Maria Sastre Shares Wisdom with Take Stock in Children Mentees

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Maria Sastre, Helios Education Foundation Board Director and member of the Board of Directors of Helios' partner Take Stock in Children (TSIC) was recently featured in the TSIC Newsletter where she shared insight for mentees. 

Did you have a mentor in your life? And what was your most memorable lesson from your mentor?

I had several mentors, beginning with my beloved maternal grandmother and several bosses early in my career….later in my career, I switched roles to become a mentor, which has also afforded me many valuable lessons. My grandmother was born in 1899 in Cuba and was exiled in this country when she was 61 years old. She always reminded me of how much she loved our country for the opportunity it was affording me and all of her children and grandchildren. She often said you can be anything you want to be in this country and don’t ever let anyone hold you back because you are a girl! That was powerful and still resonates with me, especially because I am now a grandmother to girls.

What wisdom would the Maria Sastre of today share with a 15 year old Maria?

Stay focused on your school and on being independent. Earn your college and or university/vocational certification and make your path forward happen. Stay away from “Group Think”! Be your own winner…

How long have you served as a member of the Board of Directors for Take Stock in Children?

This is my 10 th year.

Share what serving on the Take Stock in Children Board means to you.

I appreciate being able to offer feedback and support to every leader of Take Stock and advocate for the organization whenever and wherever possible.

Do you have any fond memories of Take Stock that you’d like to share?

My fondest memory is our effort to secure the U.S. Department of Education I3 (Investing In Innovation) grant and the challenges that I managed through that process. I distinctly recall the day I received the call that we would be successful as a grant applicant. It was a call I will never forget.

Take Stock in Children is just finishing its year of celebrating 25 years of service. As we look to begin our next 25 years of service, any words of encouragement for our Take Stock network of partners, students, mentors?

Continue to engage your students, graduates, and partners in this mission to achieve success through education access and education equality. Education is the great equalizer!

Maria A. Sastre is a businessperson who has been the head of 5 different companies. Ms. Sastre is also on the board of 8 other companies including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, General Mills, and the Helios Education Foundation. In the past, Ms. Sastre was President & Chief Operating Officer of Signature Flight Support Corp., Vice President-Latin America & Miami Region at United Air Lines, Inc., Vice President-Sales & Marketing at Azamara Club Cruises, Vice President-Sales & Marketing for Celebrity Cruise Lines, Inc., Vice President-Sales & Marketing for Royal Caribbean International Ltd., Chairman of Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, President, Chief Operating Officer & Director at Laredo Aero Center, Inc., President & Director at Executive Beechcraft, Inc., and President & Chief Executive Officer of TSIC, Inc.