“I never did any of this for myself.”
Born: Reynosa, Mexico
Acción Performance Account Coordinator
Morales Group Team Members since 2012
“I never did any of this for myself,” says Leticia Gonzalez as she leans forward and folds her hands on the table. “I believe I did it for my daughter. There was a lot of drugs and things like that going on around me, but my friends and family, we were fine because we were not those kinds of people. Sometimes I ask my husband why we moved to Indianapolis, but I know it was for my daughter. I started seeing that I didn’t feel safe for her,” Leticia begins the story of her family’s journey from their home in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico. “It was starting to get violent. I believe, right now, it is worse.” So when Leticia’s husband was given the opportunity to move to Indianapolis for a better job opportunity, they made the hard decision to leave their home behind.
Her husband was laid off.
Leaving Mexico was the first of many difficult situations the Gonzalez family would endure. When they arrived in Indianapolis, Leticia had left her entire family, her job as a quality engineer, her friends, and especially her culture. “There weren’t even Hispanic radio stations or channels when we first arrived.” After 9/11 everything changed. Shortly after making Indianapolis their new home, the company that brought her family to Indianapolis went under and her husband was laid off. “When you are passing through situations like that, you really don’t see the whole picture. It is hard and you are asking God to take care of you and He is always doing it.” Remembering her family’s journey from this point forward is proof enough to Leticia.
She was offered her first job stateside when shopping at a J.C. Penny. Although she was grateful for the work, the adjustment to new work and a new language was trying. “I was having headaches all the time because I couldn’t understand what they were saying and I couldn’t explain myself very well to people. It was really hard. More than once I thought about going back, but then I would think of my daughter.”
All of her hard work did not go unnoticed.
After adding a baby boy to their family, Leticia took time away from J.C. Penny and instead volunteered at her daughter’s school helping in the classroom as a translator. She befriended both teachers and social workers who saw something in her. “A social worker I knew heard about an opportunity for an interpreter in the Pike School System, so she called me right away and said she believed it was the job for me.” Leticia recalls how surprised she was when she was offered the job. She accepted and for the next six months helped families much like her own navigate parent teacher conferences, paper work, and even homework. All of her hard work did not go unnoticed and she was asked to apply for the job of Office Manager at Pike High School. Leticia was so intimidated that she immediately considered turning the opportunity down, but she thought back to where her journey had brought her so far. “I always say life is like a marathon, sometimes it’s easy and sometimes you have hills and it is hard to run the hills. Sometimes you have downs. I said, you know what, this job is a hill for me, but if I have the opportunity I will do it.” And she did, for seven years.
After taking several years away to be home with her family, Leticia began looking for a job that she could apply her years of experience as an engineer toward. “I filled out an application on Career Builder, but they don’t always show you the name of the company. I thought they maybe wouldn’t call me.””
All of them led her to Morales Group.
Catching her by surprise, Morales Group did call and gave her the opportunity to be the team lead on a project. She was quickly promoted to supervisor, then within a year offered the position of accounts coordinator, the job she currently holds in her third year as an employee. Leticia recalls the difficulties of her journey with a smile, seeing in hindsight how all of them have led her to Morales Group.
Her skill set and attention to detail harmonize perfectly with the company dynamic. “People will say I am picky because I notice that one number is wrong or it isn’t matching, but I say, well it is not only the number, the number means people. It is a person and I care about them!” This family mentality is one that unites all of the Morales Group employees. “Morales Group is a company that is totally different than other companies, even in Mexico. I think it’s the diversity. They take care of all different kinds of people. They look at us like people, not as though we are different from them. Morales Group is my family now. They really take care of us.”
We are not employees or numbers, we are people.
More than that, Morales Group gives Leticia the support of a family that allows her and other employees to grow with them. “It is the only company that gives me the opportunity to grow up as a professional. I feel like I have more opportunities here because the company is always growing and they don’t care that you are different. We are not employees or numbers, we are people.”
“Although we didn’t always celebrate it, Thanksgiving has become an important holiday to us, ” Leticia says emphatically, “It is our story. We moved, we left everything looking for something better for our daughter, who is now following her dream attending college at IUPUI. We did it all for our family.” For Leticia, Morales Group has become part of that family.