Overcoming the odds to build a global community online - Patricia's story
Patricia had been introduced to gender studies by a professor while studying at the University of Colima in the central west region of Mexico. As someone who loves helping other people, she wanted to use her new-found passion to positively impact those around her. But after graduating and moving to Mexico City to become an event promoter, she felt isolated and couldn’t find the right platform to channel her interest and take the next step.
It was when Patricia’s old university professor paid her a visit that she first heard about #IamRemarkable — an initiative encouraging underrepresented groups to celebrate their achievements. Right away, Patricia knew she wanted to run her own #IamRemarkable workshops, and decided to train as a facilitator. Soon, she was hosting her first session and hearing about the experiences other team members had been through. “My first group of participants were more vocal than I expected, so I felt really happy,” says Patricia. “As a group, they were so inspiring, and that inspired me even more and made me see how powerful words can be. It was a really beautiful moment, and it made me want other people to feel what we were feeling.”
Online #IAmRemarkable workshop hosted by Patricia Martínez Vaca
I wanted to make sure that, especially in these tough times, I could help people like me reach their potential
Becoming an #IAmRemarkable facilitator has also helped Patricia boost her own self-confidence. “It’s interesting to see how many people relate, because it makes you realise you’re not crazy, and you’re not alone. It’s easier to open your eyes and take action,” she explains.
When the pandemic hit, things quickly became harder. Yet Patricia realised this was the moment her community needed her more than ever. With face-to-face workshops no longer possible, she jumped right into the digital landscape.
Switching to virtual workshops has allowed Patricia to open up and reach an international audience, and truly fulfil her life-long ambition to inspire and support other people. “I wanted to make sure that, especially in these tough times, I could help people like me reach their potential,” explains Patricia. She also believes that running the workshops during the pandemic has helped enable participants to feel connected and less isolated during this vulnerable period.
Creative material promoting Patricia's #IAmRemarkable workshop
Becoming an #IAmRemarkable facilitator has been an invaluable and fulfilling experience, and has made me not lose hope about the changes we can make
“We are talking about supporting women and other underrepresented groups, in a really positive way — a way that tells people that they can do things for themselves,” she explains. Patricia has since gone on to create a diversity inclusion committee at work, which has sparked positive reaction from her bosses.
“#IAmRemarkable has undoubtedly helped me understand the power of my voice, and how you can use it to empower other people,” explains Patricia. “When people tell me it’s been fulfilling, that makes me feel fulfilled, and it drives me to do more”. For example, Patricia now has her own book club and podcast. She has embraced the online community with open arms, and the isolation she once felt in work and at home has all but vanished. “Becoming an #IamRemarkable facilitator has been an invaluable and fulfilling experience, and has made me not lose hope about the changes we can make.”