• Yulkendy Valdez

My Accent goes to Work

I moved to the United States at the age of 10 going on 11. I did not know a word of English. My grandparents would put me in English glasses growing up, but the teachers were not great and I would never make it past. “What is your name?” and “how are you?”

In order to fully assimilate into American culture, and learn to speak proper English, I started to pick up Disney Channel 📺 and American literature 📚. I had to leave my novelas or soap operas behind.

I was able to learn English fairly quickly since I was still so young. But speaking multiple languages and feeling like I was leaving my native tongue behind, felt like this:

And when I noticed people were confused when I confused my “ch” and my “sh” or when they just didn’t understand me at all, I felt like I was always had to say a public service announcement:

As with my accent, I carry my truth and a big part of my identity:

Pero like my accent adds power to my voice. I learned to embrace it, and I even miss it when I don’t feel like it is there anymore.

Para mi gente out there that are super conscious of their accent going to their next interview, meeting, or networking event, embrace the power that comes with your voice and immigrant roots.

Your accent is part of you and is beautiful 💙.

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