We had the good fortune of connecting with Altagracia Marte and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Altagracia, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
My favorite quote is by Maya Angelou. “I come as one, but stand as ten thousand.” This quote is from one of Maya Angelou’s poems, “Our Grandmothers.” The reason this is my favorite quote is that it speaks so much volume about myself and the life I live today. I know that my purpose is so much bigger than myself and each day I am reminded that I stand tall on the shoulders of my ancestors. Every woman who came before me made it possible for me to think freely and continue to break the glass ceilings created to place a limit on my capabilities. Although I am one person, I speak for everyone before me and work to make room for those after me. This also serves as my mantra for Girls Help Girls because I know that this is much bigger than myself.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Girls Help Girls is a community organization whose mission is to enlighten girls of their unique and complex identities through the creation of safe spaces for ourselves and other girls in our communities. Through these safe spaces, we empower one another to be intentional, loving, and purposeful. What I am most proud of is my first girl’s group that consists of 6 high school seniors getting ready to go off to college. Since January, we have been meeting twice a month to discuss the ins and outs of college so that these young women can know what to expect during their four years of college. We created a fundraiser to provide these girls with college essential packages and recently reached our fundraiser goal! Before launching the fundraiser, I was so doubtful that I wouldn’t reach the goal and the promises I made to help my girlies out wouldn’t be fulfilled. All it took was a bit of courage and belief that this is a risk worth taking. Reminding myself that Girls Help Girls is bigger than me pushes me to take risks and work hard for the girls I serve.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Every time I bring someone to Miami, I take them to my favorite spots because I enjoy sharing experiences with the people I love. The first spot I would take them is to a food truck down in Liberty City called Sweet Mini Donuts. They have the best fresh mini donuts and they are amazing, sweet people which makes the donuts taste even better. The next place I would take them is to the beach, of course. South Beach and Hollywood Beach are my favorite go-to’s and the storefronts and restaurants on the strip make the experience worthwhile. I then would take them to experience some amazing farmers markets with Yellow Green Farmers Market at the top of my list. The amount of fresh fruit, hot food, good music, and natural soaps is heaven on earth. Last but not least, Wynwood is a great place to experience Miami for what it is and the vibe there is one you would not want to miss out on.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to dedicate my shoutout to all the women in my life. I aspire to help young girls and women dig deep into their identities and create a safe space within themselves and that is exactly what the women around me have pushed me to do for myself. My mom, college friends, and women I call my sisters have motivated me to keep going no matter how hard or impossible my task may seem. The fact that they see so much potential in Girls Help Girls allowed me to see my vision more clear. I am beyond grateful.
Kiara Taylor, Frantzlyn Simeon, Sariah Lundy, Laicka Almonor, Brenyya Connor, Maria Taylor