beyond, we honor the contributions—rarely recognized nor rewarded—of the Latino immigrant community and the dreams of the generations that follow. Our mission to eliminate financial inequality begins by stripping down barriers. Learn more about it here.

The StellarFi blog is intended to serve as an informational resource. While StellarFi can help you build your credit, we do not provide financial, legal, or accounting advice. Please consult a trusted advisor for financial, legal, or accounting guidance as needed.

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