October 07, 2022
Meet Leslye Jubb, FriendsPDX's Total Rewards Analyst.
I was born in Peru but I was there for just a brief period of time. During the early '90s, domestic terrorism ran rampant; so many people left, including us. My mom recollected a time when she drove past a light post and a bomb that was attached to it went off behind her. So a lot of my family members moved out of Peru and to places like Florida & New York that had thriving Latin communities. For some odd reason my mom wanted to live on the West Coast and decided that Aloha, Oregon was it. That's how I landed in the Portland area at the age of 3 and I've called it my home since. I graduated from Aloha High School, Portland Community College, and Portland State University. Now, I am now your typical Portland Hipster; I also love hiking and drinking coffee but with a Latin flair!
My upbringing was pretty special, I learned English and Spanish at the same time, and I often translated for my parents and their friends. They also learned to perfect their English by watching Disney movies with us, my mom still prefers subtitles.
Growing up an immigrant meant that visiting our family involved planning a trip to the other side of the country or a 12-hour flight back to Peru. I was always envious of my friends who had multiple maternal mentors, like aunts and grandmas, who they had grown up with or that had lived nearby, and numerous siblings or cousins to share common life experiences with. Sleepovers and birthdays with our extended family never happened, it was always a million phone calls in one day. That is Until I flew back to Peru for my 21st birthday. I spent two weeks cramming time between Lima and Chiclayo visiting cousins, aunts and uncles, and staying at my grandparents' house. That was a special trip for me not only because it was my birthday but also because shortly after my grandfather passed away from colon cancer. My last visit to Peru was when I got engaged to my husband, I had to take him to meet the fam. We spent time in Lima where my grandma relocated and Iquitos visiting the Amazon jungle.
On the flip side, here in Oregon, I grew up feeling like I knew every Peruvian in the state, it seemed like there were only so many of us. Worst of all, there were no Peruvian restaurants except one: El Inka an hour away, past Portland in Gresham. Flash forward to 20 years later, we have so many options now! Do yourself a favor and try it, please. But, I digress.
I appreciate the opportunity to share my story but most of all I am excited about the future of Friends of the Children—Portland because there are so many efforts, like this one, that bring diversity and inclusivity into the fold. Being an immigrant means being a steward for future generations, it's my life's calling to help our youth and our employees alike, feel seen and heard especially those with marginalized voices. Si se puede!
September 15 - October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month. FriendsPDX fully acknowledges that the terms Hispanic and Latinx are not naturally occurring and instead placed upon the communities that they were invented to describe. We have a whole blog dedicated to its historical background here.