U.S. Air Force
Cadet First Class
Born and raised in Hagerstown Maryland,
Cadet First Class Sharon Dominguez is the
daughter of Colombian immigrants and the
oldest sibling of two.
“I was enlisted in the Air Force prior to
knowing about the Academy,” she shares. “I
had originally enlisted because my family and
I did not have the money to fund a 4-year college degree—I had to find a way
to make it work. Within those 3 years, I fell in love with the military and realized
this is where I was meant to be. Then one day my commander at the time came
to me and encouraged me to look into the Air Force Academy. The opportunity
was perfect for me; I could get a college degree and still serve once I graduated.
In 2015 I was blessed enough to receive an appointment and I left that summer.”
Dominguez credits her parents for instilling strength in her. “I grew up being
raised by the strongest two people I have ever known,” she shares. “Two
immigrants from Colombia who knew little about the U.S., the language, the
culture and the low odds they were about to face. My parents never once had it
easy, but they believed in the American Dream and refused to give up. They have
always shown me to build your own success. Work every day to earn your place,
the world owes you nothing.”
Her advice is to, “be confident when you arrive, stay humble but hold
yourself in a way that shows you are ready to adapt to your situation,” she shares.
“In addition, no matter the job given to you, be the best person at that job every
time. Whether you believe the job given to you is of a major importance or
completely irrelevant, treat them both the same. You will start to build a
reputation of someone that can succeed wherever you are and that will soon
bring more and more opportunities for you.”
Cadet First Class
“I joined the military because I had volunteered
consistently at the Phoenix Veteran’s Affairs
Hospital while I was in high school, and was
inspired by the veterans I interacted with,”
shares Kreiser. “I wasn’t particularly familiar
with the military at the time as neither of my
parents had served, but I knew it was
something I wanted to do after taking care of
From Phoenix, Arizona, and the eldest
daughter of Steve Kreiser of Dallas, Texas, and Sandra Mayol-Kreiser of
Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, Kreiser is a cadet at the U.S. Air Force Academy and is
pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a minor in Spanish.
She attended Greystone Preparatory School at Schreiner University as a
Falcon Foundation Scholar prior to attending The Academy.
“I knew I wanted to have a career in the military since attending the United
States Air Force Academy,” she says. “I have met some incredible officers and
enlisted personnel, and I want to carry on their legacy. In addition, life at the
academy is a grind and I am challenged every day; I feel like I owe it to the
people who have supported me along the way to do a good job.”
While her family was very surprised by her career choice, Kreiser believes
to be at one of the best institutions in the country. Today she is on track to
becoming a pilot in the U.S. Air Force.
“Although I do not have my official job yet, my favorite part about being in a
leadership position as a cadet at the academy is that I get to work with
incredible human beings who are caring, intelligent, and motivated,” she shares.
“My peers motivate me to continue to grow into a better-rounded person.”
U.S. Coast Guard
Cadet First Class
Valentina Giraldo Torres was born in Cali,
Colombia and immigrated to the United
States when she was five years old.
A senior at the Coast Guard Academy,
she studies Marine and Environmental
Sciences and conducts acoustics research for the Mystic Aquarium partnering
with Scripps Institute of Oceanography.
She is an active team member of the academy's Marathon and Cross Fit
teams and is also the co-president of Compañeros Council. She plans on using
her leadership in Compañeros to bring more diversity and Hispanic culture to
cadet life by giving them the opportunity to experience Hispanic culture in their
local communities while also learning about the rich history and culture of
different Hispanic countries.
This past summer, Giraldo Torres had the opportunity to be a crew member
aboard the Mexican Tall Ship Cuauhtémoc for 11 weeks where she was able to
use her Hispanic roots in order to shed light on the importance of diversity in the
Coast Guard and how we are working towards building and maintaining
partnerships with countries and their Hispanic communities.
After graduation, she hopes to be placed on a cutter out of Florida or Puerto
Rico where she can use her Spanish speaking abilities and Hispanic background
to better the Coast Guard and work to complete the missions of Drug and Migrant
Interdiction. Giraldo Torres will earn her commission and complete a Bachelor’s
of Science Degree in Marine and Environmental Science in the spring of 2019
before she departs for the fleet as one of the Coast Guards newest Ensigns.
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32 LATINAStyle www.latinastyle.com Vol. 24, No. 6, 2018