With an engineering professor for a father and a "tech geek" for an older brother, it may not surprise you that Mexico City-based Rebeca de la Vega works at a technology company. "All our lives, my father told us to become engineers," Rebeca, one of three siblings, says with a chuckle.
Today, as Cisco's Corporate Social Responsibility manager in her native Mexico, Rebeca leads the company's efforts to foster IT education and improve people's access to the Internet throughout the country. But for a long time, no one—especially Rebeca—could've guessed she would end up in technology.
While her brother didn't exactly take their father's advice about engineering, he did become a scientist. Rebeca, however, was intent on heading in a different direction altogether.
"I wanted to taste the world!" says Rebeca, and that's exactly what she did.
Rebeca embarked on a two-decade-long journey to discover her passions. She studied communications, and then earned an MBA at Tecnológico de Monterrey. During her graduate studies, she found one of her true callings while working as a teaching assistant.
"I realized my heart was in education," she recalls, a field shared by Rebeca's sister and her father.
"Rebeca is incredibly creative in her approach," says Cisco Senior Manager Cristina McGlew Castro, citing yet another Cisco Mexico CSR project to make her point. "She helped establish the Centros de Integración Juvenil (CIJ), rehabilitation centers for recovering addicts and their families that use Networking Academy curriculum as part of the therapeutic process. It's really unique."