National Hispanic Heritage Month Spotlight: Christiana Colon

Learn more about Breakthrough Behavior staff and their background as we celebrate and honor National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Christiana Colon, M.A. BCBA | Downtown Orlando

What is your background and where is your family from?

Both sides of my family are from Puerto Rico. My mother's side is from Moca and my father's side is from Manatí. My family migrated to Chicago, Illinois, in the 1950s where the majority of my family (cousins, younger aunts/uncles and myself) are from.

How is your Hispanic heritage important to you?

My Hispanic heritage is important to me because I find it valuable to preserve and educate others on where my family has come from. The barriers and limitations we have faced due to our heritage and how we have overcome them is a reminder on why we strive to work hard and bring honor with our accomplishments.

Who were your role models growing up?

My role models growing up were Frida Kahlo and my own mother. I grew up loving Frida's work as a child but really grew to fall in love with her artwork once knowing her life story and how she let her experiences speak through her art. My own personal role model would have to be my mother. She was a single mother with no college degrees, but was still able to provide me with a wonderful childhood full of memories that will last a life time. She's my best friend. Her remarkable work ethic and resilience are two of the many things she taught me that I try and put at the forefront of my work. I strive to make her proud everyday.

What advice would you give to other Hispanic Americans looking to start their career in this industry?

We have a lot to offer the communities and to this industry. We bring a culture and background to the table that is unique and needed. The wisdom we have based on our experiences and barriers we have broken down as Hispanic people make it relatable to cheer on these families as they break down their own barriers. Dual languages and respect for cultural rules and expectations puts us ahead of the game in terms of creating a connection with families from other cultures. We are a much needed ingredient to the melting pot of the special needs community, and we have a lot to offer them with just being ourselves. I can assure you once you start your career in this industry, you will feel a sense of home here.