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Work Hard and Everything is Possible with Jaileen Diaz
Episode 1225th October 2021 • Our Roots Say That We're Sisters • Marquette University
00:00:00 00:16:54

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In this episode, our host Sheena Carey talks to Jaileen Diaz, a recent graduate from Marquette University in Criminology and Law studies. Jaileen is currently a Business Teacher at St. Augustine Prep. 

Episode Highlights: 

03:43 - I realized that if I want to succeed in life and be able to make that difference, I need to start with myself. 

04:47 - I was struggling at a young age and I wanted to make sure that I worked hard in order to go to a school that had a good education.  

05:23 - I led the Minority Scholars Program (MSMP). 

10:40 - I knew that in myself sometimes I would be a little down or a little hard on myself, but just knowing that I can always start anew the next day has really helped me as well. 

12:28 - No matter where you are in life, or where you start, do not let that impact the path that you choose. You are able to do that, you just need to work hard and be able to collaborate with people around you. 


01:30 - What is the story you’d like to share with us today? - My story begins right here in Milwaukee. I was born and raised on the south side, not too far from Marquette. 

02:45 - How do you identify? - I am Puerto Rican and Filipino.   

03:14 - How did you get onto your path? - My path was a little rough. After graduating high school, I didn’t attain the grades I wanted so I had to start MATC for a year. 

04:57 - How would you say your identity has informed the choices that you’ve made? – I’d say that my identity has steered me on a path that I want to work harder and to make it known that there is a need to diversify and make sure that there is a need for students of color at Marquette. 

06:13 - So this is the program that you helped found? - I was the president after the two co-founders. 

06:55 - Tell me a little bit about St. Augustine Prep. - They were founded in 2017. They service low-income families, the majority of the population there. 

07:26 - In what ways has the mural project resonated for you? – I feel like the mural project was something that Marquette needed.

08:21 - What are the ways in which Marquette has impacted your sense of self-worth? - Marquette has made me more confident as a person. The faculty invests so much time in you.

09:12 - Who are the women of color that serve as inspiration for you? – The first one is my mom. I appreciate the example that she set for me because now I hold myself to a higher standard as a woman.  

10:05 - What role has vulnerability played in the path that you’ve taken and the story you are telling? – At first, my relationship with vulnerability was a little complicated. Because a lot of times you see a woman who is distraught and you think that she is just moody. But you need to realize that something is wrong.

10:55 - What has been the role that women of color have played in helping you navigate through these vulnerable times? - I had a college counselor that was very important in my success. 

11:37 - What is the impact that you have had and that you hope to have on women of color? – First of all, I know it is going to be tough, ladies, but you’ve got this! 

13:00 - What do you hope to do with a law degree? - I hope to serve in my community first. My ultimate goal would probably be to advocate for civil rights and immigration. 

13:33 - What are your hopes for the future, not only your own but the future of Marquette and our community? – I hope that Marquette continues the organizations that they have. 

14:25 - Are there some other things that Marquette could be doing to ensure that all feel included? - I was a commuter. That made me feel not really connected to the Marquette community. Definitely check out O-Fest.  

16:05 - What else would you like the community to know about the work that you’re doing and the plans that you have? – Even though success may be hard to attain, even when you get there and you make millions of dollars, do not forget about the community and where you came from. That should be No. 1 in your heart. Stay humble.

Contact information:

Jacki Black

pronouns: she/her/hers

Associate Director for Hispanic Initiatives

Marquette University

454 Zilber Hall | PO Box 1881 | Milwaukee, WI 53201



The Our Roots Say That We're Sisters Podcast series was recorded and produced by Podcast Town (




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