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Vanessa Rivera

Why shouldn’t I be a proud conservative woman? I have found a political ideology, which aligns with my personal beliefs, as well as my religious beliefs. The beliefs I have known and held true for the past 22 years, are the same truths, which have brought prosperity and growth to the nation we call America.

I wasn’t born into a completely conservative household, but I consider it a blessing. Being able to see two ideologies and discuss and debate issues that affect the lives of millions of Americans exposed my siblings and me to the reality of politics.

In retrospect, when I first stepped foot on the campus of Florida Gulf Coast University, it was a whole new world. Not only was everyone a liberal, but I was wrong for not being one, as well. If you are a woman or minority, you are expected to be a liberal. To be a conservative, Latina-millennial was strange to my professors as well as my classmates. Instead of getting to know my beliefs and why I stand by them, I was called a woman-hater, brainwashed, and a sell-out.

If you haven’t paid attention to the media, being a Latina-millennial, the odds are not in your favor. Looking back, I don’t think I beat the “odds.” I think I beat the liberal agenda. Based upon the fact that I, a Latina-millennial, graduated from a four-year university and am employed right after graduating.

I stood up for my beliefs by joining conservative organizations. I eventually went on to start a NeW chapter on my campus. I realized that other proud conservative women who wanted to discuss issues and policy needed a network of support. I quickly found that there were many conservative women on campus who had experienced the same situations I had.

Although I was the president of my chapter for only one year, I saw so much personal and professional growth within my members, and I cannot be anything but proud. Their determination to not be victims of society’s rules, and to exceed society’s standards for women is what sets them apart, which has led them to succeed in breaking glass ceilings.

I am a proud conservative woman because I will not allow myself to be made a victim. Not by my alma mater, the media or the left. I am a proud conservative woman because everywhere I look there other conservative women who refuse to be victims. They are making a stand for their beliefs, and are demanding to be heard.

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