DOOR COUNTY (NBC 26) — As we continue to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month here on NBC 26, we highlight the positive strides the Latinx community is making across Northeast Wisconsin.
We introduce you to a Door County woman making positive impacts through her voice and advocacy for domestic abuse victims.
Meet Milly Gonzales:
When it comes to speaking up, she has never been afraid to do so.
"I think especially as a Latina we are born to advocate. Being able to serve people within our family, especially as a first-generation American,” Gonzales said.
She's a leader and a fierce one for sure.
As the Executive Director for HELP of Door County, she helps the non-profit with programs and resources for domestic abuse victims.
WATCH the following video to learn more about Gonzales:
"My mission is to make sure that I am advocating for victims of domestic violence, that I am advocating for those that are most marginalized in the community and my culture," Gonzales said.
She credits much of who she has become and her ability to speak her mind to her family and the upbringing she had.
"My mom is actually a refugee, my family are refugees from El Salvador. They came here with political asylum. Being a Salvadoran-American, that is where my heart is in making sure that our communities and those who are historically excluded are always being served," Gonzales said.
This woman pours her soul and passion in all she does.
"I was nominated for the Si Se Puede award, so the most influential and powerful Latinos in the state of Wisconsin. I also have the Anne Kok social justice award to honor those who are doing social justice work in this movement. I was named as one of Door County's most important people before. I want to say a couple of years back," Gonzales said.
Her success doesn't just stop with these awards.
"I just got word that I was invited to join Governor Evers' council on domestic abuse. It's amazing to have these conversations and be like oh my gosh. I'm just waiting for my senate confirmation hearing to make everything official," Gonzales said.
As she continues to live out her dreams she has gratitude for all the sacrifices of previous generations.
"My mom came to this country and my grandmother came to this country with dreams for us, right. They didn't get to live that life. It was like 'I'm coming here for the opportunity and chance for my future legacy'," Gonzales said.
And if there's one piece of advice she has for anyone no matter your race or culture is to always show up as the most authentic version of yourself.
"Our culture is what makes us beautiful. Those strengths, those morals, values, and our ancestors, and our indigenous roots and whether or not you speak the language or not like that is what makes us us," Gonzales said.