5 Latino celebrity role models (and why we look up to them)

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    Role models can be people you know in real life or someone you may have never met that inspires you from afar. These Latino celebrity role models give us five reasons to strive to be better, pursue your dreams with no fear and inspire us to take on challenges and beat the odds.

    We found five Latino celebrity role models that are worth noting.

    Celebrity role models

    America Ferrera: Hard work pays off

    Latino role models

    America Ferrera followed her acting dreams while pursuing a college degree.

    America Ferrera was born in Los Angeles, Calif., daughter of parents from Honduras who immigrated to the United States in the mid 1970s. She learned the importance of higher education from her mother. Ferrera performed in school plays and community theater in Los Angeles throughout her youth. She pursued her acting dreams without her mom’s help because back then, she disagreed with Ferrera’s passion.

    This Latina role model paid for her acting lessons by waiting tables and babysitting. She pleased her mother by attending the University of Southern California on a presidential scholarship, with a double major in theater and international relations. It took her 10 years to graduate with her bachelor’s degree, but she said it was a great accomplishment. She is an actress who plays her roles with pride and is an advocate for causes like educating Latinos to vote.

    Rapper Pitbull: Rising above all obstacles

    Latino role models

    Pitbull had to overcome many obstacles including coming from living in foster care and cleaning up his act. This role model never let that get in the way of his dreams. (Photo Facebook)

    Armando Perez, aka Pitbull, was born to Cuban parents in Miami, Fla. He chose his artistic name because he says, “The dog is too stupid to lose. And they’re outlawed in Dade County. They’re basically everything that I am. It’s been a constant fight.” Pitbull is said to have been a teenage drug dealer, as his father was before him, but he used music to escape that lifestyle.
    Hispanic Heritage

    During those years when his mother kicked him out and his father was not there for him, he lived with a foster family. His musical start was not an easy ride either. He wasn’t immediately accepted as a rapper by the industry because he is Cuban, white with blue eyes and from South Florida.

    He didn’t let that discourage him and today this Latino role model is Mr. Worldwide.

    Eva Longoria: Give back

    Latino role models

    Eva Longoria gives back by supporting people with special needs. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

    Eva Longoria is perhaps best known as the beautiful actress in the hit TV series “Desperate Housewives,” but she is also an advocate for Hispanic and female rights. She is founder of Eva’s Heroes, a charity organization based in San Antonio, Texas, that helps people with special needs. Longoria was inspired to help others by her sister, who has special needs herself.

    “I was blessed with a sister who has special needs. Now, I work to impact the lives of similar young adults nationwide,” Longoria states on her website. Longoria has supported over 30 charities and has received many awards for her charity work throughout the years.

    John Leguizamo: Dream big

    Latino role models

    Actor John Leguizamo’s sheer determination to make it in the entertainment industry paid off. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)

    Colombian actor John Leguizamo is widely known for playing the role of Luigi in the “Super Mario Bros” film as well as Sid’s voice in “Ice Age.” But he started long ago as the son of a man who wanted to be a film director but had to let his dream go because of economic issues. When Leguizamo was four years old, he and his family moved to Queens, New York. After graduating from high school, the actor entered Long Island University where he studied theater and acting.

    His big break came from his success as a stand-up comedian in the NYC club scene. Most recently he didn’t give up on his dream to land the role of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar in a new biopic. He had plenty of convincing to do, but through his skilled acting and some prosthetics, he landed his dream role.

    Although his father never made it in Hollywood, there was a Hollywood in the future for this Leguizamo.

    Salma Hayek: Supporting women and children

    Latino role models

    Salma Hayek started a charity to help women, children and immigrants. (Photo by Jon Furniss/Invision/AP Images)

    Salma Hayek is active in raising awareness about violence against women and children, and discrimination against immigrants. Her own charity, The Salma Hayek Foundation, created to support battered women, has recently branched out to help disadvantaged children in Mexico.

    Hayek also worked hard to make the Latino community understand the importance of milk in a healthy diet through her role as an active spokesperson for the Got Milk? campaign. She’s also acted as a spokesperson for the Pampers 1 Pack = 1 Vaccine campaign to ensure moms are inoculated for tetanus while pregnant.

    We hope you’ve found some inspiration from these Latino celebrity role models. Share your role models with us in the comments. 

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